GSU interested in Willie Fritz, according to report

Georgia State has discussed its football coaching vacancy with Willie Fritz, currently the coach at Sam Houston State, according to

As of Monday afternoon, Georgia State hadn’t asked for permission to talk to Fritz, according to athletic director Bobby Williams. An email to Williams on Tuesday hasn’t been returned. Georgia State declined to comment because it’s an ongoing coaching search.

Fritz is known as program builder after leading the Bearkats the FCS national championship game last year. Sam Houston will host Cal Poly on Saturday in the second round of this year’s FCS playoffs.

Fritz is 28-9 in three seasons at Sam Houston. Before that, he went 97-47 at Central Missouri, a Division II school, and 39-5-1 at Blinn College, a junior college. The Bearkats are running an offense that mixes a pro-style attack with some option, and the defense uses a 4-2-5 approach. Both of those should sound familiar to Georgia State fans.

Fritz is the second coach to be mentioned in connection with the Georgia State job. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said last week that Georgia State had expressed an interest in his son, Shane, who coaches running backs for the Hokies. Frank Beamer said that Georgia State hadn’t asked for permission to interview. A call this morning to athletic director Jim Weaver hasn’t been returned.

(From an earlier blog) Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick has said she would prefer to hire someone with head-coaching experience and who is familiar with recruiting in the South.

She hired Parker Executive Search to assist with the hiring. She is looking for a coach because Bill Curry, the architect of Georgia State’s program, recently retired from coaching.

The Panthers struggled on and off the field under Curry. The team lost 10 of its 11 games this season, dropping its three-year record to 10-23. Attendance has steadily decreased from an average of 16,750 in 2010 to 12,312 this year.

However, the team practices in a state-of-the-art facility, plays in the Georgia Dome and is moving to the Sun Belt Conference, which plays on the FBS level, in 2013.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

29 comments Add your comment


November 27th, 2012
7:48 pm

Another trial balloo . . . is there a coach whose name will get the base excited and who would have any serious interest in starting from scratch with no tradition, an apathetic fan base and poor financials?


November 27th, 2012
9:10 pm

He’s got a good track record & IMO we need to win. So if he is willing to build us into a winning team & stay with us for the next 10 to 15 yrs like Mark Richts done at Georgia i say heck yeah bring in Fritz! People want to support a winning team & go see there teams win, i know cuz this year it got hard to use my season tix every game when we could only beat ourselves.

Passion of the Panther

November 27th, 2012
9:10 pm

Coach Fritz, read the blogs and Panthertalk … feel the passion of the base … all 50 of them … The passion burns for GSU football


November 27th, 2012
9:15 pm

This would be a good hire, IMHO. Let’s make it happen.


November 27th, 2012
9:34 pm

I know quite a few Bearkats and at the end of last season I warned them that they would be losing coach Fritz to a larger D1 college within 2 years. I’ve got to admit that I would like to see Fritz leave SHSU. Truth is, SHSU has a pretty poor image in Texas and coach Fritz deserves much better. GSU would be a good match but I’m hpoing that he will take the UTEP or North Carolina State job. Best of luck.

Fan in Ft. Myers

November 27th, 2012
9:48 pm

Sounds like he could really be a good hire!



November 27th, 2012
9:51 pm

Fritz would be a phenomenal hire. Go Panthers!


November 27th, 2012
10:55 pm

I’ll take Fritz


November 27th, 2012
11:03 pm

Sounds promising!


November 27th, 2012
11:13 pm

GSU should interview Rush Propst. He can find a way to make it on a smaller recruiting budget.

Go Panthers

November 27th, 2012
11:55 pm

makes little since for him to come here. He has 3 kids and I’m sure they want to live in Texas or Missouri or some place in the midwest.


November 28th, 2012
12:30 am

I won’t go into all the details but what I’m hearing down here in Houston, is that all the talk about Fritz being approached by UTEP is all a bunch of bunk. Makes me wonder if this is the same case with GSU. Either way, I agree that he will not want to leave Texas. We shall see.


