by Alan Babbitt
Stu Fritz, Hope College's baseball coach, began his year-long term as president of American Baseball Coaches Association last week in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fritz has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association Board of Directors the past four years as a vice-president. He was installed as president at a ceremony during the annual American Baseball Coaches Association Convention.
Founded in 1945, the American Baseball Coaches Association is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its nearly 13,000 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth.
Photo of Stu Fritz, right, handing a ceremonial ABCA presidential gavel to outgoing ABCA president John Kolasinski by Carol Fritz
This spring, Fritz will coach his 27th baseball season with the Flying Dutchmen.
Since 1994, Fritz has led Hope to a 578-435-2 record on the diamond, including a 411-225 mark in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play. He has guided the Flying Dutchmen to nine MIAA titles and four NCAA Division III Tourament appearances.
Fritz has helped grow the game of baseball at several levels in the United States and abroad.
In addition to supporting the ABCA, Fritz has chaired the NCAA Championships national committee.
Later this month, Fritz will make his second trip to Switzerland to host training sessions for baseball coaches there.
The 2007 Hope team played in the 26th annual "Prague Baseball Week" tournament in the Czech Republic. In the summer of 2001 he coached a U.S. youth all-star team in Australia. From 1996 to 1998, he coached a youth team through the Roberto Clemente All-Stars program in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the summer.
Prior to coming to Hope, Fritz taught in the Humboldt, Iowa, school system. He was an elementary physical education teacher, the high school baseball coach and offensive coordinator for the high school football team. He led the Humboldt High School baseball team to a 72-30 record over four seasons, including a trip to the state semifinals in 1990.
Fritz is a 1988 graduate of Wartburg College where he lettered in baseball and football.