Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

Willie Fritz

December 8, 2016

The firing of former football head coach Curtis Johnson last year began the athletic overhaul process. Johnson led the Green Wave to its second 3-9 record in a row, sealing his fate in the 2015 season.

Athletic Director Troy Dannen announced Willie Fritz as the new head coach on Dec. 11, 2015. Fritz aims to expand recruiting beyond Louisiana, limiting defense, focusing on offense and running the ball. He seeks to bring his distinctive style to the Wave, which led to the creation of the hybrid triple option attack from both the shotgun and the pistol.

Improving on Johnson’s final record of 3-9, Fritz ended the 2016 season with a 4-8 record. While everyone had hoped for more, it is still a step in the right direction. Fritz re-established the defense by focusing on fundamentals and improving the team 45 ranks.

Being a powerhouse team takes more than winning games; it takes refining a culture and emphasizing player development. Fritz is working internally to resolve issues that prevent them from winning.

“Recently, we’ve been our own worst enemy,” Fritz said in an interview with Nola.com. “We have to get over ourselves first; then we can focus on our opponent. Right now we are beating ourselves.”

Though the record lacks massive improvements, Fritz has worked toward bonding the team as one unit rather than as individuals. The journey toward success is underway, one step at a time.

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