Steve Fritz to Retire as AD at St. Thomas

Steve Fritz Photo: University of St. Thomas
Steve Fritz

September 11, 2018 02:26 PM

Steve Fritz still enjoys coming to work each morning.

But with his 70th birthday approaching, the St. Thomas athletic director, and former longtime Tommies men's basketball coach, said he doesn't always have the same energy he used to.


Which is why he has announced plans to retire in the spring of next year.

The decision will end a run that saw him affiliated with the school the past 52 years, beginning as a basketball player for the Tommies in 1967.

"I've enjoyed everything I've had the chance to do here," Fritz said Tuesday. "I had a great time as a player. I still get together with those guys. I've had great jobs in administration here. Working in admissions and financial aid, you realize how hard people work to get students to come here.

"I've loved having the chance to be athletic director the past 25-plus years. And I still miss coaching basketball. Not every part of it. But there is a lot I miss."

After serving as an assistant coach for nine years, Smith took over as head men's basketball coach at St. Thomas in 1980. He became athletics director there in the summer of 1992.

He stepped down as basketball coach after leading St. Thomas to the 2010-11 Division III national title to concentrate full-time on his duties as athletic director.

Fritz was selected MIAC coach of the year 14 times during his tenure as men's basketball coach and his teams won 16 conference titles.

He said the decision to retire has been a few years in the making.

"Having already been through this with basketball, I'm ready," Fritz said. "You just want to be sure it's the right time. Because these are great jobs. And once you make this decision, you can't go back.

"But I really feel like this is the right time. I turn 70 next April and I don't always have quite the same energy anymore. I feel like things are in great hands here when it comes to our coaches and facilities. So it's the right time to step away."



Frank Rajkowski

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