JOPLIN — Former Northeastern Oklahoma A&M assistant coach Kelby Fritz has been promoted to women’s head assistant at Missouri Southern.
Fritz served as the Lions junior varsity head coach as well as the second assistant coach on the floor.
The Vinita native now takes the role of head assistant coach with a huge emphasis on recruiting student-athletes toward becoming part of the pride.
"She is a young lady who really loves the game of basketball with a work ethic is unbelievable and I just felt really comfortable with moving her up to that position,” said Lions’ head coach Ronnie Ressel.
“Fritz has great knowledge of the MIAA, knows what it takes to win in this league and understands the type of kids that we will need to recruit to be successful for future years," Ressel said. Prior to joining Missouri Southern, Fritz assisted veteran NEO coach Jim Rowland. The Lady Norse won the NJCAA Division I Region 2 and District titles.
While at NEO, Fritz was responsible for game preparation, scouting, game day duties, recruiting, strength and conditioning and all aspects of team travel for the Lady Norse.
She played for the Lions from 2009 to 2012 before completing her college career at Rogers State University, where she shot 42 percent from the 3-point range and 85 percent at the free-throw line, while finishing out at 41 percent from the field as a whole.
Fritz earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management with an emphasis in psychology in May 2013 from Rogers State University and then continued her education toward a Master's of Arts in Teachers Education at Hastings College in May 2016, where she was the graduate assistant coach.
With Fritz moving up, the Lions program is in the process of filling the other assistant role and plans to make a decision in the near future. "We have it narrowed down and hoping to have somebody on board by the beginning of June," Ressel said.