EUGENE "CY" FRITZ

Eugene Cy Fritz gave a lifetime of service to Millersville University and was one of the most successful coaches in their history.  While he coached athletes, what he really did was develop people.  Many of his athletes have said that they are the person they are now as a result of Cy Fritz and his programs.  It is only fitting that a Foundation that was created to support the MU cross country and track & field programs be named after such a legendary and iconic coach.

Coach Cy Fritz (right) and Assistant Coach Jeff Bradley (center) accepting the NCAA DII National Championship cross country trophy from MU President Joseph Caputo in 1981

Cy attended Governor Mifflin High School in Shillington, PA, where he was a multi-sport athlete. He graduated from East Stroudsburg State College in 1960 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in physical education.  He played football there for three years and participated in track for one year. Fritz earned a master's degree from West Chester University in 1967.  Cy started his coaching career at Schuylkill Valley High School from 1960-1968 coaching wrestling and track. He then moved to Millersville University where he was head cross country coach from 1969-1985.

Coach Fritz's contributions to Millersville University athletics during his distinguished career are extensive and varied.  As men's cross country head coach from 1969 to 1985, he set a standard of excellence that likely will never be equaled. He coached the 'Ville harriers to an outstanding 126-16-1 dual record (.885) and guided the Marauders to IC4A titles in 1978 and 1981, and the PSAC championship in 1979. The 1981 season culminated in Millersville's first NCAA Division II National Championship, when the Marauders edged conference rival Edinboro to claim the title at Lowell, Mass. MU also won the NCAA DII East Regional championship in 1984.  Eight Marauders earned All-American honors during Fritz's cross country tenure and two captured IC4A individual titles.  He was selected as the NCAA DII National Coach of the Year in 1981 and received top regional coach honors in 1984.

Coach Cy Fritz (dark jacket, center) and Assistant Coach Jeff Bradley (dark jacket, right) with their cross country runners after winning the NCAA DII National Cross Country Championship in 1981.
FRONT ROW (kneeling, left to right): Erik Steudel, Don Williams, Greg Cauller, Bill King
SECOND ROW (standing): Gary Owens, Andy Calsmer, Coach Cy Fritz, Paul Bowman, Assistant Coach Jeff Bradley

In track and field, he guided the Marauders for five years (1970-74) and led the team to another superb dual meet record: 41-3 (.932), among the finest winning percentage of any sport in school athletics history. In his first campaign (1970), he coached the Marauders to the PSAC championship. During his tenure, five Millersville athletes earned All-American status. He stayed with the program as an assistant coach from 1975 to 1982. In 1994, Fritz served as Head Field Referee for the NCAA DII National Championships.

From 1968 until his retirement in 1997, Fritz served as a member of the Department of Health and Physical Education (now Wellness and Sports Sciences) faculty and was the University's Director of Intramurals and Recreation.  In 1985, Fritz was named Associate Director of men's athletics and was responsible for management of University athletic facilities, scheduling assistance, and home event coordination during his 12 year tenure. For many years, he supervised Millersville's popular All-Comer summer track meets.

Cy Fritz and family at the PA Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

 

Cy Fritz received many honors after he retired.  In 2001, he was inducted into the Millersville Athletics Hall of Fame.  On October 15, 2005, Fritz received the Jim Barniak Alumni Athletic Achievement Award from East Stroudsburg for post-graduate excellence.  The Millersville High School Track & Field meet was renamed the Cy Fritz Invitational on April 25, 2014.  In January 2016, the Cy Fritz Foundation was created to enhance and promote personal development and competitive opportunities for athletes participating in Cross Country and Track & Field at Millersville University.  On May 7, 2016, Cy was inducted into the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.  See the video at the bottom of this page for his acceptance speech.

Mary and Cy Fritz unveil the plaque for the first time

 

On October 22, 2016, a plaque was unveiled that honors Cy Fritz.  This bronze plaque is at Biemesderfer Stadium and is a permanent reminder of Cy’s accomplishments.  It is located beneath the grandstands next to the track & field record boards.  During the unveiling ceremony, several speakers expressed their appreciation for Cy.  Speakers included MU President Dr. John Anderson, MU Director of Athletics Miles Gallagher, and former athletes Jeff Bradley, Tom Ecker, Greg Cauller, and Bob Vasile.  In between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the Homecoming football game that day, Cy was recognized in front of the crowd for his accomplishments and his service to Millersville University.

The permanent bronze plaque that honors Cy Fritz.  Click on the plaque to enlarge it.

 

Currently, Cy is a member of the Lancaster Rotary South Club, the Lancaster Beagle Club, and he annually volunteers as a meet official at the Millersville Metrics and the Cy Fritz Track & Field Open. He also is a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. 


Click the video below to view Cy's speech at the PA Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony