New Fairfax Coach Seeks Football Revival

By Preston Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 25, 2007

No winning seasons since 1999. Trapped in the Virginia AAA Concorde District, one of the toughest leagues in the state. An 0-12 district record since joining the Concorde. Outscored 217-0 the last five games of 2006.

There are a lot of reasons why Fairfax High School does not look like a land of opportunity for a football coach. Chris Haddock, elevated from defensive coordinator to head coach this week, has heard all of them, and he's not buying it.

"From an inside perspective, having been there, I think [the program] is a lot closer [to winning] than most people think," Haddock said of a team that went 79-28 in the 1990s but is 22-47 since. "I think the kids just need to taste some more success so they understand what it's all about. Once they get a little bit more of that taste, I think the sky is the limit."

Haddock said he is encouraged by the return of seven starters on each side of the ball, and by the school's revamped athletic facilities. In addition, the nondistrict schedule is a bit less challenging next season, with W.T. Woodson, Marshall, Washington-Lee and Falls Church.

The nondistrict schedule the past two years featured W.T. Woodson, Madison, Mount Vernon and West Springfield. Fairfax's only wins the past two seasons were against Mount Vernon.

An assistant at alma mater Chantilly for 10 years before joining the Fairfax staff three years ago, Haddock coached on the 1996 Chantilly team that won the Division 6 state title. He also was head baseball coach there for three years.

At Fairfax, Haddock replaces Mat Shannon, who resigned with a three-year record of 7-23.

Two other football jobs remain open in the Northern Region -- Herndon and T.C. Williams. Centreville recently promoted assistant Gerry Pannoni to head coach to replace Mike Skinner, who had resigned.

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