Tony Fitzpatrick returned to the University of Houston in 2006 to mentor the Cougar defensive line and coordinate the UH special teams. His first season paid immediate dividends, as sophomore defensive end Phillip Hunt and senior nose tackle Marquay Love both picked up Conference USA Second-Team accolades. From a special teams standpoint, sophomore kicker Ben Bell was twice named Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week and was named to the Second Team by the league's media representatives. No stranger to Cougar Football, Fitzpatrick returned to the sidelines after spending the last eight years in the private sector.
Fitzpatrick recruits Central Texas, Navarro College, Trinity Valley Community College and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Fitzpatrick spent 10 seasons coaching at UH from 1988 until 1997, handling defensive line and defensive tackles responsibilities during his tenure. Fitzpatrick also worked four years as a part of the Houston ISP Sports Radio Network, working first as a sideline reporter before moving up to the booth prior to the 2005 season to provide the color analysis.
Fitzpatrick started at Houston as a graduate assistant in 1988 and became a full-time coach in 1990. During his tenure with the Cougars, UH played in the 1988 Aloha Bowl and 1996 Liberty Bowl.
Fitzpatrick was responsible for tutoring such players as Allen Aldridge who played professionally for the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions, Glenn Cadrez who was a 10-year pro with the Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, Glenn Montgomery of the Houston Oilers, Alfred Oglesby who played for both the Miami Dolphins and Jets and Craig Veasey who competed for the Dolphins, Oilers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fitzpatrick came to Houston after playing professionally with the Houston Gamblers of the United States Football League (USFL) in 1984-85 and Ottawa Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 1986. He also spent the 1987 season as a defensive lineman for the Houston Oilers.
As a collegiate player, Fitzpatrick was a three-year starter at nose tackle for the University of Miami and helped lead the Hurricanes to a 27-7 record during those three years. He was a starter on Miami's 1983 national championship team that upset Nebraska, 31-30, in the Orange Bowl. Fitzpatrick earned honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press as a senior and was named to the All-South Independent Team. He played special teams as a freshman on Miami's 1981 Peach Bowl champion team that defeated Virginia Tech, 20-10.
After stepping away from football in 1998, Fitzpatrick first worked as an insurance agent for American National Insurance, where he managed one of the fasted growing agencies in the history of the company. He later worked four years as an orthopedic representative for Smith & Nephew Orthopedics, selling orthopedic products to members of the medical community.
Fitzpatrick received his bachelor's degree in exercise of physiology from the University of Houston in 1988. He and his wife, Sherri, have three children: Austin, 16; Will, 14; and Sidnee Jo, 12.