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January 22, 2010

Will Giddings' Fitzhenry stay or go?

Giddings coach Derek Fitzhenry is weighing whether to leave for Pasadena Dobie or stay at a program he's helped build into one of the state's best in Class 3A.

Dobie officials have offered Fithenry th job and hoped for an answer by Friday but have given Fitzhenry through the weekend to consider the options, according to Giddings Times and News sports editor Sloan Preuss.
The Giddings paper is closely monitoring the situation but doesn't have a website to update.

Fitzhenry has been a candidate in several openings around the state since the end of last season.

Dobie is a Class 5A school but definitely falls into a "rebuilding" post even if the school district bumps Fitzhenry's pay well about $100,000. Dobie hasn't been to the state playoffs in five years. The last winning district record came in '05.

While at Class 3A Giddings, Fitzhenry has had a strong playoff contender. His son Brock Fitzhenry was one of the state's top players in '07. Brock plays receiver at Texas.

Derek Fitzhenry has another talented son with RB/WR Spencer
Fitzhenry
, who is a top Class of 2012 college prospects.


From Thursday's Giddings Times and News



Giddings athletic director and head football coach Derek Fitzhenry is thinking about whether to leave the town he loves for a similar position at Pasadena Dobie, a 5A school in Houston.

Officials from Pasadena Dobie asked for permission to talk to Fitzhenry last Friday, and offered him a lucrative job to become their new athletic coordinator and head football coach.

"I love Giddings and would like to stay here. But with all the turmoil of the School Board, you have to look at all your options," said Fitzhenry, who has until this Friday to make a decision.

Citizens packed the school board meeting two months ago to show their support of Fitzhenry, the winningest football coach in Giddings High

School football history. There were rumors that the board was going to take action regarding Fitzhenry's job, but Superintendent Mike Kuhrt later said those were just rumors.

Local residents expressed their concerns, with Evan Gonzales saying the School Board needs to concentrate on other things and to leave the coaches alone and let them do their jobs.

The scrutiny of the coaching department by school officials has taken a toll on Fitzhenry, who is in the first year of a three-year contract but has been forced to consider other options.

"I'm going to have to think about it this week and see what happens. We have some really close friends in Giddings and I love the kids here, but I have to do what's healthy for my family and the athletic program," Fitzhenry noted.

In his seven years here, Fitzhenry has developed Giddings ISD into one of the top athletic programs in the state. Giddings ISD ranked 8th out of over 200 schools in the Lone Star Cup standings for Class 3A.
"We've done some really special things. With all the hard work that's gone into it, it's go¬ing to be difficult to walk away from that," Fitzhenry stated. "But things have to change and I just want to be treated with respect."

The School Board will meet in regular session this Thursday night, although it is unknown whether or not administrators will discuss Fitzhenry's job.

And on Friday morning, Fitzhenry will make the tough decision of whether to stay or go.



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