The Cowgirls are led by HC Drew Fitzgerald who enters his third season at the helm in 2018. In his 2nd season the Cowgirls broke numerous school records on their way to a runner-up finish in the SLC. The team went 12-5-2 and the season marked the first time ever that the Cowgirls earned 8 conference victories. It was only the 2nd 12 win season in school history.
The Cowgirls were rewarded for their efforts on the field earning player of the year awards in several positions including forward, goal keeper and defender as well as garnering the overall SLC player of the year award. For the first time in school history McNeese saw two players named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Region team as well as having three players named to the All-Louisiana Team and one player named to the SLC All-Academic team.
The 2017 campaign followed up a strong inaugural season for Fitzgerald’s Cowgirls where the team won a Southland Conference tournament match for the first time since 2008. The squad finished 6th after being tabbed to finish 11th and earned numerous post-season awards. The team wrapped up the season with three All SLC selections, one All-Tournament team selection and two SLC All-Academic Honors.
Fitzgerald returned to Lake Charles in 2014 and was a key factor in helping revamp a program that had scored one conference victory a season prior to his arrival. Under his guidance, McNeese tallied six league wins for a fourth place finish that helped propel them to an appearance in the 2014 Southland Conference Tournament. In 2015, McNeese registered six victories including wins over Sun Belt opponents ULM and Texas State. Fitzgerald helped mentor Southland Conference and LSWA Freshman of the Year Bettina Brulhart as well as all-league second-team pick Gabi D’Alesandro, who led the team in every offensive category.
In four seasons at Missouri State, Fitzgerald helped lead the Bears to multiple Missouri Valley Conference tournament appearances as well as develop the program’s first professional draftee, Nia Williams, who was selected by FC Kansas City in the fourth round of the 2012 NWSL draft. In his first season with the Bears, he helped the program to a 12-5-2 overall record and a second-place finish and a MVC Tournament finals appearance. Along the way, he assisted for a team that went unbeaten in 11-straight matches, had a seven-match win streak and won four-straight 1-0 shutouts, all firsts in team history.
Fitzgerald is no stranger to McNeese having spent four years (2005-2008) as an assistant coach under then head coach Scooter Savoie. During his previous tenure, Fitzgerald helped McNeese to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006 and a Southland Conference Championship in 2007. He also aided the team in reaching the Southland Conference Tournament finals in 2008. He also served as the Barbe High School boy’s soccer team head coach in 2007 and 2008. At McNeese, Fitzgerald played a vital role in the success of the Cowgirl program and even helped develop the program’s first McNeese Hall of Famer, Kamryn Koch. Koch became the all-time leading scorer as well as being named 2008 Louisiana and Southland Conference Player of the Year. She was also recognized as an NSCAA/Adidas Scholar Team member.
Fitzgerald was the head coach of the Texas A&M men’s club soccer team before landing at McNeese. As head coach of A&M’s club team from 2004 until 2005, he led them to the NIRSA National Championship and an undefeated season in his second year at the helm.
His coaching career began as the head coach for the Allen Academy boy’s soccer squad where he helped lead his team to a TAPPS Class 2 State Championship.
Fitzgerald earned a B.S. in Journalism (2001) and an M.S. in Sport Management (2005) from Texas A&M. He also received his NSCAA National Diploma, Goalkeeper I & II diploma and the USSF National “D” License.
Drew’s wife, Ashleigh, currently serves as the head volleyball coach at McNeese.