Pat Cerroni has elevated the profile of the UW-Oshkosh football program during his eight seasons as head coach of the Titans.
UW-Oshkosh’s 120-year history features nine seasons of seven-plus wins, and four of those campaigns were under Cerroni, the school’s 23rd head coach. Cerroni has guided the Titans to a 53-30 record (.644 winning percentage), including a 13-1 mark in 2012.
Cerroni has coached 30 players to 36 All-WIAC First Team laurels, 22 players to 25 All-Region citations and 12 players to 15 All-America selections. Titan quarterback Nate Wara was named the NCAA Division III Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 by D3football.com, and punter Nate Ray was chosen to the NCAA Division II-III, NAIA Little America Second Team in 2014 by the Associated Press.
Last season, Cerroni led UW-Oshkosh to a second-place finish in the WIAC with a 6-1 record. The Titans' sole league loss was at top-ranked and eventual national champion UW-Whitewater.
In 2013, Cerroni coached UW-Oshkosh to wins in its first six games. The Titans peaked at eighth in the national rankings before finishing the season 11th. UW-Oshkosh’s only defeats were by scores of 17-14 to fifth-ranked and eventual NCAA Division III champion UW-Whitewater and 17-16 to 10th-ranked UW-Platteville. The Titans finished third in the WIAC standings with a 5-2 record.
UW-Oshkosh won its first 13 games of the 2012 season before suffering a 28-14 loss to fourth-ranked University of St. Thomas (Minn.) in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Championship. The fifth-ranked Titans posted victories over five nationally ranked teams, including wins of 31-24 over third-ranked Linfield College (Ore.), 28-13 over fifth-ranked UW-Whitewater and 34-13 over 14th-ranked UW-Platteville.
Cerroni was named the AFCA’s NCAA Division III Region 5 Coach of the Year and the WIAC’s Coach of the Year that season after directing the Titans to their first national tournament appearance. UW-Oshkosh also captured the WIAC championship that year for its first league title since 1976. A program record seven Titans were named to the D3football.com All-America Team.
In 2011, the Titans went 7-3 and finished second in the WIAC listings. UW-Oshkosh suffered losses that season of 20-17 to top-ranked and eventual national champion UW-Whitewater, 41-17 to second-ranked University of Mount Union (Ohio) and 30-24 (overtime) to UW-La Crosse. Cerroni’s first UW-Oshkosh team in 2007 also went 7-3.
Cerroni, who joined the Titans as an assistant coach in 2000, guided the school’s first win over UW-La Crosse since 1972 with a 28-17 victory in 2010. He has coached UW-Oshkosh players to a total of 11 All-America awards, 23 All-Region citations and 29 All-Conference first-team mentions.
Cerroni, who also serves as the Titans’ defensive coordinator, came to UW-Oshkosh after three seasons as the head coach of Menomonee Falls High School. In 1997, he guided the Indians to a 7-4 record and an upset victory of defending state champion Hartland Arrowhead High School in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 Playoffs.
Prior to Menomonee Falls, Cerroni was an assistant coach at Hartland Arrowhead and Waukesha Catholic Memorial high schools. During Cerroni’s four seasons at Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School, he helped the Crusaders to Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association Division 1 state titles in 1993 and 1996.
Cerroni and his UW-Oshkosh football team have performed several community services projects over the past seven years, including events associated with the Oshkosh Boys & Girls Club, Oshkosh YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Old Glory Honor Flight, and Feeding America. Last spring, Cerroni received the Excellence In Leadership Award for his work with Be The Match®, a National Marrow Donor Program.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1984-88), Cerroni earned his bachelor's degree from Carroll University in 1992 and his master's from UW-Oshkosh in 2004. The Johnson Creek native was a member of Carroll University's 1988 football team that shared the CCIW title.
Cerroni and his wife, Tammy, are the parents of daughter, Kali, and son, Kyle.