Statesboro, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Georgia Southern will hire Sam Houston State football coach Willie Fritz to take the storied FCS program to the FBS level, according to news reports Thursday.
FootballScoop.com and WJCL News in Savannah said the 53-year-old Fritz will take over the Eagles program which will join the Sun Belt Conference later this year.
Georgia Southern has called a news conference for Friday inside Bishop Field House at Allen E. Paulson Stadium to introduce its new coach.
The job opened after Jeff Monken was named head coach at Army on Dec. 24. He spent the last four seasons guiding the Eagles, a six-time FCS national champion.
Fritz had been the head coach at Sam Houston State since 2010. After going 6-5 in his debut season, he led the Bearkats to back-to-back FCS national runner- up finishes as well as Southland Conference championships in 2011 and '12.
Sam Houston State made the FCS playoffs again this past season. Fritz was 40-15 in four seasons with the Bearkats.
A defensive back at Pittsburgh State from 1978 to '81, Fritz also was the head coach at Blinn College, where he won two national junior college championships, and Division II Central Missouri. He has a 176-67-1 record across the three levels of coaching.
Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper, Wofford head coach Mike Ayers and Auburn running back coach Tim Horton reportedly were the other finalists for the Georgia Southern position.