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  Mike Fitzner

Mike Fitzner

Player Profile

Hometown:
Valley City, N.D.

Last College:
Wayne State (Neb.) '97

Position:
Head Coach

Fourth-year coach Mike Fitzner and his squad finished the 2005-06 season with three straight wins and a freshman-dominated team. Although the Lakers are still young by league standards, he hopes last year's solid finish will give them momentum heading into 2006-07.

Prior to being named head coach in the spring of 2003, Fitzner was an assistant coach under Marty McDermott for four years and helped McDermott build a stable and successful program. Fitzner has helped recruit and coach several standout players, including Ben Dewar (1999-03), a guard who went on to become LSSU's third-leading all-time scorer and average 23.9 points per game as a senior.

Dewar and former Laker Jim Clement (2003-05) have gone on to play professionally overseas. Dewar is enjoying a successful stint in Europe and has played for teams in Denmark and France. He is the No. 2 scorer for Entente Orleans of the French Pro A League. Clement is in his second season with Lusitania B of the Portugese League.

Fitzner devoted last season to molding a young squad into a team that can compete successfully in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. This year, he returns four starters, including all of his top scorers and rebounders.

Prior to becoming head coach, Fitzner's responsibilities as an assistant coach included recruiting, scouting and game preparation, running the Junior Lakers program, directing summer skills camps, and working with perimeter players. He was also the Lakers' head golf coach.

Fitzner came to LSSU from Wayne State (Neb.) College, where he spent two seasons as a graduate assistant under McDermott's older brother, Greg. In 1998-99, Fitzner helped the Wildcats to their third consecutive 20-win season (23-5) and the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1998-99.

The Valley City, N.D., native played collegiate basketball at the University of North Dakota and Wayne State. Prior to transferring to WSC in 1994, Fitzner led UND in three-point shooting and helped the team to the NCAA North Central Region semifinals. He was a three-year captain at WSC and ranks second in career three-point field goals. He was the 1997 Wildcat Male Student Athlete of the Year.

Fitzner graduated from Wayne State in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He earned a master's degree in sports administration in 2002. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.

Fitzner and his wife, Michaela, have a daughter, Jade (8), and a son, Easton (10 mos.).



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