Thursday, May 10, 2012
Hixson Wildcats new head football coach Jason Fitzgerald is running his team through drills in Bullocks Strength Complex.
“I’m looking for a new challenge,” said Fitzgerald, who spent 16 years coaching Rhea County football. “I look forward to seeing what we can build at Hixson High School.”
He expects to enroll 55 to 60 players, but hopes to build the program up to 70 to 75 players by the fall.
“When you come in you build trust,” said Fitzgerald. “I want them to know I care about them.”
He said discipline and hard work equal good things happening for the team.
“There may be a more talented team, but no one can out-work you unless you let them,” said Fitzgerald. “We will out-work people. We will live by trust, discipline and hard work on and off the field.”
He said Wildcat football players will train for football season throughout the spring and summer.
“The biggest thing in the off-season is trying to build explosive power in the weight room,” said Fitzgerald. “We try to make the players bigger, stronger and faster.”
Fitzgerald is a native of Dayton, where he played football at Rhea County High School. In his collegiate years, he played on the offensive line for Auburn University football team for three seasons. After a knee injury, he transferred to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he completed his Bachelor of Education with a concentration in government.
He has been coaching since 1993, when he began serving as assistant football coach at Rhea County High School. From 1999-2003 he moved up to head football coach. He stepped back down to assistant coach before serving as Rhea’s head football coach once again from 2006-2010. He resigned from Rhea County’s football program in May 2011 when his son Jackson, 12, passed away.