Pat Cerroni’s tenure as head football coach at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh began in January, but his position became permanent on Dec. 11, when director of athletics Allen Ackerman removed the “interim” tag from his title.
“Eleven months ago, we announced that we would have a nation-wide search for our head football coaching position,” said Ackerman. “Following the search, we felt that Pat was the most qualified individual to lead our football program for the foreseeable future.”
As UW Oshkosh’s interim head coach this past fall, Cerroni guided the Titans to a 7-3 record and a third-place finish in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). It was the University’s highest finish in the WIAC standings since 1976 and its sixth seven-win season in the 113-year history of the program.
“I’m very humbled about the opportunity to become the 21st person to lead this football program,” said Cerroni. “I want to thank the administration at UW Oshkosh for showing a lot of confidence in me. I also want to thank my coaching staff and players for their contributions this past season.”
Since 2000, Cerroni has been the defensive coordinator at UW Oshkosh, with his units ranking second in the WIAC in total defense in each of the past five seasons. This past year, the Titans ranked 17th in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III in scoring defense (15.0), 22nd in pass efficiency defense (93.6) and 52nd in total defense (297.5).
“Pat has served our football program well as an assistant coach and later as an interim head coach,” said Ackerman. “He is a leader who knows our program. In addition, he has earned the respect of our student athletes and has proven to be an excellent recruiter.”
Cerroni, 42, came to UW Oshkosh following three seasons as the head football coach at Menomonee Falls High School. In 1997, Cerroni guided the Indians to a 7-4 record and an upset of defending state champion Hartland Arrowhead High School in the first round of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 1 Playoffs.
Prior to being head coach at Menomonee Falls High School, Cerroni was as an assistant football coach at Hartland Arrowhead and Waukesha Catholic Memorial high schools. During his four seasons at Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School, Cerroni helped the Crusaders to Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association (WISAA) Division 1 state titles in 1993 and 1996.
Cerroni is a 1992 graduate of Carroll College, where he was a member of the school’s 1988 football team that shared the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) title with Augustana College (Ill.). The Johnson Creek native earned his master’s degree at UW Oshkosh in 2004.
Cerroni and his wife, Tammy, are the parents of two children — daughter, Kali, and son, Kyle.
“We have earned respect within the conference the past eight seasons,” said Cerroni. “Now, we have the opportunity to build on that respect and take the program to the next level of contending for a conference championship.”
The University’s head football coaching position became available in January when Phil Meyer resigned after seven seasons to become the offensive line coach at the University of Minnesota.