Joe Fitzgerald learned his hockey on the ponds near Boston and went from there to play at Boston College. At BC, he played football and baseball as well as hockey before graduating in 1928. He then went on to play amateur hockey for several years with the University Club of Boston. At the same time he began a career as a teacher and coach at Reading High School in Massachusetts. After the 1932 Olympics, Fitzgerald was approached by the NHL to take a shot at pro hockey but declined. In 1937, he earned a master’s degree in education at Boston College while continuing to teach and coach football and baseball. He stayed at Reading for 28 years, eventually being named mathematics chairman and assistant principal. In 1956 he moved to Wellesley High School where he taught math until he retired in 1970.