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Gill adds Skalaski and Fickter to Football Staff
Head Football Coach Turner Gill has announced the addition of former Flames assistant coach Charlie Skalaski and Kettie Fickter to his administrative football staff.
Skalaski, who coached at Liberty from 2003-11 before leaving to coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars, will serve the staff as Liberty's new Director of Player Personnel. Fickter, an alum of Liberty, has been named the program's Assistant Director of Player Personnel.
Director of Player Personnel
Charlie Skalaski, a former member of the Flames football coaching staff, has returned to Liberty to assist the program as the Director of Player Personnel.
With his unique blend of work experience at both the professional and collegiate levels of football, Skalaski is well equipped to oversee all aspects of recruiting, as well as roster evaluation and development. He will also assist head coach Turner Gill with all facets of program advancement.
Skalaski served as Liberty's tight ends coach in 2003 before transitioning in Liberty's wide receivers coach the follow year, a position he held for eight seasons (2004-11).
In 2006, Skalaski took on additional responsibilities and served as the program's recruiting coordinator, which he held until he left Liberty following the 2011 season.
During his time as wide receivers coach, Skalaski instructed 11 all-conference players, spotlighted by consecutive first-team honors for Dominic Bolden (2008), Mike Brown (2009) and Chris Summers (2010 and 2011).
All-American wide receivers Brown and Summers both extended their football playing days beyond Liberty in the NFL. Summers played two seasons with the Chicago Bears (2012) and Minnesota Vikings (2013) and is currently with the Buffalo Bills (2014). Brown is entering his third season with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2012-14).
As recruiting coordinator, Skalaski was able to help Liberty assemble a strong presence in his native state of Florida, a relationship that has continued to flourish under Gill.
Skalaski's recruiting efforts, which branched out both nationally and internationally, elevated Liberty's rosters and brought together the talent pool that has allowed the football program to win six out of the last seven Big South titles.
Following the 2011 season, Skalaski left Liberty to join Mike Mularkey's coaching staff with the Jacksonville Jaguars. During his time in the NFL, Skalaski served as assistant to the head coach and offensive assistant.
Skalaski's coaching responsibilities in Jacksonville included working with the wide receivers under assistant coach Jerry Sullivan. Cecil Shorts III and Justin Blackmon had two of the finer seasons in franchise history, including Blackmon breaking Jacksonville's rookie records for receptions (44), receiving yards (865) and yards per reception (13.5).
In his role as assistant to the head coach, Skalaski assisted Mularkey with the development and implementation of all team schedules, including training camp, practices, travel and daily agendas.
Prior to joining the Liberty staff for the first time, Skalaski worked for Steelcase Inc., an international company which is the world's largest manufacturer of high quality office environments and furniture. During his tenure, Skalaski held various sales and management positions, culminating with his promotion in 1998 to sales manager of Steelcase's largest field office, located in New York City. Before his days at Steelcase, Skalaski enjoyed several successful years at the Xerox Corporation, earning the organization's highest sales recognition in the President's Club.
Skalaski got his start in coaching in 1978 as a graduate assistant coach at Florida. He served in that capacity for three years, working on both sides of the ball and learning under the tutelage of coaching greats Mike Shanahan and Steve Spurrier - assistant coaches at Florida during that time span. Skalaski served as a volunteer assistant coach for Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, N.J., during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Skalaski received his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Florida in 1978 and was awarded a prestigious U.S. Department of Justice internship. He also was inducted into Florida Blue Key, the university's highest leadership and honorary society. He went on to earn his master's degree in public administration in 1980 from Florida.
Skalaski developed a reputation as a tough and smart competitor during his playing days as a defensive back for the Gators. Demonstrating his knowledge of the game, he once played all four positions in the secondary against Houston his junior year. He was a member of three bowl teams: 1974 Sugar Bowl, 1975 Gator Bowl and 1976 Sun Bowl.
Skalaski is a native of Miami, Fla., and he and his wife, Ann, have three children – Sarah, Charlie IV, and Jacob (Jake). Charlie IV is also a member of the Flames football staff, serving as the defensive quality control staff member.
Gill's Comments about Skalaski:
"We are blessed to add Charlie Skalaski to our staff, as he is the best interpersonal communicator and organizer in college football. Having coached at Liberty makes him a great fit for our program. Also, with Charlie having worked as a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars staff, he brings outstanding experience from the highest level of football."
Assistant Director of Player Personnel
After working in the well-respected collegiate football conferences of the SEC and the ACC, Kettie Fickter has returned to her alma mater to serve as Assistant Director of Player Personnel.
In her role on the Flames football staff, Fickter assists Director of Player Personnel Charlie Skalaski in all aspects of recruiting, including official and unofficial visits. She also helps with the Turner Gill Football Camps, plus she manages the football program's multiple social media platforms.
Fickter comes to Liberty after working one season at Wake Forest as the Assistant Director of Event Management and Scheduling. She was the event manager for the Wake Forest baseball program and the facility manager at the Wake Forest Baseball Park.
The native of Pittsburgh, Pa., also scheduled and coordinated all Wake Forest athletic summer camps. Fickter served as event manager for Wake Forest's ACC and NCAA postseason competition, including the 2013 ACC Cross Country Championship, 2013 ACC Men's Soccer Championship and the 2013 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament.
While pursuing her master's degree at LSU, Fickter worked as a graduate assistant in the Game and Event Management office for two years (2011-13).
Fickter helped plan and coordinate event logistics for the Tigers' 14 intercollegiate athletics programs, marketing/promotional initiatives and various special events. She also assisted in the bid process and hosting of numerous NCAA and SEC postseason events, including the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, 2012 SEC Track & Field Championship, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Baseball Regional and Super Regionals and the 2013 NCAA Men's Golf Regional.
After graduating from Liberty, Fickter worked one year at Wake Forest (2010-11) as the Event Management Assistant, working in event management and operations for all 14 sports, as well as athletic special events.
Fickter is familiar with the Flames football program, having worked as a student assistant, focusing her efforts on recruiting for one year (2009-10).
Fickter earned her Bachelor of Science degree in sport management from Liberty in 2010. She then went on to earn a Master's of Science degree in sport management from LSU in 2013.
Gill's Comments about Fickter:
"Kettie is a tremendous addition to our staff. Having graduated from Liberty, she understands the culture and expectations of our great university. In addition, her experiences as an athletics administrator in the SEC and ACC will help in continuing to push our program in the right direction."