Mike West, the defensive coordinator at Fitzgerald the past five seasons, accepted the job as head coach of Metter last week.
West has a resume full of championship experience. He played on three Division I-AA national championship teams at Georgia Southern.
He has been an assistant coach on three teams that have played in state finals - Mitchell-Baker (1992), Tift County (1997) and Thomas County Central (2000). Fitzgerald has made the semifinals the past two seasons.
West has worked under five coaches who have won state championships - Jack Johnson, Charles Winslette, Jim Hughes, Ed Pilcher and Robby Pruitt.
"I'm a very intense person, and we're going to bring an intense and high-octane mentality to the field," West said for this story in the Statesboro Herald. "We're going to be an attacking defense that loves to pressure. I like the 3-5 scheme, and I think that we have the athletes here that can fit right in."
West replaces Clay Hill, who was 7-33 in four seasons. The Metter job originally was accepted by ECI offensive coordinator Chad Simmons, who changed his mind two days later last month.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.