Sean Fitzgerald: Going Coastal

Written by
Isaac Gregory
Photo Credit
Tim Fitzgerald

For former Mount Pleasant High School football standout Sean Fitzgerald, college football has been a fun ride.

It has also included some twists and turns, the latest of which has landed him on the beach.

This offseason, Fitzgerald announced his transfer from the University of Michigan to his new home at Coastal Carolina University.

Why did he decide to make the move? For Fitzgerald, the new location just feels right.

“I had great conversations with Coach Chadwell (offensive coordinator) and Coach Covington (offensive line coach),” he said. “They hold their players to a high standard on and off of the field, and preach B.A.M., which means ‘Be A Man.’”

He went on to explain the path of thinking behind the program’s signature acronym.

“Being a man is standing on your own two feet, he takes responsibility for himself, he treats others with dignity and respect and lives with the consequences of his actions,” he said.

Additionally, Fitzgerald loves the system and style of the seaside school.

“Their style of play on the offensive line is ideal for me; they are an option team,” he said. “The campus and facilities are beautiful, along with the surrounding area.”

A team and staff on the mend, Coastal Carolina looks to bounce back from a tough 3-9 campaign in 2017, something that, in addition to playing on a newly-renovated and teal-turfed field, Fitzgerald looks forward to.

“We didn’t have Coach Moglia last year due to a heath absence and, we were one of the youngest teams in the country,” he said. “We are still young, but everyone is excited to have our head coach back. We are all hungry to win the conference these upcoming years, and to win a bowl game. The strength program is legit too, I have really seen a big difference since being down here.”

Strength will be key for the 6’3”, 305 pound senior and his team, as they look to compete in one of the nation’s toughest mid-major alignments: The Sun Belt Conference.

“The Sun Belt is a deep conference and there is great football played down here,” Fitzgerald said. “Troy, Appalachian State and Arkansas State were ahead of the conference last year. Those are the teams we are chasing.”

The Chanticleers (the Coastal Carolina mascot, which is a type of rooster) keep Fitzgerald busy on a day-to-day basis, as his student-athlete schedule is packed, even in the offseason.

“We run in the mornings. Our 6 a.m.’s are starting this upcoming week,” he said. “After the run, I usually get breakfast and watch film to get the plays down for spring ball. I have a couple hours of class, then after class I have an hour and a half lift. I sometimes have class after that, but I usually have to spend a couple hours at the academic center to fulfill the eight hours a week we have to complete as freshman.”

Even the busiest of schedules permit beach time, however. “We get the weekends off,” Fitzgerald said. “That is when we have time to enjoy the beach and do stuff with the guys.”

A well-known connoisseur of Chinese food, Fitzgerald has already located the good eats in his southern home away from home.

“There is a hibachi place right across campus,” he said. “Once I get a truck, I will explore a little more. The food down here is on a different level, and Waffle House is my go-to.”

While a Waffle House is one thing that he didn’t have access to back home in Mount Pleasant, there are plenty of things to offer in the warmer climate that are enjoyable.

“The weather is amazing; I get funny looks when it is fifty degrees out and I am wearing shorts and a T-shirt,” Fitzgerald said. “It has been in the seventies a couple of times and it already feels like summer in January.”

Not everything about living so far from home is enjoyable, though.

“I miss my family, especially my grandma, being 15 hours away from them,” he said. “I am loving it down here though, so it isn’t on my mind too often.”

A big part of Fitzgerald’s journey to the beach included one season as a Michigan Wolverine, a time that he is extremely thankful for.

“I didn’t feel that it was the best option for me, but I grew as a football player and as a man,” he said. “I can’t thank their coaching staff enough for giving me the chance to run out and touch the banner.”

The most valuable part of Fitzgerald’s Big Ten experience, in his opinion, came from facing one of this year’s top NFL prospects in practice each day.

“Playing against Maurice Hurst was one of the best things that has happened to me,” he said. “He made me step up my game. I will never forget the first day of pads and all the freshman going against the number one defense. The strides I made from then to now is because of the work I got to put in against Mo.”

Fitzgerald also praised the leadership of Hurst.

“He is a great leader and watching him work and lead the defense showed me what a great leader on the football field is supposed to look like,” he said.

Fitzgerald will hope to apply what Hurst taught him when he and the Chanticleers kick off their 2018 regular season against South Carolina on Saturday, September 1.

Graduation Year
  • OG