Fritz: Triple-option to stay at Ga. Southern

Willie Fritz won over some Georgia Southern fans right away.

“We’re a triple-option type team,” Georgia Southern’s new coach said during his introductory news conference on Friday.

With all due respect to Tracy Ham’s Hambone, call it the Fritzbone.

AD Tom Kleinlein said during the search process that he wanted a coach who would keep Georgia Southern’s traditions, which include the triple-option offense.

Fritz’s offense likely will look more like what Auburn runs under Gus Malzahn, but it’s definitely run oriented.

“We do it a different way than you have been doing it here. … We’ve rushed for a lot of yards,” Fritz said. “We’re the leading scoring offense in FCS the last three seasons.”

Sam Houston State was sixth in the FCS in rushing, with an average of 265 yards a game in 2013. The Bearkats were fourth in scoring at 41.1 points.

Georgia Southern is moving from the FCS Southern Conference to the Sun Belt Conference of the FBS.

“He’s been able to win with other people’s players and he’s been able to recruit and win with his own players,” Kleinlein told the AP on Friday. “He’s won at a lot of different levels and at a lot of different places. … He will put his own stamp on this program and lead us into the Sun Belt Conference.”

Fritz, who is 176-67-1 record in 21 years as a coach, led Sam Houston State to a 40-15 in four years and took the Bearkats to the FCS national championship game in 2011 and ‘12.

His Twitter account hasn’t been updated yet.

Fritz replaces Jeff Monken, who took the head coaching job at Army just before Christmas.

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[...] Fritz: Triple-option to stay at Ga. Southern [...]


January 15th, 2014
9:13 am

Ok , let’s play nicely in the sandbox. GATA Eagles!


January 15th, 2014
8:17 am

While GATA is a Ga. Southern thing, it was a UGA thing first.That’s a fact my friend. Oh, and by the way, Willie Fritz was a good hire.


January 15th, 2014
8:02 am

I don’t give a rat’s rear end what anybody in the West or Northeast or Bangladesh knows or doesn’t know about anything. And, for your information, I am a graduate of Ga. Southern.

Arizona Eagle

January 15th, 2014
1:29 am

Hey Historian. The acronym GATA is very much a secret – I’ve been living out here a long time and this Georgia boy needs to report back that these westerners have no idea what it means. Get out of your comfort zone in Georgia and travel west of the Mississippi and conduct a little poll for your own benefit. Ask people in Colorado, California, Arizona (just some suggestions) what GATA stands for and they will look at you as if you had just turned purple.

It’s a Southern thing. I know you guys want to claim Erk. Of course you do and who wouldn’t! Funny that UGA could have hired him too as your successor to Dooley and you didn’t pull that trigger. You thought Ray Goff was the answer. I guess we all know how that turned out. Alas, Erk Russell went to Southern and the rest is beautiful history.


January 14th, 2014
9:08 pm

Actually it’s not a UGA slogan, it’s an Erk Russel slogan. He saw someone at Tech wearing a Georgia Tech Athletic Association shirt (GTAA) and rearranged the letters.
No doubt Erk came up with it when he was a UGA , but that doesn’t make it a UGA slogan. It’s not a La. Tech slogan either, even though Derick Dooley took it out there with him.


January 14th, 2014
5:02 pm

Get After Their Ass is a UGA slogan, brought to GSU by Erk Russell. It ain’t a secret.


January 14th, 2014
10:34 am

That’s all true Arizona, but remember,Southern was winning 1-AA National Championships when schools like UCF and Troy were still in Division II.
Until then, maybe a neutral sight game.. I’m thinking Navy or UCF in Jacksonville. We played Florida A&M there, but that was in the old Gator Bowl, before Jacksonville had an NFL team.


January 13th, 2014
11:07 pm

All in good time Peachie. We are going to get there. It’s very easy to take the “keep up with the Joneses” mentality. You need to look at this way. Those other schools have a bit of an advantage over Ga. Southern in the total number of years they have been playing college football. I have a Southern history book in our living room and every now and then I’ll study some of those old pictures. Back when Sweatheart Circle was the entire campus! Back when the model Ts were parked in front of the Ad building and Lewis Hall. Anyway, Southern was playing football back in the early part of the 20th century. But there was something called World War II that made us disband the football program all together. Finally, a man by the name of Erk Russell came down to the ‘boro in the early 80’s and kick started the program back up again. Imagine if we hadn’t lost those nearly 40 years of playing this game! I look at it as these other schools having a nearly 4 decade head start on us and here we are finally getting to where we want to be – at the FBS level. Again it is remarkable what this program has done in such a short period of time. 6 national titles! Many have fielded teams without winning one and we have six. Those other D1 schools you mentioned may have bigger stadiums (right now) but what I love about being an upstart program is those same schools definitely think twice when they play us. We definitely have earned the pedigree when our boys step on the field and where that GATA acronym on their helmets. Many people out west (I live in Pac-12 country) ask me what GATA means and I almost want to keep it a secret – like only a true blue Southern fan would know!

I often think what would Southern have been like if Erk hadn’t taken that risk – being our coach. He was definitely the right man at the right time. Now we have leaders like Kleinlein and Keel that are taking what Erk did and moving us to the next level. Southern is doing great job investing in the program and doing it the right way. Be patient – you’ll get your big stadium in this lifetime. Let’s keep taking care of business on Saturdays and those additional seats will come to Paulson.