Longtime Apple Valley head coach and a New Mexico State assistant join Miller’s staff
The Minnesota, Crookston football team announced the additions of Mike Fritze and Robby Case to the football coaching staff Wednesday afternoon. Fritze, a long-time Minnesota high school coach who spent the last 18 seasons as the head coach at Apple Valley High School, will serve as the team’s defensive coordinator and coach the defensive line. Case is coming to the Golden Eagles after obtaining a great deal of experience at the NCAA Division I level, last serving as the assistant offensive line coach at New Mexico State University in 2012. Case will coach the fullbacks and tight ends for the Golden Eagles.
“First of all I am very thrilled by the fact that we have been able to hire both Mike and Robby,” said head coach Paul Miller. “To me it is exciting because I am already observing things as they work and communicate with guys on our football team. They are both really going to bring a lot to the table. They are both experienced football coaches and have great backgrounds.”
Fritze had coached for a combined 103 consecutive seasons in three sports (football, boys basketball and golf) prior to his arrival at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. He spent the last 18 seasons as the head football coach at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minn. Fritze succeeded current UMC head coach Paul Miller as the head coach at Apple Valley in 1995. Fritze first arrived at Apple Valley High School in 1981 after five years coaching high school in Wisconsin. He served as an assistant for Coach Miller's 1986 and 1993 state championship teams before taking over as head coach. Coach Miller came back to serve as Fritze's offensive coordinator in 2008.
In 2012, Fritze helped lead Apple Valley to an 8-3 record and their first state playoff berth since 1993 when they won the state championship under Coach Miller.
Fritze was head boys basketball coach for six seasons, leading the Eagles to the state tournament twice.
Fritze will spend time living in both Crookston and in the Twin Cities with his wife Kris.
“Mike and I have worked together before,” said Miller. “I was fortunate enough to coach with Mike for quite a few years. I have a hard time counting the number of years it actually was. He is a great football coach. He works well with people and communicates well with coaches. I feel great that he is going to be working with our defense.”
Case has a plethora of experience coaching a wide variety of positions on the offensive side of the ball at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels. Prior to his one season at New Mexico State, he served as an offensive assistant at the University of California, Davis for a season. While with the team, Case worked with the offensive line and assisted coach Brad Bedell. Prior to UC Davis, Case worked for Sacramento State University, where he worked primarily with the wide receivers and tight ends. He helped mentor All-Big Sky selection Brandyn Reed and honorable mention receivers Dylan Lane and John Hendershott.
Prior to Sacramento State, Case served as the receivers coach at Chadron State in Chadron, Neb. That season, the Eagles posted an 11-2 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Chadron State's offense averaged 368.0 yards per game. Case helped coach Brandon Harrington to an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection.
Before being hired by Chadron State, Case was a student assistant at his alma mater Fresno State University, where he worked with the receivers. While with the Bulldogs, Case worked under offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who is currently the head coach at Colorado State University.
Originally from Sacramento, Calif., Case graduated from Fresno State University in 2007. He is set to be married to his fiancée Breanna Jarrard in July of 2013.
“Robby brings a lot to us with his background at Fresno State, Sacramento State and New Mexico State,” Miller said. “He will be working with the tights and fullbacks. He adds a lot with his exposure to a lot of different programs and ideas over her his coaching career and his ability to help with protections and the run game. Fundamentally he appears to be a great teacher of the game.”