Willie Fritz
Fritz at the 2015 Sun Belt Media Day
Current position
TitleHead coach
Annual salary$2.5M [1]
Biographical details
Born (1960-04-02) April 2, 1960 (age 62)
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Playing career
1978–1981Pittsburg State
Position(s)Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1982Pittsburg State (SA)
1983Shawnee Mission NW HS (KS) (asst.)
1984–1985Sam Houston State (TX) (GA)
1986Willis HS (TX) (assistant)
1987–1990Coffeyville CC (DC)
1991–1992Sam Houston State (DB/ST)
1997–2009Central Missouri
2010–2013Sam Houston State
2014–2015Georgia Southern
Head coaching record
Overall197–114 (college)
Tournaments0–1 (NCAA D-II playoffs)
7–3 (NCAA D-I playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
2 NJCAA National (1995, 1996)
MIAA (2003)
2 Southland (2011, 2012)
Sun Belt (2014)
AAC West Division (2018)
AAC (2022)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (2022)
AFCA FCS Coach of the Year (2011)
Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2012)
Sun Belt Coach of the Year (2014)[2]
AAC Coach of the Year (2022)

Willie Fritz (born April 2, 1960) is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at Tulane. Fritz served as the head football coach at University of Central Missouri from 1997 to 2009, Sam Houston State University from 2010 to 2013, and Georgia Southern University from 2014 to 2015. From 1993 to 1996, he was the head football coach at Blinn College, a junior college in Brenham, Texas, where he led his teams to consecutive NJCAA National Football Championships, in 1995 and 1996.

Playing career

Born in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, Fritz played college football at Pittsburg State University, where he was a defensive back for the Gorillas.

Coaching career

From 1993 to 1996, Fritz was head coach at Blinn College.[3] He turned around a program that had gone 5–24–1 in its three previous seasons, producing a 39–5–1 record.[4] Willie Fritz led the team to two national junior college championships, in 1994 and 1996.[4] For his efforts at Blinn, Fritz has been inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.[4]

Fritz coached at the University of Central Missouri from 1997 until 2009, leading the Mules to their first post-season berth in 32 years when they defeated Minnesota-Duluth in the 2001 Mineral Water Bowl.[4] In 2002, Central Missouri earned its first NCAA Division II playoff berth after winning the Mid-America Athletic Association (MIAA) championship.[4] Fritz became the university's winningest coach with a 97–47 record.[4]

Fritz was the second member of his family to coach at Central Missouri.[4] His father, the late Harry Fritz, was the Mules' head football coach in 1952 and later became executive director of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).[4]

Fritz became the 14th head football coach at Sam Houston State University on December 18, 2010.[5] During the 2011 season, his second year at Sam Houston State University, Fritz coached the Bearkats to the FCS's only undefeated regular season and into the FCS playoffs. He coached the Bearkats to back-to-back national title game appearances in 2011 and 2012 in only three years of being head coach at Sam Houston State.

Before his coaching career, Fritz served as a graduate assistant for the Bearkat squads that went 16–6 in 1984–85 and won the 1985 Gulf Star Conference championship.[5] He went on to become the secondary and special teams coach for the Bearkats in 1991 and 1992, helping lead Sam Houston to a Southland Conference championship.[5]

On January 10, 2014, Fritz became the head football coach at Georgia Southern University. In the Eagles' first FBS season, the team finished the season 9–3 overall and was undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play at 8–0, winning the outright conference championship. They were also the first team ever to go unbeaten in conference play in their first FBS season.[6] In the 2015 season, Fritz led the Eagles to an 8-4 record, receiving their first bowl bid to the GoDaddy Bowl on December 23, 2015, where they defeated Bowling Green.

On December 11, 2015, ESPN reported that Fritz would become the 39th head football coach at Tulane University.[7]

Personal life

Fritz and his wife, Susan, have three children, Wesley, Lainie, and Brooke.[3]

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Central Missouri Mules (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association) (1997–2009)
1997 Central Missouri 5–6 4–5 6th
1998 Central Missouri 8–3 6–3 T–3rd
1999 Central Missouri 7–4 5–4 4th
2000 Central Missouri 7–4 5–4 T–4th
2001 Central Missouri 10–2 7–2 2nd W Mineral Water
2002 Central Missouri 10–2 8–1 2nd L NCAA Division II First Round
2003 Central Missouri 9–2 7–2 T–1st
2004 Central Missouri 7–4 5–4 4th
2005 Central Missouri 7–3 5–3 5th
2006 Central Missouri 5–6 3–6 T–6th
2007 Central Missouri 7–4 6–3 T–3rd
2008 Central Missouri 7–4 5–4 T–4th
2009 Central Missouri 8–3 6–3 T–2nd
Central Missouri: 97–47 72–44
Sam Houston State Bearkats (Southland Conference) (2010–2013)
2010 Sam Houston State 6–5 4–3 T–3rd
2011 Sam Houston State 14–1 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I Championship
2012 Sam Houston State 11–4 6–1 T–1st L NCAA Division I Championship
2013 Sam Houston State 9–5 4–3 T–3rd L NCAA Division I Second Round
Sam Houston State: 40–15 21–7
Georgia Southern Eagles (Sun Belt Conference) (2014–2015)
2014 Georgia Southern 9–3 8–0 1st
2015 Georgia Southern 8–4 6–2 3rd GoDaddy*
Georgia Southern: 17–7 14–2 *left for Tulane before bowl game
Tulane Green Wave (American Athletic Conference) (2016–present)
2016 Tulane 4–8 1–7 6th (West)
2017 Tulane 5–7 3–5 5th (West)
2018 Tulane 7–6 5–3 T–1st (West) W Cure
2019 Tulane 7–6 3–5 4th (West) W Armed Forces
2020 Tulane 6–6 3–5 T–7th L Famous Idaho Potato
2021 Tulane 2–10 1–7 T–9th
2022 Tulane 12–2 7–1 1st W Cotton
Tulane: 43–45 23–33
Total: 197–114
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Where Mike Houston now stands among AAC head coaches pay".
  2. ^ "UL Lafayette's McGuire Headlines All-Sun Belt Conference Teams and Individual Award Winners". www.sunbeltsports.org. Sun Belt Conference. December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Willie Fritz". GoBearkats.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c "Willie Fritz". GoBearkats.com.
  6. ^ "Georgia Southern Claims Outright Sun Belt Title – Sun Belt Winners Score Big on Saturday" (Press release). Sun Belt Conference. December 1, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Source: Tulane has agreement with GSU's Fritz". 11 December 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2018.