Many would say that once you catch the coaching bug, you have it for life. That seems to be the case for our Coach of the Week, Rick Fritter, from Jacksonville, North Carolina. A two-sport White Oak high school letterman, excelling in football and track & field, Fritter decided to take his talents and athletic skills to the United States Air Force post graduation.
Immediately after joining the service, Fritter launched his coaching career, volunteering with numerous organizations and education groups while in Europe. However, one of his more notable efforts came while stationed at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he began a three year stint with the Little League’s Board of Directors. In 2002 he was elected president of board.
Furthering his success with the Little League organization, one of Coach Fritter’s youth baseball teams came within one game of representing Europe in the 2003 Little League World Series!
While his oversees involvement with Little League was a hit, Coach Fritter also found great joy in working with the Kaiserslautern Military Community Ambassadors program, where he restored the KMC baseball and softball initiatives. The program offers equal opportunity athletic outlets for youth without the burden of cost and registration.
His work with the program was so successful, that he boosted participation numbers to more than 175 kids, many of which, went on to play for their local school and all-star teams. Fritter’s vision and expansion of the KMC program even earned him the community’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2002.
But his power record doesn’t stop there. While working with KMC, Coach Fritter also expanded his reach, becoming well known for his superb coaching ability at Ramstein High School, where he was the head football coach from 1999 - 2003. In fact, during his last year with the team they won the European Division I High School Championship. That’s in addition to his 2001 youth flag football team, that was ranked #1 in the World by Team USA and FlagMag magazine. We should also mention that he coached a girls softball team to a league championship in his inagural season working them. That’s only slightly better than the two years it took him to lead the neighboring boys basketball team to the title.
In 2003, Coach Fritter gave his farwell to the Eruopean youth sports community and transfered to a base in Oklahoma, where he immediately found a new coaching home with the local youth baseball league. In 2006, after 24 years of service, he retired, and settled back in Jacksonville, North Carolina. You can be assured his coaching days weren’t over. Coach Fritter eventually rooted himself with the 16 and 17U Junior Olympic girls’ volleyball team as well as the White Oak High School girl's Lady Vikings volleyball team and Vikings baseball team. Both additions to his so far three year assistant coaching role with the Jacksonville-Onslow Football League.
And while Coach Fritter has most certainly proven himself in the international and local youth sports coaching world, he couldn’t do it without the support of his high school sweetheart Lorraine and their three children: Ryan 22, Jake, 18, and Nikki, 17. All of which, we’re sure, will attest to the longevity of a coaching bug.
Coach Fritter’s Keys for Success:
- Establish team and individual goals that are “specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable,
- Have a practice plan
- Get everyone involved - including the parents
- “Fun”damentals, work hard on the basics and fundamentals
- TEAM – Total Effect After Mechanics