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Coach Fritz earns American Football Coaches Association Regional Coaching honor

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 00:12

Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz and Montana State’s Rob Ash earned the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Region Five “Co-Coaches of the Year” honors, according to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).

Fritz has directed the Sam Houston football program into national consciousness in his three years as head coach, posting a 29-9 overall record—the most victories in any three-year period in the university’s 97 football seasons.

This season, Fritz guided the Bearkats to an 8-3 overall record and a “Top 5” national ranking in the FCS. The back-to-back Southland Conference titles and FCS playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012 placed Fritz in a category of his own amongst Sam Houston skippers. Fritz also won the AFCA Regional Coach-of-the-Year award in 2011, after a 14-1 season that forced the Bearkats to reach the national championship game.

The AFCA recognizes five regional “Coach of the Year” winners in each of the Association’s five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are chosen by active members of the association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.

The 2012 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner at the 2013 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Rob Ash steered Montana State to a 10-1 season and the No. 3 seed in the FCS playoffs this year, and will face off against Fritz and company in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals Friday night in Bozeman, Mont. The game will air nationally on ESPN2. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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