Another day, another coaching change for the Gamecocks. After spending three years in the garnet and black, strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald resigned from his position this afternoon to “pursue other opportunities.” We quickly found out what those “other opportunities” entailed – Fitzgerald will be the new strength and conditioning coach at Penn State. He’ll join special teams coach John Butler, who left Carolina for PSU about a week and a half ago. Fitzgerald will be replaced at USC by assistant Joe Connolly, who has been at South Carolina since 2009.
Coach Steve Spurrier released this statement following the announcement:
“We feel very fortunate to have had Joe Connolly right here for the past three years. He and Coach Fitzgerald together put in the running and lifting programs we have in place at South Carolina. We will not miss a beat with Coach Connolly in charge of our strength and conditioning program. We wish Coach Fitz and his family all the best.”
Spurrier had praised Fitzgerald often, so if Connolly can keep up Fitz’s success, the Gamecocks should really be fine. The team will work only with their strength and conditioning coach between the Spring Game and the beginning of fall practice, so hopefully the transition will be seamless.
Players tweeted that they were sad to see Fitzgerald go, and I think they probably spoke for all of Gamecock Nation. That being said, best of luck in Happy Valley to Coach Fitzgerald and congratulations to Coach Connolly on his promotion!