BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Former St. Stanislaus head coach Gabe Fertitta and Picayune head coach Dodd Lee have been named WLOX 2013 High School Football Co-Coaches of the Year.
Fertitta guided the St. Stanislaus Rock-a-Chaws to the Division 8-4A championship and 12 consecutive wins before losing in the 2013 state playoffs. He resurrected a football team that failed to win a game in 2012, having run off nine consecutive losses.
St. Stanislaus relied on a high octane offense behind quarterback Tyler Allen and a host of talented offensive players.
"We're really proud of our kids and all of the hard work that they put in," Fertitta said. "I'm really pleased with the faith that they showed our coaching staff and the process that we believe in."
Fertitta has stepped down as the Rock-a-chaws head football coach and will be the new offensive coordinator at Catholic High in Baton Rouge, where his family grew up.
"I feel that we have put something in place that we can carry on here for quite a while," Fertitta said. "The school is thriving and so is the football program. I'm excited for them."
Dodd Lee is the other WLOX 2013 High School Football Co-Coach of the Year. Lee led the Picayune Maroon Tide to the 5A State Championship for the second time in three years.
Picayune came from behind to pull out a win over Oxford in the title game. Lee says his team went on a mission after Pascagoula eliminated the Maroon Tide in the 2012 state playoffs.
"It was a lot of dedication, a lot of sweat, a lot of blood and a lot of time put in by coaches and players," Lee said. "The dedication that they showed is the only reason that we were able to make it."@
Lee has 207 career victories and 90 losses in 25 years of coaching, with 18 years coming from his time at Picayune High. The Maroon Tide have cracked the state playoffs 15 of those 18 years.