Head Coach Suzie Fritz
- Florida Atlantic University: assistant coach, 1994
- Barton County Community College: assistant
- Kansas State University: assistant coach, 1997-2000
- Kansas State University: head coach, 2001-present
- A2 USA National Team; Head Coach 2009, Assistant Coach 2006
Athletic & Academic Honors Under Fritz
- 9 All-American honors
- 14 All-District selections
- 31 All-Big 12 Conference selections
- 32 Big 12 Conference Players of the Week
- 10 AVCA Team Academic awards
- 16 Academic All-District selections
- 88 Academic All-Big 12 Conference selections
Contact Coach Fritz
Since taking the helm of the program in 2001, Suzie Fritz has established K-State volleyball as not only a contender in the Big 12 but also the nation. A Kansas native and part of the program since 1997, Fritz is K-State’s winningest coach and has helped the program reach the NCAA Tournament nine times – including two trips to the Regional Semifinals – as the head coach.
Fritz has accumulated more than 250 career wins in 13 seasons and led the Wildcats to being nationally ranked in nine different seasons. She has a 140-108 (.565) record in Big 12 action, with the 140 wins ranking third among Big 12 teams since 2001. Fritz helped lead the Wildcats to their first and only Big 12 title in 2003 when the nationally-ranked ‘Cats were 18-2 in conference and 30-5 overall.
The Wildcats have enjoyed great success in the classroom in addition to on the court. K-State has earned the most Academic All-Big 12 honors in conference history, including 88 since Fritz was named head coach in 2001. The Wildcats have also earned the prestigious AVCA Academic Team Award (3.3 team GPA or higher) 10 times under Fritz’s direction, including in each of the last three years from 2010-11 to 2012-13. JuliAnne Chisholm and Cari Jensen have combined to earn four Academic All-American honors under Fritz while the Wildcats have garnered 16 Academic All-District distinctions since 2001.
Although 2013 fell short of reaching the NCAA Tournament, the Wildcats still completed their third straight winning season with an 18-11 record and 10th winning campaign under the direction of Fritz. K-State captured three wins over ranked opponents, which included victories at #23 Cal and home triumphs over #25 Oklahoma and #25 Iowa State. Overall, K-State had five wins against teams ranked in the top 50 of the final RPI rankings. The Wildcats were best at home in Ahearn Field House where they went an impressive 10-2 and had four straight sweeps to end the home campaign. Also, nine Wildcats were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team – the most in the conference and tied the school-record – while Kaitlynn Pelger was named All-Big 12 First Team and Katie Brand was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
The 2012 season featured the Wildcats’ ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament with Fritz as the head coach. K-State compiled 21 wins in the regular season, highlighted by victories over ranked opponents Minnesota (#10), Dayton (#20) and Iowa State (#22). The Wildcats started the season 12-0 and even broke the school record for consecutive sets won when they captured 23 straight sets. The streak started with the fourth set against Oregon State on August 25 and lasted eight matches until K-State dropped the first set in the win against Minnesota on September 14. In nonconference play, the Wildcats won 11 of its possible 13 regular season matches in straight sets.
In 2011, K-State ended a two-year NCAA Tournament drought in thrilling fashion. The Wildcats won four of their final six matches, helping them earn a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. After dispatching Wichita State in straight sets in the first round, the Wildcats were left to face the No. 2 team in the country, Nebraska, on its home court at the Nebraska Coliseum. The Wildcats pulled out a five-set upset of the Cornhuskers, the program’s first win against a top 10 team since 2003, and moved on to the Sweet 16 for the second time with Fritz as the head coach. The victory against Nebraska was the first time the Huskers had lost an NCAA Tournament match at home in the first two rounds. It also ended a 16-year streak for the Cornhuskers in which they reached the Regional Semifinals. The Wildcats later lost to Pepperdine in Hawai’i in the regional semifinals, but nonetheless, K-State had another 20-win season in hand after finishing the year 22-11.
While the team enjoyed great success in 2011, Pelger, a middle blocker, became just the seventh different Wildcat in program history to earn All-America honors. The Olathe, Kan. native was named AVCA All-America Honorable Mention in 2011 – a feat she repeated in 2012 – as well as Volleyball Magazine Third Team All-American. Fritz has seen K-State earn nine All-America honors in her time as head coach and 12 All-America accolades since she was a K-State assistant coach starting in 1997.
Fritz began her head coaching career at K-State as an interim head coach after Jim McLaughlin left the program shortly before the start of the 2001 season. After a 9-5 start in her first year, Fritz was named the program's permanent head coach. She took the reins from McLaughlin after serving as his top assistant for four years.
As an assistant coach for the Wildcats, Fritz was one of the chief architects of K-State's success from 1997-2000. She helped guide the program to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including its first appearance in the round of 16 of the tournament in 2000. In that span, the Wildcats posted a 103-52 (.665) overall record, including a 75-36 (.676) mark in Big 12 play. The program recorded four straight final AVCA/USA Today Top 25 finishes, including a then-program-best 16th ranking to conclude the 2000 season.
