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Coach of the Week: Shane Cox of Fairfax High School

September 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
When coach Shane Cox was hired at Fairfax High School in 1999, he inherited a football program that had not won a game in some two years.

"That was the longest year of my life. We inherited a really difficult situation but it's been a tremendous blessing for me because there wasn't anywhere we could go but up," he said."

They went up by changing the culture, getting tougher. and within five years, Fairfax High whad won a league championship. That's from a school that was just three losses away from tying a state record for 46 consecutive losses.

Practicing on a dirt field and kicking extra points onto a tennis court speaks to the difficult conditions the program has to deal with.

While lawmakers in Sacramento are cutting educational costs at every corner, the administration at the public school has taken a private school approach to fundraising. They'll have a new stadium by next fall.

"We had to raise half the money for this project. You think about that. You're talking about several million dollars," Cox said.

They'll have a new track, artificial field, bleachers, press box and everything else that comes with a new facility.

Cox is coming off a league title and he's cautiously optimistic about a repeat, which would be the first in the school's history.

The Fairfax High football program will receive a grant from KABC and the NFL for $1,000.