"Yusef is a welcomed addition to our staff and I'm excited for Cooper to be with us again for the upcoming season," said Cluess. "The two will complement our assistant coaches and will be extremely valuable assets to the program.”
Fitzgerald comes to the Maroon & Gold after spending the last two seasons at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, MS. He helped lead the Bobcats to a 33-13 record in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Last year, Jones County posted a 17-8 overall record and appeared in the MACJC tournament championship game. In his first season, the squad posted an 18-5 record and finished the 2014-15 campaign ranked No. 16 in the NJCAA and ranked as high as No. 8 during the year.
Prior to Jones County JC, Fitzgerald was the elite varsity head coach at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL in 2013-14. He served other roles in the four years prior including assistant coach and recruiting manager. Fitzgerald helped train several college players including 2014 Toronto Raptors second round draft pick and former UConn Husky DeAndre Daniels. His student-athletes earned Division I scholarships to schools such as Louisville, UConn, Mississippi State, Florida Gulf Coast, South Dakota, Central Michigan and Duquesne. In his one season as head coach IMG was 19-9.
Before IMG, Fitzgerald coached in the high school and AAU ranks in Chicago, IL and near his hometown in Jackson, MS. He was head coach of the U15 Mean Streets AAU while assisting with the U17 program in addition to serving as assistant coach at Julian High School. Fitzgerald began his coaching career with the Jackson (MS) Panthers AAU program in 2006 after pursuing interests outside of basketball following the completion of his collegiate playing career. A year later, he accepted a position at his alma mater, Piney Woods High School
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Fitzgerald attended Piney Woods, just southeast of Jackson, MS. As a junior in 1994, he helped lead the squad to its first state title in school history and a 36-8 record while ranking in the top 10 final rankings in Mississippi. As a senior starter the team repeated as state champs at 37-2 and was the No. 1 team in the state. Upon graduating he accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Tougaloo College in Jackson, and played under coach James Turner from 1995-1998.
Fitzgerald completed his degree in psychology from Tougaloo in 2008. He has two children, Jordan (18) and Ari (4)
|Position:||Director of Basketball Operations|
|Hometown:||Piney Woods, MS|
|High School:||Piney Woods|
|Alma Mater:||Tougaloo College|