The team developed into a force in one of the nation's toughest conferences, finishing in the top five each year. The Wildcats had a then school-record second place finish in 2000 with a 14-6 record. As the head coach, Fritz would best that conference mark with a 16-4 record in 2002 and better it yet at 18-2 in the title year of 2003.
Also during her time as an assistant at K-State, she helped produce two All-Americans - including the program's first in Dawn Cady in 1999 - along with three all-district selections, 11 All-Big 12 honorees, and 22 Academic All-Big 12 picks.
Full Coach Suzie Fritz Bio
Assistant Coach Jeff Grove
Jeff Grove has been an assistant coach at K-State for 16 of the last 18 years, with the 2014 season being his 13th consecutive season with the Wildcats since rejoining the program under Suzie Fritz in 2002. From helping orchestrate the rise of the program in the late ‘90s to maintaining its success with Fritz for the last 12 years, Grove has played a big role in K-State being one of the nation’s top programs.
In his 16 years as an assistant, a stretch that includes 11 winning seasons, Grove has helped lead K-State to 296 wins, 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, and a Big 12 Conference title in 2003. As the defensive coordinator for the team, he has also coached a number of great defensive players, including two-time Big 12 Liberos of the Year Laura Downey-Wallace and Angie Lastra as well as First Team All-Big 12 and AVCA All-American, Lauren Goehring.
"It's very unusual to have the opportunity in the coaching business to work with someone as long as Jeff and I have. He is a man of strong character and commitment and is philosophically a great fit for K-State and the way we want to do things," Fritz said. "He has tremendous technical knowledge, understands training at a high level and is excellent with statistical measurement and analysis. I trust in and have the highest respect for him, both as a person and a volleyball coach."
In addition to the role as the defensive coach, the California native is the team’s associate head coach, helping in the development of all phases of the program, coordinating and evaluating all statistical and video applications, creating opponent scouting reports and game plans, and organizing tape exchanges.
As the defensive coordinator for the team, Grove has coached a number of great defensive players in K-State history, including Lastra, the most prolific libero for the Wildcats. Lastra finished her career atop the career digs list with 2,032 – a record that still stands. She holds multiple school records, including digs by a freshman and senior and digs in a season. Lastra was also the first libero to be named Big 12 Player of the Week before the conference created an award for both offense and defense.
Grove also helped develop libero Lauren Mathewson, who recorded three of the top-six performances in terms of digs in a single season in program history. Matthewson, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, is second in school history in career digs.
Grove’s impact on the Wildcats’ defense extends beyond the backline. At the net, K-State has been one of the stronger teams in the Big 12 under Grove’s direction. In 15 seasons while at K-State, Grove has helped the Wildcats hold opponents to a hitting percentage of .200 or below in a season 10 times. K-State has also finished among the Big 12’s top three teams in blocks per set in seven of the last 12 seasons, including second in 2013 and third in 2012.
Full Coach Jeff Grove Bio
Assistant Coach Jeff Hulsmeyer
Hulsmeyer joined the K-State coaching staff in 2009, and since beginning of his coaching career at Western Kentucky, he adds 21 years of coaching experience, either as an assistant or head coach, to the K-State program.
With the Wildcats, Hulsmeyer serves as the offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. The K-State recruiting classes under Hulsmeyer have been ranked among the nation’s elite, including a No. 27 ranking in 2014 by PrepVolleyball.com.
Offensively, the Kentucky native has helped a pair of Wildcat setters transition to new roles. In 2010, Hulsmeyer helped convert Caitlyn Donahue from defensive specialist to setter, and Donahue responded by finishing second in the Big 12 Conference in assists per set in just her second season at the position in 2011. After Donahue’s career came to a close following the 2012 campaign, Hulsmeyer oversaw the transition of redshirt freshman Katie Brand into the starting setter role, a role in which Brand seized and earned All-Big 12 Freshman Team honors.
In his first year on the staff, Hulsmeyer showed his prowess developing the K-State offensive strategy by helping Kelsey Chipman to be among the Big 12’s most efficient attackers. Chipman finished third among Big 12 hitters with a .345 hitting percentage and earned All-Big 12 honorable mention. Including Chipman, six Wildcats have earned All-Big 12 honors for their offensive performances under Hulsmeyer’s direction.
Prior to joining K-State, Hulsmeyer was the head coach at Georgetown College, an NAIA school in Kentucky. He led the Tigers to a 75-14 record over two years and a No. 5 national ranking in 2007. In both years at the helm of Georgetown, he was named the conference and region coach of the year, while he also saw two players combine for three NAIA All-American honors.
Hulsmeyer’s head coaching experience, which amounts to nine seasons, includes four seasons at the helm of Purdue from 1999-2002. At Purdue, Hulsmeyer helped the Boilermakers win the President’s Cup as the team with the highest GPA at the school. In Hulsmeyer’s four years, the team placed 20 student-athletes on the Big Ten All-Academic Team.
Hulsmeyer also had two coaching stints in the Sun Belt Conference as head coach at Arkansas State and Western Kentucky. At Arkansas State, he led the then-named Indians to conference championships in all three seasons. During those three years, the team never lost a regular season conference match and made two NCAA Tournament appearances by winning the conference tournament.
Full Coach Jeff Hulsmeyer Bio