Football - Wed, Sep. 26, 2012
Building a dynasty takes decades, or a decade and a half
if you are Georgetown College football coach Bill Cronin. The legendary figure
has patrolled the GC sidelines the past 15-plus years and is on the verge of
etching his 150th win. This mark has him averaging just more than nine wins a
season, something that is higher than coaching greats such as Steve Spurrier,
194 wins in 22 season; Bobby Bowden, 377 wins in 44; Bear Bryant, 323 in 38;
and Lou Holtz, 249 in 33. The first three average just more than eight a season
while Holtz finished with an average of 7.5. Even NAIA legend Kevin Donley, who
hired Cronin as an assistant for the Tigers back in the ‘80s, averages just
more than seven wins a year for 257 victories in 33 years.
"Georgetown has been great for me and my family," Cronin
said. "We have enjoyed living and working in a community where people genuinely
care about one another; being able to win, as much as we have, is just a bonus."
The formation of a powerhouse is a strong foundation, a
concept certainly not lost on Cronin. In 1997, he hired Craig Mullins, Steve
Hill and Bruce Owens to guide the Tigers with him and they have not left his
side. All have been honored one way or the other in the coaching realm, but
have chosen to stay right where they are at Georgetown.
"Being here, being a part of this, means more than being
a head coach," Mullins said. "Georgetown is in my blood. Dedication, trust and
cohesion are what drives this program."
Mullins played for Georgetown as did Hill and Owens.
Cronin has continued that tradition, as well, looking for assistants among the
ranks of his players. He has hired on Marty Parks, who played during Cronin's
first four seasons and then became an assistant to also be at GC the entire 16
years. Three years into his time at GC, Cronin hired alum, Clyde McConnaughhay,
who also brings the passion and pride for Tiger success with him.
Brian Landis and Shan Housekeeper also returned to the
Orange & Black, where as players they helped to win national championships.
"We have a lot of pride in the program," Housekeeper
said. "Only a handful of us didn't play here before coaching here. We have been
on the other side of being players. We have high standards and so hold our
players to those standards as well. It is sort of gathering what we learned
from the coaches before us and passing it to the current players. It is a neat
thing for us to hold on to because most staffs are just a mix of all kinds of
philosophies and styles coming together."
Cronin, among active coaches, is fifth on the win list.
Donley is first, followed by two more coaches with 30-plus years on the
sidelines in Hank Biesiot (256 in 36) and Larry Wilcox (232 in 33). Carroll
College's Mike Van Diest has 160 wins in 13 seasons, which might be the only
coach to win 150 faster than Cronin.
On the all-time coaching win list, Cronin is 32nd. During
his time at GC, the veteran coach is 86-12 at home, 59-17 on the road and 4-2
at neutral sites.