HAD ’EM ALL THE WAY: Total Team Effort Equals 23-22 win at WKU
Taylor becomes LA Tech all-time receptions leader
LA Tech defeated Rice, 61-16, Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium to become bowl eligible for the third year in a row
Both players earned national recognition for their performances last week versus UMass
Season tickets are on sale now, while general admission tickets for the Arkansas game are also available for purchase through the LA Tech Ticket Office until Aug. 19
This will be Fitch’s fourth stint as offensive coordinator after holding similar positions at Boston College, East Carolina and South Florida. He has coached several notable NFL players including three-time Pro Bowl selection Chris Johnson, three-time All-Conference USA honoree Davon Drew and All-Southeastern Conference pick Troy Williamson.
“I am excited to be joining a staff that is part of growing something special,” Fitch said. “This coaching staff has laid the groundwork for a program that has already done some great things and is building a foundation for future success. I am excited for the opportunity to be on a staff with Skip Holtz again and to keep growing this program.”
Prior to joining the LA Tech Family, Fitch spent three years at Boston College first as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator (2013-14) and then as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (2015).
Fitch inherits an offense that returns six starters in 2016 and whose 6,276 offensive yards racked up ranks third all-time in Louisiana Tech history. Trent Taylor, who finished the year with 1,282 yards on 99 catches and was the third-fastest receiver in the nation to reach the 1,000-yard plateau in 2015, leads a returning cast that has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back bowl wins.
“There are a lot of good, young players on this team and it is going to be fun to mold them as they grow. I am excited about the talent level that Louisiana Tech has. Some great players have recently graduated but there is a lot of exciting talent that I can’t wait to groom to be the best they can be.”
Coming to Ruston from Boston College, Fitch was instrumental to a program that achieved back-to-back seven-win seasons in 2013 and 2014 and advanced to the 2013 AdvoCare Independence Bowl and 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl after inheriting a program that went 2-10 in 2012. The five-win improvement from 2012 to 2013 is tied for fourth-best in the FBS.
While at Boston College Fitch also mentored Josh Bordner in 2014 as he transitioned from quarterback to wide receiver and led the Eagles in receptions, receiving yards and yards per game.
In his first season at BC, he guided a timely and efficient Eagle passing attack that was highlighted by career receptions and receiving yards record-holder Alex Amidon and quarterback Chase Rettig who finished the season with a 140.6 efficiency rating and the fewest interceptions in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.
He also mentored All-ACC First Team honoree Alex Amidon, who concluded his collegiate career having registered a school record 191 receptions for a school record 2,800 yards.
Prior to Boston College, Fitch served as offensive coordinator alongside Holtz at South Florida (2010-12) and at East Carolina (2007-09).
At USF, Fitch coached record-setting QB B.J. Daniels at USF who finished his career second in school history and third in Big East history in total offense (10,501) despite missing the last three games of his senior season because of injury.
In his first season at USF, Fitch led an offense that helped USF to its fifth-straight eight-win season, making it one of just 15 programs nationally and one of 10 in BCS leagues to accomplish the feat. He mentored both Mo Plancher (793) and Demetris Murray (542) to then-career highs in rushing yards.
The offense saw tremendous improvement in year two as USF improved its national ranking in total offense 75 spots from 2010 to 2011, the largest jump of any school in the country. The most dramatic improvement came in the passing game, where USF improved by 85 yards per game. Only two teams saw a greater jump in the passing offense national rankings, as the Bulls improved 59 spots. In addition, the Bulls improved 39 spots in rushing offense, increasing their output by 38 yards per game.
Prior to coming to Tampa, Fitch spent three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at East Carolina. In his first season, ECU broke a pair of school single-season records for most points (403) and touchdowns scored (52), records that had previously stood for 28 years.
While utilizing two first-year starters, Patrick Pinkney and Rob Kass, throughout the 2007 campaign, ECU turned in its second-highest scoring average since 1991 and tallied 35 or more points in six of eight Conference USA contests before closing the year with a 41-point performance against No. 24 Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. The Pirates' explosive offense ranked first nationally in scoring drives under one minute (23) and seventh in scoring plays 25 yards or longer (18).
A year later in 2008, Fitch showed his versatility by converting his game plan to a ball possession offense due to a number of injuries that resulted in a total of 24 different starters on the offensive side of the ball. Although the losses included five first-team skill performers at the running back and wide receiver positions, ECU produced six single-season individual and team school records, including the top yardage total by a tight end in program history.
Fitch and the offense helped ECU to the Conference USA title that year and then, in 2009, became the first program in league history to win consecutive conference championships.
A veteran with 25 years of coaching experience, Fitch has also worked under legendary head coaches Don Nehlen, Earle Bruce and Lou Holtz during his career which spans back to 1986 and included stops at alma mater Ohio Wesleyan, Bowling Green, West Virginia and Colorado State.
Before arriving at ECU, Fitch spent three seasons as a member of the Iowa State staff as quarterbacks coach, where he tutored All-America performer Bret Meyer, who blossomed into ISU's most prolific signal-caller under his guidance. Meyer set school career marks in passing yards (7,348), total offense (7,929), touchdown passes (41) and completions (587) in just three seasons and included a 1,926-yard passing effort in 2004 which ranked as the top freshman mark in school history.
Prior to his move to the Big 12 Conference, Fitch was South Carolina's quarterbacks coach in 2003 after a year as running backs coach and three seasons as wide receivers coach - all under head coach Lou Holtz and offensive coordinator Skip Holtz - where he helped lead the Gamecocks to consecutive Outback Bowl victories in 2001 and 2002.
Fitch came to the South Carolina program from Connecticut, where he worked under head coach Skip Holtz during his five-year tenure from 1994 to 1998. He coordinated the Huskies' offense in his final three years, playing a key role in UConn's high-powered and prolific offensive attack in 1998 that resulted in a school-record 10-win season and quarterfinal round appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. Connecticut quarterbacks set school records for passing yardage, touchdown passes and passing efficiency under Fitch's guidance and the Huskies enjoyed a spot in the Top 25 polls during four of the five seasons.
An Ohio native, Fitch is a 1986 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, where he was a three-year starter at defensive back and an all-league performer in 1985. Following his playing career, Fitch moved on to an assistant coaching position at Ohio Wesleyan from 1986-87 before accepting a graduate assistant position at Bowling Green for one year in 1988 and a volunteer coaching position at West Virginia in 1989. He returned to BGSU to serve as the Falcons' wide receivers coach during the 1990 and 1991 seasons, where two of his wide receivers were drafted in the NFL.
He moved on to Colorado State in 1992, where he worked as the running backs coach and special teams coordinator for two seasons. His starting fullback played in the NFL and his starting tailback was selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
Fitch and wife Julie have two children - Curtis and Peyton.
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