K-State Rewards Fritz with New Five-Year Contract

Suzie Fritz

May 7, 2012

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State Director of Athletics John Currie announced today that volleyball coach Suzie Fritz has signed a new multi-year contract, securing the services of the program's all-time winningest coach through the 2016 season.

The new five-year deal, approved in April by the K-State Athletics (KSA) Board of Directors, is retroactive to January 1, 2012, extends to December 31, 2016, and replaces the five-year contract Fritz signed in 2008. Fritz will be paid $130,000 in 2012-13 and will receive a $3,500 base salary increase each year plus be eligible for a $20,000 per-year retention incentive upon completion of the five-year contract term.

"Coach Fritz has established herself as a national leader amongst collegiate volleyball coaches through both the athletic and academic achievement of her student-athletes," said Currie. "She and her staff epitomize our vision of a model intercollegiate athletics program in the way they mentor young women on and off the court while maintaining the type of leadership that is critical to our continued competitive success in the Big 12. She is the perfect fit for K-State, and we are delighted to be able to reward her loyalty with this enhanced long-term contract."

In her 11 years as the head coach of the Wildcats, Fritz has taken K-State volleyball to unprecedented heights with a career record of 217-127 (.631) and a combined eight NCAA Tournament appearances.

"I am proud to be a part of the tradition associated with K-State Athletics," said Fritz. "The loyalty and support that we enjoy from the university, our administration, the Manhattan community and our fans is what sets Kansas State apart from the rest. I know that it is cliché to say it's about the people, but in this case it is absolutely true.  Steve, myself and our family love being here and there is no place we'd rather be. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the wonderful student-athletes on our team and develop the program in the years to come.  We will work hard to continue to build a program that K-Staters can be proud of."

K-State's 2011 NCAA Tournament run was capped by one of the greatest wins in program history. The Wildcats upset No. 2-ranked Nebraska on the Cornhuskers' home floor in five sets in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to reach the Regional Semifinals in Hawaii. It marked the highest ranked team the Wildcats have defeated and the first time ever the Huskers lost on their home floor during the first two rounds of the tournament.

In 2003, she led the team to its first Big 12 Conference title with a league record of 18-2. That year the Wildcats went 30-5 overall and reached the Regional Semifinals for the second time in school history, while Lauren Goehring was selected the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year. Fritz also earned Big 12 Coach of the Year for the second time as she also won the award in 2002 after the Wildcats went 21-9 overall and finished second in the league at 16-4 in just her second year as the head coach.

As a head coach, Fritz has guided five Wildcats to a total of six AVCA All-America honors. Most recently, middle blocker Kaitlynn Pelger was named AVCA All-America honorable mention joining Vali Hejjas (2004) and Gabby Guerre (2003). Goehring earned AVCA All-America First Team honors in 2003, and Nataly Korobkova was named to the AVCA All-America Third Team twice in her career (2007-2008). In Fritz's first year as a head coach Liz Wegner earned honorable mention from Volleyball Magazine. In Fritz's tenure, a Wildcat has been named Big 12 Libero of the Year four times and twice Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

The program has put an emphasis on academics under Fritz's leadership and the team has won the prestigious AVCA Team Academic Award eight times. The award is given to programs with a combined team GPA of 3.30 or higher. JuliAnne Chisholm and Cari Jensen each were named CoSIDA Academic All-America twice during their careers, and the Wildcats are regularly among the leaders for Academic All-Big 12 selections.

K-State has also consistently ranked among the national leaders in attendance in Ahearn Field House. Improvements to the facility have also been a priority as new chairback and bleacher seating, banners and signage have been installed over the past two years, while this spring the upper deck seating area is getting a coat of K-State purple and new scoreboards are being installed to provide an improved experience for Wildcat fans beginning in 2012.

In games played at Ahearn Field House, Fritz is 115-45 as the Wildcat head coach which includes 10 or more wins in eight seasons and a perfect 16-0 mark in 2003.