|Years at VC:||1st Year|
After a 36-year coaching career at Rio Mesa High School, Brian Fitzgerald emerged from retirement in 2020 to join the Ventura College coaching staff as a sprint and relay coach. Honored as the CIF Southern Section Girls’ High School Coach of the Year in 1994, the California State Boys’ Coach of the Year in 2011, and the USA Today National Girls’ Coach of the Year in 2016, he brings impressive credentials to the Pirate program.
While at Rio Mesa, he coached his boys’ and girls’ teams to 53 league titles, seven CIF Southern Section divisional runner-up awards, five CIF-SS Championships, and the girls’ California State Team Championship in 1988. Additionally, Brian has coached individuals to 39 CIF Championships, 16 CIF Master’s Meet first place finishes, and 14 California State titles. He has also coached four National Champions.
Over the past four decades, Brian has been recognized as playing a major role in the development of the sprints and relays in Southern California. He lists the fact that he has coached 15 different 4x100 relay squads to CIF titles as one of his most memorable coaching accomplishments.
On the women's side, he has coached a State 100 Meter Champion in each of the past four decades—Angela Burnham in the 80’s (11.28, five state titles total, twice National Female Athlete of the Year); Marion Jones in the 90’s (four state titles while at Rio Mesa, 11.17/22.76 as a 15 year-old, National Athlete of the Year), Valexsia Droughn in the 00’s (11.47); and most recently, Zaria Francis in 2015 (11.26/23.09). Francis was also the National Indoor 60-meter Champion (7.30) in 2016.
On the men’s side, Brian’s relay teams have been among the nation’s best, running 40.69 in the 4x100 Relay, 1:25.10 in the 4x200, and 3:14.89 in the 4x400.
In addition to his coaching accomplishments, Brian has also given back to the sport of Track & Field as a teacher. For the past 28 years, he has been a Lead Instructor for the innovative LA84 Foundation coaching education program. He regularly speaks at coaching clinics across the country, and has also presented on the international level.