Mark Fischer is once again football coach at Louisa County High School, returning to the post he held for seven seasons before leaving in 2011. Fischer takes over for his former defensive coordinator, Jon Meeks, who stepped down last month.
"Not many people get the chance to come home and I get that opportunity so my family and I are really excited," Fischer said at a morning press conference."
Fischer has spent the last three seasons at St. James High School in South Carolina, finishing with an 8-22 record. Meeks' departure created the opening at Louisa and Fischer was immediately interested.
"It happened fast," he explained. "First thing I did was call Jon when he got his opportunity. I wanted to make sure it was good with him. I talked to my wife and kids, we prayed on it and it seemed like the right thing to do so we went for it."
"We're so excited to have Mark coming back to the county," Louisa Athletic Director Mike Parsons said. "It's going to bring instant excitement back to the football program, the community. Next August 29th is when we play our first home game here in the Jungle and I think it will be an electric atmosphere."
Fisher resigned his post at St. James Tuesday and was the new head man at Louisa Wednesday.
"The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind," Fischer said. "I've driven back and forth to the beach; went sideways on the ice leaving at 2 (a.m.).
Fischer went 58-21 in his first stint as head coach of the Lions. He led Louisa to six playoff appearances in those seven seasons, including a trip to the 2006 Division 4 state title game.
He insists that even though he's been away, he's still the same coach Lions fans remember stalking the sidelines from 2004-2010.
"Still hungry to win, still competitive, still got that quick fuse," he explained. "Same guy, maybe just a little more chiseled after going through some of the things we went through."
One of those "things" is a bout with cancer in 2012. Fischer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, but was declared to be in full remission by doctors just 10 months after his initial prognosis.
He credits the Louisa County community for helping he and his family in the fight.
"The way people came together and lifted us up and pulled my family through that, you can never say thank you enough," he explained.
But Parsons says the feeling is mutual.
"I don't know that words can entirely say what he means to the community," Parsons said. "Obviously when he was here, what he did for the football team, the community, was incredible."
But that was then and this is now. And Fischer says he's focused on getting Louisa back on top of the Jefferson District.
"The past is the past, the future is all that matters," he explained. "That's all we're looking forward to, is what we're going to do from here on out."