New Year, New TU

New AD, head coach, QB, receivers to makeover look of Tulane Football

    Tulane’s new football coach Willie Fritz had to hit the ground running this week as the race toward national Signing Day picked up again when college football recruiting season resumed Jan. 13. Since the end of the 2015 season, Tulane has replaced its head coach and lost starting quarterback and top two wide receivers. While it appears from the outside that the Green Wave football program is imploding, there is calm, even excitement, on campus.

    Fritz’s penchant for offense is running a triple-option, spread or combination of the two on offense. His quarterbacks at Georgia Southern had just 137 passing attempts in 2015 and 155 in 2014. Meanwhile, his team ran the ball 728 times last season and 642 times in 2014.
With fear of not fitting into Fritz’s scheme, incoming junior quarterback Tanner Lee and receiver Teddy Veal and fifth-year senior Devon Breaux announced they will not play for Tulane in 2016. 

    Lee, a redshirt sophomore who prepped at Jesuit and is more suited to run a pro-style offense, was granted a release from his scholarship. He posted 19 games as a starter for the Green Wave over the past two years, passing for 23 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, and 3,601 yards, with 328 completions on 612 attempts, a 53.6 completion percentage.

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    Lee has not announced his transfer school. If he stays at the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I), he will have to sit out the coming season and will have a year of eligibility left. If he drops to a Football Championship Subdivision (Division II and lower) he can play immediately and will have two seasons of eligibility.

    Veal, a West Jeff alum, led the Green Wave in receptions the past two seasons. He had 48 receptions for 644 yards and five touchdowns in 2015 and 40 receptions in 2014.

    He is expected to transfer to Southern Miss, where he will have to sit out the 2016 season, but will have two years of eligibility for the Golden Eagles. 

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    Breaux had 25 receptions for 431 yards and three touchdowns in 2015, but is ending his football career to focus on Tulane track and field, where he has won the long jump at the 2015 American Athletic Conference outdoor track and field championships, competed in three consecutive NCAA regionals. Last year, he participated in the NCAA championships where he was named honorable mention All-America.

    With the loss of so much production from leading skill players one would expect Uptown to be freaking out about the turnover of talent. However there is relative silence. The wait and see attitude surrounding the program is due to years of tempered expectations for the program. But there is a sliver of calm confidence, too.  

    New Athletic Director Troy Dannen made Fritz his first major hire. 

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    “At this time in our program’s history, we need somebody who has been around a winning culture and who knows how to build a program,” Dannen said. “He’s built it three times at places where they weren’t winning, and he’s built it quickly. I’m not expecting him to come in and win nine games, but he is not a let’s do the old slow build and see what happens.

    “This is not a learn-to-be-a-head-coach-on-the-job type of situation, and I didn’t look for those people.”

    In Fritz, they are getting an established head coach who has had success throughout his career. He was 17-7 at Georgia Southern in the school’s first two seasons playing at the FBS level. Prior to that, he took Sam Houston State to back-to-back FCS championship games, won more games than any other coach in Central Missouri’s 118-year history, and won two junior-college national championships at Blinn College

    “I really feel comfortable in saying we can build this into a consistent winner and conference champion, and I feel that we are going to do that sooner than later,” he said when announced as the Green Wave’s 40th head ball coach in 121 years. “Tulane is a sleeping giant. I am confident that my staff and I can bring back the glory days of Tulane football.”

Tulane Football 2016 Coaching Staff
Willie Fritz will be the Green Wave’s 40th head ball coach in the program’s 121 years. He brought most of his staff from Georgia Southern University, but still has a few positions to fill this spring.

Name                                       Position
Willie Fritz                             Head Coach
Alex Atkins            Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
Doug Ruse             Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Jack Curtis                 Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Kevin Peoples                     Defensive Line
Mike Mutz                             Linebackers
Jason Rollins                      Defensive Backs
TBA                                     Running Backs
TBA                                         Receivers
TBA                                         Tight Ends
Shane Meyer             Director of Football Operations
Wesley Fritz                     Director of Personnel
Matt Barrett                 Offensive Analyst/Recruiting
Johnny Jernigan         Defensive Analyst/Recruiting
Mike Krysl                Special Teams Analyst/Recruiting
Kyle Speer                      Strength & Conditioning
Lindy Wertz              Director of On-Campus Recruiting

 

 

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