Bill O'Brien selected former assistant Craig Fitzgerald as the Texans head strength and conditioning coach, the team announced Wednesday. Fitzgerald spent the past two seasons at Penn State under O'Brien.
The pair first began working together at Maryland, Fitzgerald's alma mater, when he was the assistant director of strength and conditioning. In May 2010, Fitzgerald earned the highest honor awarded in his profession, the certification of Master Strength and Conditioning by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches association (CSCCa).
The Philadelphia, PA native was featured in Men’s Health magazine in October for revamping the Nittany Lions training facility and workout regimen. He was also known for developing the popular trademark "Iron Lion" t-shirts at Penn State. Proceeds of the shirt sales went to Penn State's chapter of Uplifting Athletes, an organization that helps raise money for the awareness of rare diseases.
Fitzgerald will replace Cedric Smith who served four seasons as Houston's strength and conditioning coach under Gary Kubiak. Fitzgerald will have two assistants, Sean Hayes and Anthony Pleasant. Hayes comes from the Nittany Lions strength and conditioning staff. Pleasant coached the defensive line at Kansas City from 2010-13. The former defensive lineman also had a 14-year playing career in the NFL.
2011-2012 Director of strength and conditioning for football at Penn State
2009-2011 Director of football strength and conditioning coach at South Carolina
2005-2009 Director of strength and conditioning coach of all 41 varsity teams at Harvard
2000-2005 Assistant director of strength and conditioning at Maryland
1999-2000 Graduate assistant at Arizona State
1997-1999 Director of strength and conditioning at Catholic University
1997 Graduated from Maryland with a double degree in political science and history
1994-1997 Played defensive tackle at Maryland, three-time letterman after being a former walk-on