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Club Sports: The Lifestyle of Jeremy Fritz

By Justin Siewierski; Editor-in-Chief
On November 17, 2016

Club Sports: The Lifestyle of Jeremy Fritz 

Justin Siewierski

Editor-In-Chief

js2010@plymouth.edu 

The Duke Lacrosse helmet sitting on the back windowsill catches your attention first. Above

the back desk there are two banners pushed around by a fan: one orange and black, for the Cincinnati Bengals, the other blue and white from the University of Kentucky. A diploma from Xavier sits above a bench made of plywood and old skis. The monitor on the desk displays a playoff floor hockey bracket. On speakerphone, an angry intramural athlete pleads his case to a calm voice in the background.

Welcome to the world of Jeremy Fritz.

Fritz is in his first year on staff at Plymouth State University. His official title is the Assistant Director of the Recreation Programs, but he manages and runs both the club and intramural programs on campus. With 13 club sports and 16 intramurals, Fritz is entering a position he knows all too well.

“I started playing club lacrosse my freshman year at the University of Kentucky,” said Fritz. “One of the guys on the team helped me moved in. He saw my stick and asked me to play, and from there I’ve always been a part of club sports.”

After finishing his undergraduate degree at UK, Fritz obtained his master’s degree in Education in Sports Administration at Xavier in Cincinnati. While at Xavier, Jeremy had an internship working both with the intramural sports teams and with the event staff for the Xavier varsity baseball team.

“Honestly, everyone was friendlier in intramurals. At the varsity level, it’s so cutthroat. That wasn’t the environment I was looking to live around.”

Jeremy applied at Duke and got the job working with club sports. Starting part time, he worked his way into heading the recreation program there. From there, Fritz was also able to coach the men’s club lacrosse team to their first playoff appearance in 15 years.

“At the time, we had 37 club sports teams, and roughly 1,400 intramural athletes. The only student organization bigger was Greek life.”

Several years later, he found himself sitting at a desk inside his HUB office, 14 hours away from his birthplace in northern Kentucky.

“My wife and I met in the mountains of Colorado, and we wanted to get back to what meant the most to us.”

Once at Plymouth, Jeremy felt as though this was his new home.

“Jeremy has been a great asset to Rec Programs,” said Andrew Guay, Director of Recreation Programs at PSU. “He came to us with a lot of great Sport Club experience and has been able to take our programs to new heights with his many great ideas and passion for working with students.”

Jeremy is currently trying to push for two more clubs during next semester’s allocations, with possibly a third in bubble soccer on the way. His idea is that as long as students make an effort to fundraise, clubs can get started as soon as a student thinks it should be in place.

“It usually comes down to numbers, but if one club dies out, another usually comes up. Students should have a club they take pride in, and I think that being a part of any club on campus gives you unbelievable experience.”

Al though Jeremy’s push for adding new clubs has gotten students involved, Guay seems to think that his contributions ha ve been more progressive in something outside the club sports.

“His signature program has been his work on the Nick Harrington Memorial Golf Tournament,” Guay said. “Nick passed away over the summer after a long battle with cancer and we wanted to work to rename our Intramural Golf Tournament in his honor. Jeremy has taken the program hands on and has worked tirelessly to turn it into what should be an incredible event.”

Many students on campus work for intramurals, refereeing games, supervising events, and coordinating the upcoming sports for each semester. Some were uneasy about the switch from last year’s intramural director to Fritz.

“I was nervous that somebody new would want to change our entire program but Jeremy came in and knew what we were doing last year,” said Meagan Bircher, Junior Supervisor for intramural sports. He sat us all down and agreed not to fix the program if it wasn’t broken. Instead, we’ve added things for a smooth tran- sition from one sport to the next.”

If you ever want to approach Jeremy, it won’t be hard. With a short, stalky build and his gray recreation sweatshirt, Jeremy is in his HUB courtroom office from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekday. He’s usually talking to kids on the court, consulting sports clubs, or calming down the latest angry intramural athlete. He does it all with a giant smile on his face, too. 

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