Steve Fritz is a coach who can give Kansas State student-athletes a first-hand look at the experience of competing in track and field at the international level. Fritz, who is in his 21st season on the Wildcat staff, finished fourth for the U.S. in the decathlon in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. He scored a career-best 8,644 points, and was just 20 points behind bronze medalist Tomas Dvorak. A member of the Kansas State Athletics Hall of Fame, Fritz was the U.S. national champion in the decathlon in 1997 and was fourth at the World Championships that same year. He also was a 10-time member of Team USA as an athlete.
As a coach, Fritz has directed more than 50 different student-athletes to score points at the conference championship meets, with 12 athletes winning conference titles a total of 25 times. On the national level, Fritz has had 20 NCAA qualifiers, nine USA National qualifiers, 12 Junior National qualifiers, one World University Games qualifier and one World Junior qualifier. Eight athletes at K-State have set school records in eight separate events a total of 39 times under his coaching.
Fritz has had eight All-Americans earn a total of 23 All-American certificates and has had at least one athlete qualify for nationals every year but one he has been coaching Kansas State.
Under Fritz's guidance, the Wildcat women won every Big 12 indoor weight throw title and outdoor hammer title from 1997-99 and again from 2007-09. In the javelin, Fritz helped lead K-State to a sweep of men's and women's Big Eight titles in 1993 and 1994. Wildcat women won javelin titles in 1996, 1997 and 2002, in addition to continued success in the weight throw from 2006-09 with Loren Groves winning three straight herself. During K-State dominance in the women's weight throw, the Wildcats have won three consecutive and four consecutive Big 12 women's titles in the event. Only Nebraska and Texas Tech have won multiple women's weight throw titles in the Big 12.
Fritz competed for Kansas State from 1989-90 and holds the Big Eight decathlon record with 7,924 points. He was a two-time NCAA All-American for the Wildcats in the decathlon, finishing sixth in 1989 (7,548 points) and fourth in 1990 (7,729 points).
In the summer of 2011, Fritz trained for and competed in the Masters World Athletics Championships in California where he finished second in his age group in the men's throwing pentathlon. Fritz scored 4,008 points thanks to strong marks in the shot put, javelin and discus. His throws in the shot and javelin were the best in the field.
He earned a bachelor's degree in business from K-State in 1993. While at Kansas State, Fritz also played basketball for two seasons. Fritz was a two-sport athlete in track and basketball at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. He won the decathlon at the 1988 National Junior College Athletic Association Nationals and hit the game-winning basket to give the Blue Dragons the 1988 NJCAA basketball title.
A native of Gypsum, Kan., Fritz is married to the former Suzie Wiemers. Suzie Fritz was named the head coach for volleyball at Kansas State in August 2001 and in 2003 led the Wildcats to their first Big 12 championship. The couple has two children: Thomas Jon (T.J.) and Jacob.
In addition to his coaching at K-State, Fritz has also served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2007 Thorpe Cup in Bernhausen, Germany, and at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Most recently, Fritz was the head coach for the men's team at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships, seeing the team win a total of 10 medals, including four gold.