Fritz to coach Riley County basketballK-State Sports
|K-State assistant track and
field coach Steve Fritz competed for the Wildcats from 1988 to 1990 in
both track and field and basketball and served as an assistant coached at
his alma mater for track and field for 21 years. (Photo: K-State Sports
Kansas State University
assistant track and field coach Steve Fritz is headed to the high school ranks
as he was announced recently as the new boys head basketball coach at Riley
County High School. Fritz is replacing longtime Riley County coach Kelly Hammel,
who retired in March after 348 wins in 26 seasons there.
two-sport star at K-State has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater for
track and field for 21 years and has coached 13 student-athletes to a total of
26 conference championships in throwing events. His most recent success was
freshman Sara Savatovic in the hammer throw at this season’s Big 12 Outdoor
Championships in Waco, Texas. Savatovic won the competition with a throw of
64.11 meters (210-04) in setting a new Serbian national record.
said he is excited about the new challenge of coaching boys high school
basketball and to get back into another sport he loves while also knowing he is
leaving behind a long history at K-State.
“I am really excited. The new
challenges, getting back into basketball and getting to be around my family
more, those are all exciting things,” Fritz said. “Also, there is a degree of
sadness because I have pretty much spent my entire adult life at K-State. Not
being around the kids on the team that are returning next year and not being at
the university every day, those are sad things. But, I’m excited and I think
it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Fritz competed for the Wildcats from 1988
to 1990 in both track and field and basketball. He was a two-time All-American
in the decathlon with his best finish coming in 1990 in fourth place with 7,729
points. He holds the Big Eight Conference record with 7,924 points in the
decathlon, winning the championship in 1989 and 1990.
As a member of Team
USA at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Fritz finished in fourth place in the
decathlon with his total of 8,644 points. He won the 1997 USA Championship in
the decathlon with a score of 8,604 points.
Cliff Rovelto, K-State's
director of track and field and cross country, said Fritz will be missed on the
staff and he has been an important part of not only K-State track but also
K-State athletics for quite some time.
“Steve’s first year at K-State as
an athlete was my first year as an assistant coach. Through 1997, Steve trained
and competed at the highest levels of college and then professionally,” Rovelto
said. “In this day and age it is rare that you find three coaches who have
worked together for 20-plus years as Steve, coach Michael Smith and myself have.
It has been a special run and we wish Steve all the best in the next chapter of
his professional life. I know he is excited about getting back into basketball.
We appreciate his contributions to our program over the past 20-plus years as an
athlete and a coach in our program.”