Promising an up-tempo brand of offense and an aggressive defensive mindset, Chad Fisher has been introduced as the new head football coach at LaFayette High School.
The Walker County school board approved the hiring during a meeting on Tuesday night, and Fisher and his family toured LaFayette on Wednesday while taking time out to talk to his new team at the school.
“I think LaFayette is a great place to be with fantastic community support,” Fisher said. “For me, it’s a step up in classification, and all in all, it’s a chance to work in a system that really supports their football team. This was a family decision, and we felt it was a good opportunity for us. We’re very excited.”
Fisher comes to LaFayette after a six-year run at Gordon Central High School in Calhoun. He complied a 28-34 head coaching record with the Warriors, taking them to the state playoffs in the each of the past two seasons.
His first Gordon Central team in 2007 went 0-10 playing in Region 7-AAAA, averaging just three points per game while giving up 34 a game on defense. However, his teams steadily improved from that first season, and last fall, Fisher enjoyed his best season with the Warriors, going 8-3 overall.
He said he plans to implement the popular spread offense at LaFayette, which his teams ran with success at Gordon Central.
The Warriors’ offense averaged 38 points per games in 2012, one of the top totals in all of Class AAA, and scored 35 or more points seven times. The defense also gave up just 16 points a contest with three shutouts on the year. The Warriors lost at Morgan County, 24-21, in the first round of the state playoffs.
“It’s a fast-paced, exciting style of offense,” he explained. “Our goal is to get the kids to play fast and play hard. We’re also going to play hard-nosed, aggressive defense, and we also want to make sure our kids represent their school and community well.
“It’s a good challenge and everyone likes a challenge. LaFayette has been very successful in the past, and we want to work our butts off to build off those past successes.”
LaFayette High School principal Mike Culberson said that of the 65 applicants for the job, Fisher stood out the most.
“He’s very family and people-oriented,” Culberson said, “and he’s really knows his X’s and O’s on both sides of the ball,” Culberson said. “He took a team that was struggling to a team that set many new school records on offense and got them to back-to-back state playoffs appearances. We want that type of excitement here at LaFayette. Football is important at any school because it really seems to set the tempo for the whole school year.”
Culberson said Fisher also impressed him about ways to get more students to be a part of the team.
“He’s got a lot of good ideas with off-season workouts and how to motivate the players,” Culberson added. “He said he also plans on recruiting the hallways, the cafeteria, and even bus and car duty after school to find the athletes, and that really nailed it with me.”
A native of Florida, Fisher played football for and graduated from Mars Hill College in North Carolina. He later received his Master's in Education degree from Tusculum University and an Educational Specialist Degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
Fisher previously coached at both Mars Hill and Tusculum. He spent a year at Ringgold High School and five as an assistant at Wheeler High School in Marietta before taking over at Gordon Central.
He will be the 35th football head coach at LaFayette, dating back to 1923, and the fifth coach of the program in the last 10 seasons. He is replacing Tab Gable, who stepped down this past fall after an 11-19 record in three seasons.
“I’m excited and honored to be the next head coach here,” Fisher added, “and very excited to get started and see what we can do to make the school and the community proud.”