One of Penn State football’s most beloved coaches will reportedly leave the team.
Craig Fitzgerald, the team’s Director of Strength and Conditioning since January of 2012, will be the latest Penn State coach to join Bill O’Brien’s staff in Houston, joining former wide receivers coach Stan Hixon and safeties coach Anthony Midget.
According to Fight On State, Fitzgerald was “in something of a holding pattern,” because he did not know if O’Brien would offer him a job with the Texans, or if Penn State’s new head coach, whoever it would be, would want to retain him. The site reports that Fitzgerald planned on taking the first offer available to him, and on Monday morning, O’Brien asked if he would join his staff in Houston.
From the moment Fitzgerald came to Penn State from the University of South Carolina, the Philadelphia native’s energy and in-your-face style appealed to fans. He completely revamped Penn State’s weight room and workout program, and became a sort of cult hero among Penn Staters.
Fitzgerald has some massive shoes to fill, as Cedric Smith, the Texans’ Strength and Conditioning coach for the last four seasons, was named the NFL’s Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year in 2012.
Onward State would like to wish Fitzgerald all the best in Houston, where hopefully, it’s never freezing cold when he rips his shirt off in pregame warm-ups.