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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 2:26 p.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Football coach to head Big Isle parks department

Advertiser Staff

Longtime high school football coach and resort executive Bob Fitzgerald has been named by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi to be the county's new director of parks and recreation.

Fitzgerald brings a strong business sense and a passion for youth sports that will serve the recreational needs of Big Island residents well, Kenoi said..

A Kealakekua resident, Fitzgerald will be leaving his position at Wyndham Vacation Resorts where, as sales manager, he recruited, trained, and managed 50 sales and marketing professionals and 50 support staff, generating millions in annual timeshare sales.

Fitzgerald moved to Kona in 1978 to start a family flower business, but after working as a special education teacher for a short time at Konawaena High School, he was asked to help out with the football team. He then contributed to 12 BIIF championships and started the Ellison Onizuka Memorial football game and the Macadamia Nut Bowl, which evolved into the "Neighbor Island Playoffs."