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COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
Rich Fisher has been hired to coach the Santa Margarita football team. He replaces Rick Curtis, who was fired after the 20015 season.

Santa Margarita hires former college coach Fisher

STAFF WRITER

Santa Margarita will announce Friday that former Nebraska assistant coach Rich Fisher is its new football coach.

Fisher will be introduced to Santa Margarita's players at a meeting in the afternoon, Santa Margarita president Andy Sulick confirmed Thursday.

Fisher coached Nebraska's receivers for four years, ending with the 2014 season. He was not in football in 2015.

Fisher was a high school head coach in Massachusetts in the 2009 and ’10 seasons, and he has 12 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division 1 level. He also coached at Idaho (1999-03), Oklahoma State and his alma mater, Colorado.

Fisher said he is looking forward to the challenges the Trinity League offers.

“I wanted the opportunity to run my own program again, which I’ve done before,” he said. “I recruited at this school and in this league, so I am well aware of the quality of football in the league.”

Fisher, 45, replaces Rick Curtis, who was fired after the 2015 season. Santa Margarita was 5-5 overall and finished sixth in the six-team Trinity League, with a 1-4 league record, in 2015.

Former Santa Margarita quarterback Johnny Stanton was in the Nebraska program while Fisher was there.

Stanton’s father, John, said Fisher made a good impression.

“Rich was always one of the nice guys with the parents at Nebraska,” John Stanton said.

For the Santa Margarita players who will be seniors in the 2016 season, Fisher will be their third varsity head coach in four years. Harry Welch coached the Eagles for four seasons, winning a CIF-Southern Section and state championship during his tenure that ended in 2013. Curtis coached Santa Margarita in 2014 and ’15.

Curtis was only Santa Margarita’s fourth head coach over a 25-year period. Jim Hartigan, currently JSerra’s coach, was Santa Margarita coach from when the school opened in 1986 through the 2002 season.

Fisher is married with two sons and a daughter.

He is not the first coach at one of Orange County's Trinity League teams to come directly from college football. Orange Lutheran coach Chuck Petersen had been at North Texas and at Air Force before being hired by Lutheran in 2012.

Welch, who publicly offered to resume coaching at Santa Margarita if the school needed him, applauded the hire.

“This is an awesome hire for Santa Margarita,” Welch said.


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