Bill Cronin’s career at Georgetown College is far from over, and the football coach already is being extended a measure of immortality. Cronin is being inducted into the NAIA national hall of fame.
GC made the announcement Monday afternoon at a press conference including the coach and his athletic director, Brian Evans. New members of the hall of fame are honored at their respective national championship games each year.
Georgetown has won two of its three NAIA football championships under Cronin, whose next victory will be the 200th of his career. The Tigers won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001 after losing in the first of three consecutive championship game appearances.
In the history of college football, only 91 other coaches have hit the 200-win milestone. Thirty-six of them accomplished the feat at a single school, as will be the case with Cronin.
Cronin is in his 23rd season at the Tigers’ helm. He started with the school as an assistant coach, then left to become head coach at Madison Central High School before returning to take the reins at GC at 1997.
The Tigers have never experienced a losing season under Cronin’s watch. He entered this season with a 199-56, including an amazing 127-16 in Mid-South Conference play.
Georgetown, ranked No. 21 in NAIA, lost its season opener, 30-27, at Kentucky Christian after leading 17-0 at halftime. Cronin’s team will travel to Lakeland, Florida, this Saturday for a showdown with another team in the national poll, Southeastern University.
Cronin is the sixth GC coach to earn the hall of fame induction, with five athletes bringing the school’s total to 11.
That number includes Kevin Donley, another member of the exclusive 200-win club, who has gone on to more success at Saint Francis (Indiana) since guiding Georgetown to the 1991 NAIA Division II crown.
Other GC coaches in the hall are Bob Davis and Jim Reid (men’s basketball), Susan Johnson (women’s basketball) and Donna Hawkins (volleyball).
Kenny Davis, a 1972 United States Olympic men’s basketball player, headlines the list of enshrined Georgetown players. Charles Grote, Will Carlton and Cecil Tuttle also represent the basketball program in the hall.
Eddie Eviston, now the football coach at Covington Catholic High School, is the only gridiron player represented.
For much more on Cronin’s honor, please see Thursday’s edition of the News-Graphic.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.