Former Pearl-Cohn coach Maurice Fitzgerald has taken the reins of another Metro football program.
Fitzgerald, who led Pearl-Cohn to Class 4A championships in 1996 and 1997 during his nearly two-decade tenure with the Firebirds, has accepted the position at Stratford, a struggling program that has posted back-to-back two-win seasons.
“They’re kind of down right now, so it’s an opportunity to try and help,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s a really good school and has a good zone, and basically it’s an opportunity to be a head coach. They don’t come along often. I really wasn’t looking for one, but the timing was pretty good.”
Former Stratford coach Brian Harrell resigned following the 2014 season.
“We felt like we were ready here at Stratford to really start turning this thing around,” Stratford principal Michael Steele said. “The last few years we’ve really been trying to work on some other priorities here besides athletics. Now that those things are in really good shape, we felt like we needed a game changer to come in and take our football program to new heights.”
Fitzgerald, who served as the defensive line coach at Overton in 2014, spent 17 seasons at Pearl-Cohn (1989-2005). Prior to joining Overton’s staff, Fitzgerald coached football and basketball at Smithson-Craighead Academy, winning three middle school city championships.
“Stratford was something that really was unforeseen,” Fitzgerald added. “Dr. Steele contacted me and kind of one thing led to another … It was a very difficult decision because I was very content with the situation at Overton.”
Reach Michael Murphy at 259-8018 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports.