In 2019-20, Matt Fritsche enters his third season as the head coach of the Charger women's basketball program, and has already racked up awards, championships and a remarkable culture change in that short period of time.
In his first year leading the program, he guided the Chargers to the 2018 Great Midwest Athletic Conference championship, coming from the #5 seed to knock off three of the top four seeds in the tournament run. It was the third conference tournament title in school history, and resulted in a berth in the NCAA Division II Midwest Reginal, the fifth postseason bid in school history.
His 2017-18 team was the winner of the on-campus ESPY Award for Team of the Year.
In 2018-19, he saw three seniors - Makenna Ott, Allie Dewire and Brittany Gray - all score their 1,000th career point, making this just the second team in school history to have three 1,000-point scorers on it at the same time.
Through two seasons, he has a 36-24 overall record, and has a 4-2 postseason record.
Fritsche came to Hillsdale after a very successful four-year stint as an assistant at Creighton University in Nebraska. A member of the Big East Conference in women's basketball, Creighton advanced to the 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament in all four years Fritsche was there, including advancing to the Round of 32 in 2017.
"Coach Fritsche's background has prepared him very well for our position," said Hillsdale College Director of Athletics Don Brubacher. "His disposition, teaching style and systems of play fit Hillsdale College in every respect. We are excited to have him join the Charger family."
He was deeply involved in all aspects of a Creighton program, from opposition scouting, to practice plans, recruiting and player development. His ability to work with players is evidenced by two of his players with the Bluejays – Brianna Rollerson (2017) and Alexis Akin-Otiko (2015) being named Big East Most Improved Player.
"Matt is a great person and a really good communicator," Creighton head coach Jim Flanery stated in the team's 2016-17 media guide. "Matt is a coach who has been able to consistently get the most out of his players and teams. He is a good big-picture guy and he knows the importance of team dynamics and how to keep in mind what is best for the team as a whole."
The Bluejays had an overall record of 78-54 during Fritsche's four seasons with the program, and in 2016-17, Creighton improved by seven wins over 2015-16. Improvement in his teams and players has been a constant theme throughout Fritsche's coaching career, at all levels of basketball.
In 2012-13 Fritsche coached at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, and the team showed substantial improvement even in his single season with the program. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as the head varsity girls basketball coach at Bellevue West High School where the team ascended to the very top of the Nebraska prep ranks.
He led his team to three state championships (2007, 2009, 2010) and one state runner-up finish (2011) in his decade at West High School, and the team advanced to states six times in a seven-year span.
Between 2009 and 2011, Fritsche was named coach of the year by nine different organizations in the state of Nebraska, highlighted by being the 2010 Omaha World-Herald Coach of the Year and the 2009 Lincoln Journal Star Coach of the Year.
He's also served on the WBCA Nike All-American Committee, which gave him great insight and exposure to the top basketball talent across the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
On the AAU level, Fritsche coached the Omaha Crusaders Select team, while also organizing a host of fundraising activities and events for his teams throughout his career.
Fritsche is a 1999 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where he received a bachelor of arts in education. He completed his master's work at Doane College in Nebraska, earning a master of education in educational leadership. Fritsche and his wife Colleen have two children, Kellen and Kinley.