Coach Fritz denies rumors of interview with UT El Paso
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 01:11
Sam Houston State head football coach Willie Fritz dismissed claims he interviewed with University of Texas-El Paso’s athletic program.
Rumors have surfaced Fritz has been in discussion for replacing UTEP coach Mike Price, and has scheduled an interview with the UTEP program this week according to a www.footballscoop.com update on Sunday.
"I have not been contacted or talk to anyone associated with Texas El Paso," Fritz said. "The internet is full of all sorts of rumors and I guess I was interviewing there today."
In an El Paso Times article examining UTEP’s coaching situation, Fritz received seven percent of votes in a reader’s poll involving coaches who have been in discussion to head the school’s football program.
"It’s always a concern when you got a good coach and they're successful," SHSU Athletic Director Bobby Williams said. "[Fritz] nor I have been contacted. He always lets me know when he’s been contacted."
According to Williams, SHSU will remain competitive with other school offers in the future as Fritz’s reputation as a winning coach continues to spread. After the 2011 season concluded, SHSU increased Fritz’s salary ($139,032 as of May 2011) as well as recruiting four full-time assistant coaches to add to his staff.
"With his success we’re always looking to increase that," Williams said. "We did a lot with [Fritz’s] coaching staff, we added four full-time coaches that got him to the NCAA level…we did that so that we could be competitive when this happens."
As Fritz continues to have successful seasons and consistent playoff appearances, Fritz’s coaching talent will be in high demand, Williams said.
"That’s just part of the business when they can move up, or perceive to be moving up, and improve their financial status or different level of coaching," Williams said. "We’re not going to get into any competition with anybody. We’re going to basically do our best to make his situation very positive like we did last year."
After joining SHSU’s athletic program in 2010, Fritz has acquired a record of 28-9 with two consecutive playoff appearances including one FCS National Championship game. This season, Fritz and company are competing for another chance at the FCS title.
"There’s not a better coach in this country in my opinion," Williams said. "Whether I’m at Sam Houston or I could be at any school in this country and he would be a top candidate and I would hire him. He’s that good."
As of now, it is unclear whether Fritz has been contacted by other universities for coaching positions.