Fritz signs autographs and smiles

Photo: Brandon Warnock

Katie Tolbert

Head Football Coach Willie Fritz took time out of his new, busy schedule to sign autographs and take pictures with students and members of the community yesterday at the University Store.

“People in this community are just unbelievably passionate about the Eagles and Georgia Southern University. It is really refreshing. I’ve been a few different places, not every place has this affection for the university and where they’re at,” Fritz said.

Right in the middle of the University Store, students and community members were anxiously waiting to get their photo with the new head coach, and most people even bought items for him to sign right before they got in line. But, of course, some people went for the classic autograph on the back of the shirt he or she was wearing.

“I met him at Loco’s for the meet and greet, and he was very personable. He went table to table; he didn’t just wait for people to approach him. I thought it was good he was trying to make it a point to actually meet the people here,” Georgia Southern University graduate Katie Rushing said.

Fritz is still new to the town of Statesboro and GSU, but that is not stopping him from venturing out to really make his face known and to make sure his newfound reputation is nothing but a positive one.

“I try to do as much with the community as I can, it gets a little more difficult once you get into the season to get out and do things. Right now I’m by myself; my family is not here. So, I have a lot more time than normal. I enjoy doing this, getting out and getting a chance to meet people,” Fritz said.

Both students and local residents had nothing but great things to say about the new head coach, and are all eager to see what is in store for the upcoming season in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

“I think it shows that they picked the right person for the job. I think he has brought in a great staff. We had the meeting with him the other night and went to Loco’s afterwards,” Statesboro local Ricky Nessmith said. “We got a chance to meet his coaches one on one with the community. It’s the first time I’ve seen that and I have been following this program since Erk was here. I think he is going to do a great job here.”

“This is awesome that he is coming out, signing autographs and getting pictures taken with people. It shows that he really cares about the community and the university as a whole,” sophomore sports management major Terrance Williams said. “It’s a good image to have as a new head coach. I think it was a smart move for the players; it gives the program and players an opportunity to rebuild.”

With so many new changes happening at GSU, the Eagle community is staying loyal to their football program and is supporting the new head coach each and every chance they get.

“He is just redefining and reinventing Georgia Southern football,” LaRodrick Harris, sophomore public relations major, said. “We need that change; we are getting a new stadium, a new conference, and now a new coach.”