Des Fitzgerald made a name for himself in the field of coaching.
His only personal win at Stawell came in 1966 in the Grampians Stakes, 2nd Division, which he won in a time of 8 min. 50.4 secs from a mark of 245 yards.
His training techniques and his ability to read the ability of a runner brought success to many athletes.
He coached 20 winners at Stawell over a long period, and backed up with 12 second placings and nine third placings.