NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Less than a week after being introduced as athletic director, Troy Dannen had already found Tulane a new leader for the football program and Tuesday, Willie Fritz was introduced as the Green Wave's 40th head coach.
After going 17-7 in his last stop at Georgia Southern, Fritz has high hopes for his new job. "There are many great teams in the American and I believe Tulane is a sleeping giant," Fritz said. "New Orleans and the surrounding area and states are a hot bed for high school football. I look forward to the challenge of building Tulane into a consistent winner. We have a lot of work to do but I like what I see. I have been fortunate to be associated with winning football programs all my life. I know what it takes to compete for conference championships and national titles and I intend to bring those winning ways here to the Green Wave."
For his part, Dannen says Fritz was always his main choice. "Willie was our number one target of this coaching search from the day it began," he said. "We attracted significant interest from around the country but after meeting with the candidates it was clear Willie was the right fit for our institution and our football program. He has rebuilt three football programs and led each of those programs into national prominence at their respective level. In his 23 years as a head coach, Willie has an established track record of producing quality men, high academic achievements and great competitive success."
In 33 years of coaching, Fritz has racked-up a head coaching record of 193-74-1 and the ability to adapt to his players' strengths. "Georgia Southern is a place where they did not want to throw it maybe the only school in America," Fritz said. "They didn't want to hear about it, throwing the football. My belief is I have a what I call a 'plan to win.' The second component of the plan to win is winning the running game. In 23 years as a head football coach, when we've rushed for one more yard than our opponent, we've run over 90 percent of our games. So I'm going to build my defense to stop people from running the ball and we are going to build our offense to be able to run the ball effectively."
As for recruiting, Fritz recognizes the academic standards at a school like Tulane but doesn't think that will be a limiting factor. "There's plenty of programs out there that have great success with great academic programs," he said. "Stanford and Duke are a couple I can think of so it can be done without a question. I'm going to use that as a positive to tell kids that you can get a world class education here and play division one football."