Paul Fitzpatrick

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Timon Football Coach & Maryland Gridder

Nestled in the heart of South Buffalo, Bishop Timon-St.Jude High School occupies a lofty position in the annals of Buffalo sports. Among the giants who have played and coached at that institution (some of them Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame members), none has stood taller, literally, than Paul Fitzpatrick.

A product of St. Agatha’s School on Abbott Road, Fitzpatrick starred in baseball, football, and basketball at Timon. As a senior in 1966, Paul was an All-Catholic selection in football and basketball, and was named All-Western New York in football. He was selected team Most Valuable Player in football and basketball, and paced the Tigers to a Manhattan Cup title in the latter. College football recruiters came calling, and Paul chose to attend the University of Maryland on a full football scholarship. Fitzpatrick starred for the Terps under Coach Lou Saban, and was the team’s “Unsung Hero” his senior year. The Saban connection was surely a valuable experience in laying the groundwork for the football coaching career in Paul’s future.

Upon his return to Buffalo, Fitzpatrick spent seven years at Baker-Victory High as an assistant football coach and also saw brief duty as varsity basketball coach. His high school alma mater, and boyhood neighborhood, beckoned, however, and in 1978, he was tapped to coach the Timon gridders. The hire produced immediate dividends in the form of a Bishop Burke League championship in his first season.

In 28 years as football coach, Fitzpatrick compiled a record which ranks him among the top Western New York coaches of all time. The highlights include a school-record 161 wins, good for 11th place in Western New York. His 1983 and 1985 squads were ranked No. 1 in the Buffalo News large school polls, and his 1979 team fashioned an unbeaten season.

Fitzpatrick the coach has always been the consummate teacher and mentor to his players, and a gentleman to friend and foe alike. While countless Tigers have experienced the limelight of All-Catholic and All-Western New York status, their unassuming coach has shunned the spotlight. Tonight, however that spotlight shines to illuminate the good deeds of a true son of South Buffalo, as he joins fellow Timon legends in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.