Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Fidler named Airport football coach, athletic director

Airport’s Shane Fidler Contributed by Dawn Kujawa

Airport’s Shane Fidler Contributed by Dawn Kujawa

The Airport Eagles have named West Ashley’s Shane Fidler as its head football coach and athletic director.

“The opportunity to be the head coach and athletic director at Airport High School just made too much sense––with the leadership they have and the resources available,” Fidler said. “They have a winning tradition. They also have some great players I saw on film. I saw this as an opportunity.”

Fidler replaces Andre Cook, who left to take over at Mauldin.

Fidler spent the past three seasons at Ashley Ridge, where the Swamp Foxes finished 7-4 in 2022 with a first round playoff appearance.

Prior to his time at Ashley Ridge, Fidler was the head coach at Waccamaw, where the Warriors also finished 7-4 in his last season.

At both stops he performed athletic director duties, such as game management and transportation.

“It’ll be new to me to be the main guy in charge,” Fidler said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Airport seems like it has a lot of great programs and coaches. I look forward to working with them.”

Fidler is familiar with the Eagles from his days as a student at the University of South Carolina. He recalls some of the good teams Airport fielded under former head coach and athletic director Kirk Burnett. He believes he can return the Eagles to that level of success.

Fidler will have a long journey to get Airport back to that level.

The Eagles have a combined record of 7-21 overall and 3-9 region record over the last three seasons.

“The number one thing is accountability,” Fidler said. “You have to hold kids accountable. From there, we have to get out in the community and recruit our hallways. We have to make sure the kids want to be a part of our football program.”

Fidler will also be the program’s third head coach in as many seasons.

“Having the kids getting to know me is key,” Fidler said. “Letting them know I care is key to them buying in. If I go out there and show them I care about them, they’ll do the same for me. It’s been a tough couple of years for them with results and coaching changes. I have to bring stability and organization. We have to move forward in the same direction.”

On the field, Fidler wants to focus on the fundamentals. His main objective is to run the ball on offense and stop the run on defense. That puts the bulk of work on developing the offensive and defensive lines. How Fidler is able to make that happen in 2023 is dependent on the personnel he has to work with.

While he’s working on building up the football program, Fidler will also work on establishing relationships within the athletic department.

“My number one job as athletic director is to support coaches and give them what they need in order to be successful,” Fidler said. “I also want to create unity in the athletic department.”

His main goal is for Airport to win the Carlisle Cup, the award for the top athletic department in South Carolina.

Fidler has already met with his players. His next steps are to get organized and ready for spring practice. He also wants to meet with coaches from other sports and find out how he can help.

Once those are complete, he wants to organize the schedule for summer workouts and bond with his team.

“How we handle adversity will be important,” Fidler said. “I believe we can duplicate the success Airport’s had in the past.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.