Strickland named Falcons Coach of the Week

Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes

This week’s Falcons High School Coach of the Week is Fitzgerald head coach Jason Strickland. Successful football programs strengthen the surrounding community and a strong surrounding community helps take a football program’s success to new heights. Fitzgerald and the Purple Hurricanes have established this strong foundation in both regards and when Jason Strickland was hired for the 2012 season he has been able to find success on the field while serving as a valuable leader in the community.

On the football field, Fitzgerald lost its quarterback and the majority of the offensive and defensive line from last year. Despite the shuffling and new faces up front, the Purple Hurricanes are off to a 5-1 start this year and hold the No. 7 ranking in the Class AA Week 7 poll. The Purple Hurricanes advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2012 before falling two points short to eventual state champion Jefferson and lost to Benedictine in the second round of the 2013 postseason.

Off the field development has been one key to Strickland’s success and also one of his biggest accomplishments since taking over the Purple Hurricanes program. Strickland was able to get a federal grant to help feed the football players during the summer. This new program provides breakfast and lunch to more than 100 players during the summer and Strickland includes implemented nutrition lessens that work in congruence with the strength and conditioning program to maximize results and safety in the grueling summer conditions.

Strickland aims to teach his players lessons that will stick with them beyond their varsity playing days, while allowing each individual to experience what it’s like to make a difference in the community. Strickland initiated the “Great Day of Service” in Fitzgerald which brought together over 200 volunteers from Community along with the football team to complete over 100 community projects. The projects ranged from building wheelchair ramps, painting houses, painting churches to cleaning up empty lots around the city.

Coach Strickland also instituted “Habitudes” educational program within the Football Program two years ago. “Habitudes” is a 4-year program that focuses on character development, the use of positive habits and attitude and the qualities required for outstanding leadership on the field and in the community. This program has allowed Fitzgerald to bring in successful people from the community to teach these lessons and to the athletes. The program has helped build positive relationships between the athletes and important members of the Fitzgerald community. Coach Strickland also sets up visits from his team to local retirement homes in order to bring the Hurricane Spirit to fans who are unable to attend the games anymore. Players have also spent time volunteering at the Christian Kitchen, Fitzgerald’s local food pantry and soup kitchen.

Prior to coaching at Fitzgerald, Strickland spent four seasons as Lamar County’s head coach. Strickland helped the program grow from consecutive 1-9 seasons in 2007 and 2008 to a 12-1 team his final season (2011).


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One Response to “Strickland named Falcons Coach of the Week”

  1. Jesse Graham
    November 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    This was a great choice. I feel Coach Strickland will be a great coach for the Purple Hurricane program. His efforts are not limited to just the football field. He has a gifted ability at teaching boys and making them good young men. Football is just the foundation upon his coaching, teaching, mentoring abilities shine. A peoples person the cares about the community, players and families… Great job, coach..

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