Mike Fitzgerald has had tremendous success as an assistant, but he itched to be a head coach again.
He found that fit at York.
Fitzgerald, offensive coordinator at Naperville North for the past two seasons, was approved as York's next head coach at the Elmhurst District 205 school board meeting on Feb. 13.
Fitzgerald replaces Matt Monken, whose contract was not renewed after his fourth season leading the Dukes.
Fitzgerald previously spent six seasons at Marist as offensive coordinator, helping the RedHawks reach the Class 8A final in 2009. He next served as St. Francis' head coach for two seasons, reaching the Class 5A semifinals in 2014.
"I love being a head coach, and enjoyed my experience at St. Francis," Fitzgerald said. "Going into the public school system was a good opportunity for my family and Naperville North is a great program and to compete in the DVC was a great experience. Ultimately, I wanted to be a head football coach, ideally at a big 8A school. York is a great opportunity."
Fitzgerald is known for running a no-huddle, fast-paced spread offense. He's had great results at his previous stops. Last fall, Naperville North piled up over 4,000 yards of offense behind All-State quarterback Drake Davis.
"The kids at the school and the younger kids are going to like that offense," Fitzgerald said. "We will adjust to personnel, but we want to be able to control the tempo of the game."
Fitzgerald's experience stood out among the close to 60 coaches who applied for the position.
"Every place where he's been, he's won," York Athletic Director Rob Wagner said. "His coaching experience, his plan and ability to see the big picture of things, is what we're looking for at York."
Fitzgerald will be tasked to turn around a program that's fallen on lean times.
York reached the playoffs all but one season between 2004-11, winning at least a share of four West Suburban Silver conference titles during that stretch. But the Dukes have not had a winning season since 2011, going 14-40 over the last six seasons.
"Their lower levels have had success, and they've had a great football tradition," Fitzgerald said. "They've had a few down years but before that they had it going. This is a place I want to be at for a long time."
York also announced the hiring of Courtney Bison as head boys tennis coach.