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Steve Fritz, a fixture in St. Thomas athletics for 52 years, announces retirement

Fritz will step down at the end of the current school year

September 11, 2018 - 11:48 am

Steve Fritz said he knew the time was coming.

On Tuesday, the long-time coach and athletic director at the University of St. Thomas announced that he'll retire at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

The retirement comes nearly 52 years after the native of Blooming Prairie, Minn. first came to the campus in St. Paul as a student-athlete.

"It's gone by fast, but it's been a wonderful place to be," said Fritz

After a stellar playing career for the Tommie basketball team, he joined the coaching staff, rose to the head coaching job, and became athletic director.

"There comes a time," said Fritz. "I gave up basketball in 2011 and I knew that was the time to do that. It's time to spend more time my family, my wife and my grand kids."

Fritz started his 31-year career as St. Thomas head coach in 1980, capping it off by guiding the Tommies to the 2011 NCAA Division III national title.

He was promoted to the AD post in 1992. Fritz helped bring St. Thomas football to WCCO radio, which has been airing Tommie games since the 2010 playoffs.

"It's time for new visions here, it's time for me to do new things in life," said Fritz."It will always be tough to leave a place like St. Thomas, but you also have associations that will go on forever, too." 

The name Steve Fritz will not leave campus. The school named the court at Schoenecker Arena after him.