Houston has hired Tulane coach Will Fritz to succeed Dana Holgorsen, the school announced on Sunday. Fritz and the Green Wave are fresh off a loss Saturday to SMU in AAC Championship Game, ending Tulane's bid for a second consecutive trip to a New Year's Six bowl game.
"I am truly humbled and honored to join the University of Houston family and to be a part of the strong athletics tradition at UH," Fritz said. "There is no ceiling for success, with the incredible fan support, excellent facilities, talented young men and a collective desire to compete for championships. We will build a program that all Coogs can be proud of and I cannot wait to see the results."
The 63-year-old Fritz owns a 208-116 career record as a head coach across stops at Central Missouri, Sam Houston, Georgia Southern and Tulane. Though his mark over the past eight years at Tulane is just 54-47 (31-34 AAC), the Green Wave have developed into a Group of Five power over the past two seasons. Fritz coached Tulane to a 12-2 record and Cotton Bowl victory over USC last season, and the Green Wave currently sit at 11-2 as they await their bowl game destination on Sunday.
Tulane had not been to consecutive bowls since 1979 and 1980 prior to Fritz's arrival, and the program is on the cusp of making its fifth bowl game under his direction.
"No one in the country has been better at leading and developing student-athletes than Willie Fritz," Houston athletic director Chris Pezman said. "Over his more than three-decades of head coaching experience, he has guided several football programs to historic success. We're excited to welcome Willie, his wife, Susan, and their entire family, to Cougar Nation and look forward to putting our full support behind Coach Fritz as we look to take the next steps in the Big 12 Conference."
Houstonafter the Cougars struggled to a 4-8 mark in their first season as members of the Big 12. Holgorsen led Houston to a 12-2 mark in 2021. That success could not be sustained, however, and was jettisoned with a 31-28 mark across five seasons on the job.
Fritz has earned AAC Coach of the Year honors each of the past two seasons and earned Boddy Dodd Coach of the Year last season as Tulane finished at No. 9 in the AP Top 25 poll for its first top-10 ranking to finish a season since 1998.