Willie Fritz is expected to become the next head coach at Georgia Southern, according to a report from Football Scoop. Fritz had been the head coach at FCS Sam Houston State since 2010.
His Sam Houston State team finished the 2013 season 9-5, advancing to the second round of the FCS playoffs in the process. The Bearkats reached the FCS national title game in 2011 and 2012, losing to North Dakota State in both cases.
Georgia Southern is moving up to the FBS' Sun Belt after a dominant run as one of the best programs at the FCS level. The Eagles have six national championships and capped their FCS run with a win over Florida in Gainesville. They're known for their triple-option offenses, and since Sam Houston State runs a different attack, it appears that tradition is taking a break.
Fritz was a defensive back at Pittsburgh State from 1978 to '81, and he got his coaching start as a student assistant at his alma mater in 1982. After a two-year stint as a grad assistant at Sam Houston State sandwiched between two high school jobs, he served as defensive coordinator at Coffeyville Community College from 1987 to 1990. He returned to Sam Houston in '91, coaching defensive backs and special teams for two seasons.
In 1993, Fritz began his first head coaching job at Blinn College. He moved on to Central Missouri in 1997, where he stayed for 12 years. The Mules were 97-47 under Fritz and made one appearance in the Division II playoffs, suffering a first-round defeat in 2002.
Fritz took over the program at Sam Houston State in 2010 and led the Bearkats to a 6-5 record in his first season. Over the last three years, the team is 34-10. The Bearkats won the Southland Conference title in 2011 and 2012.