GSU gives Fritz competitive salary

Willie Fritz’s salary at GSU.

Jackie Gutknecht

The new Georgia Southern University head football coach Willie Fritz will make $42,000 more per year than former head coach Jeff Monken, according to their Head Coach Agreement (HCA).

“[Fritz’s] base salary will be three-hundred thousand dollars,” Tom Kleinlein, athletic director, said.

Kleinlein said that GSU wanted to pay the new coach at a middle rate for the Sun Belt Conference.

“To sit down and say we’re going to start paying people at the upper level of the Sun Belt, we didn’t think that was right. We didn’t want to pay people at the lowest level of the Sun Belt money, so we came up with a competitive salary, which is still being worked out,” Kleinlein said.

In contrast, Monken was receiving a salary of $258,000 per year, according to his 2013-2014 HCA. His contract also included a salary guarantee from the GSU Athletic Foundation, which guaranteed his salary for three years, had he been terminated from his position.

There are provisions in Fritz’s contract that Kleinlein hopes will help create stability in the program.

“We put some provisions in the contract this time that if the head coach comes in and wins seven games and he keeps his APR (Academic Progress Rate) above nine-hundred forty, it automatically rolls over,” Kleinlein said. “So if he comes in and produces both wins and losses and academically like he’s supposed to, we keep him on as our coach.”

Many in the GSU community, including Brooks Keel, GSU president, were sad to see Monken leave but recognized the larger opportunities that Army held for him.

“We did everything we possibly could to keep him here. But from his position, when you look at what the opportunities were for him at Army, and it’s not just a money issue; it wasn’t about the money,” Keel said. “Obviously Army was able to provide him with many, many more resources than we can, and it was a life-changing opportunity for him and his family to make that move.”

Keel said that Monken sees coaching at the Army academy as a chance for him to serve his country in a different way and the chance to do that was too important for Monken to pass up.