Willie Fritz should shun Kansas, keep building at Tulane

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Willie Fritz at Army '19
(Photo: Parker Waters)

If the University of Kansas calls, Willie Fritz should politely say, no thank you.

Rumors of Fritz being on the short list at Kansas are understandable.

His high school is a 36 minute drive from Lawrence, Kansas.

Fritz served as defensive coordinator at Coffeyville Community College, three hours south of the University of Kansas.

He also served as the head coach at Central Missouri.

He knows the turf, and he is proving again at Tulane, that he is a program builder.

Fritz also knows that deep down, no matter how good he is at his job, winning at Kansas is extremely difficult.

Is there is a worse Power 5 football head coaching job in the country?

The record of the last four full-time head coaches at Kansas is abysmal.

Turner Gill won 5 and lost 19.

Charlie Weis, self-proclaimed offensive guru, won 5 and lost 22.

David Beaty was 6-42.

And in two seasons, Les Miles went just 3-18.

So, the total for the last four football head coaches at one of the nation’s best-known basketball school, not counting interims, is 19 wins and 101 losses.

At Tulane, football is king. So is Fritz.

In 2019, according to USA Today, Fritz earned $1.6 million.

That number certainly increased when Fritz signed a contract extension through the 2026 season.

The extension makes plenty of sense. A coach who is making two million dollars a season, is likely to think long and hard about making a jump to a Power 5 school that doesn’t have a good football resume’.

You can be a good football coach in Lawrence and still fail. Kansas has quality head coaches.

Mark Mangino actually left with a winning record, but just barely, at 50-48.

Glen Mason and Pepper Rodgers, two head coaches who had winning records at multiple schools, couldn’t do the same at Kansas.

At Tulane, the painstaking work of building a program is starting to pay dividends.

After five seasons, the Green Wave finally has some depth and more importantly a front line quarterback with a potential NFL future. Michael Pratt gives Tulane a chance to win a conference championship, something that hasn’t happened at the University of Kansas since 1968.

Fritz just turned 61. The last thing he needs is to trying climbing a mountain that is the college football version of Mount Everest.

After the 1957 season, Bear Bryant left Texas A&M to return to alma mater, the University of Alabama.

In the three previous seasons, the Crimson Tide had plummeted to a 4-24-2 mark.

So, why did Bryant, a Bama alum, take the job?

“Mama called,” said the Bear.

If Fritz’s home state calls, the reply should be polite but firm.

It goes something like this.

“Thanks, but no thanks.”

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Ed Daniels

Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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