November 28th, 2012
9:28 am

gsu all these great local high school coaches around and i mean great stay local and pick off of the peach trees that are right in front of u. local local local-anythindg or anybodyelse u are wasteng your time again . try it u might be surprise who is available. high school coach for recuiting this is ano brainer./…

John Bond

November 28th, 2012
9:45 am


November 28th, 2012
9:59 am

i hope this report is totally bogus…there has too be a big name coach that has been fired this past week that would fit in our program…a big name coach would help sell tickets and that is a big item because there is no way we are going too average 15,000 to maintain div 1 level, personally i still think the AD or president made a huge mistake taking us to div 1 level.

Biff Pocoroba Fan Club President

November 28th, 2012
10:29 am

GSU needs to hire him before some team like Southern Miss or Colorado finds out about him.


November 28th, 2012
10:31 am

Hire Derek Dooley and let him be AD too. Cheryl Levick is a joke.

Steve Nash's Pick and Roll

November 28th, 2012
10:38 am

@spider – You freaking nimrod, you do know we have always been Division I, right?


November 28th, 2012
1:28 pm

Hire David Dean of VSU!!! Has done excellent job and knows how to recruit.

Just saying

November 28th, 2012
11:59 pm

@steve nash’s pick and roll, we were D1 in basketball, not football when the program started.we are in transition to 1-A, The football program is 1-AA (FCS)…. who’s the freaking nimrod? Do your homework…you fool….D-1 schools must average 15k attendance, for 2 years at their home games, and from the looks of it, I never saw 15k in the stands..Below is the Poop that I got from Coach Curry. Georgia State will compete at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly known as NCAA Division I-AA). The Panthers will begin playing in the Colonial Athletic Association, the top FCS conference in the nation, in 2012.
Didn’t mean to be so harsh, but Spider was right on…

Just saying

November 29th, 2012
12:03 am

Again, I feel they made a big mistake, by letting everyone know Curry was retiring at the end of the season, It screwed up our recruiting… big time… Whoever takes the job will have no time to get any good recruits and all you can hope for is he brings them with him from where he is…whoever it is..

Go Panthers!!

November 29th, 2012
10:15 am

@Just saying…

GSU has always been in DI, including football. FCS and FBS are both DI.

But ultimately y’all are just bickering over technicalities.

Even though FCS is still DI, the overwhelming perception is that it isn’t.


November 29th, 2012
1:04 pm

Just Saying is correct. GSU is a Div 1 team in all sports but football untill next season. The same holds true for ODU. Meeting the minimum attendance to keep off probation is going to be a problem. I don’t believe that playing in the Dome is a plus for GSU. ODU may have to find more ways to expand thier newly rentovated stadium. The demand for tickets is outragious. They stopped selling season tickets before they played their first game 3 years ago and avg a legit 20,000 per home opening. This in a city that has no history for football activism.


November 29th, 2012
1:27 pm

Go Panthers…….You may be the only football fan or administrator anywhere that really considers Div 1-AA Div 1 football. I believe it is you that is buried in technicalities!

Dudley Dawson

November 29th, 2012
8:55 pm

Anybody named “Willie” is good with me! Go State!


November 29th, 2012
8:56 pm

Huh-huh, huh-huh, huh-huh….he said willie….


November 29th, 2012
11:11 pm

Forget about it! Fritz ain’t going anywhere. Sounds like all this B.S. was started by a rival college trying to distract the team from it’s upcoming playoff game. Let’s talk about something else!

[...] Georgia State interested in Willie Fritz [...]


November 30th, 2012
8:58 pm

For what it’s worth, NCAA divides all college athletics in Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3.
In football only Division 1 is subdivided into FBS ( formerly 1-A) and FCS ( formerly 1-AA)
Both subdivisions are officially Division 1.
I would not at all be surprised to see FBS divided again with those conferences that average over 50,000 per game staking out and even higher subdivision.