published Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Rhea County's Fitzgerald steps down

Jason Fitzgerald, head football coach at Rhea County High for 10 of the past 12 seasons, resigned that position Monday afternoon.

Citing both professional and personal reasons, Fitzgerald said he thought his decision was in the school's best interests as well as his own.

School principal Jesse Messimer expressed regret at Fitzgerald's decision but said the school would begin advertising the position Tuesday morning and that he wanted to have a coach in place as soon as possible.

Fitzgerald plans, at least for the time being, to remain at the school as a teacher. He took the Golden Eagles to the postseason in eight of his 10 seasons and they reached the quarterfinals on three occasions, running into eventual state champion Maryville each time.

See Tuesday's editions of the Times Free Press for more on this story.

Contact Ward Gossett at or 423-886-4765.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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