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Football coach recognized as coach on rise
Georgia Southern recap
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Georgia Southern head coach Willie Fritz, left, keeps the pressure on as some of his young players, such as freshman defensive lineman Darrius Sapp, get playing time in the second half against Savannah State last season at Paulson Stadium.

STATESBORO — Georgia Southern head football coach Willie Fritz was named to Athlon Sports’ list of 15 college-football coaches on the rise for 2015 after leading the Eagles to a Sun Belt Conference championship in their first year in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The article complimented Fritz on not only a successful first season at the helm of the program, but also for leading the Eagles to a 9-3 overall record and an 8-0 Sun Belt mark in their first season since transitioning from the Football Championship Subdivision.

Fritz was joined on the list by fellow Sun Belt coaches Mark Hudspeth (Louisiana-Lafayette) and Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State) and 2015 opponent P.J. Fleck of Western Michigan.

Drown fills out women’s hoops staff

STATESBORO — Georgia Southern head women’s basketball coach Kip Drown recently announced the completion of his coaching staff.

Drown hired two new assistant coaches and kept Lisa Jackson from the previous staff. Joining Jackson on the staff are former Georgia Tech captain and Toledo assistant coach Alex Stewart and Georgia College assistant coach Toby Wagoner.

“I feel really good about them, and I like them as people. I feel like we have good chemistry,” Drown said. “Recruiting-wise, I feel that we are very well connected in Georgia, and I told them in our staff meeting that there should not be a kid that leaves here that could play here that we are not at least in on. We might not get them, but we should know about them.”

Jackson, a native of Taylors, South Carolina, and a 2007 graduate of Erskine, enters her fourth year at Georgia Southern after spending the previous three working with the perimeter players on the court and serving as the recruiting coordinator for previous head coach Chris Vozab. Jackson came to Statesboro after two seasons at Presbyterian College.

“She has done just a fabulous job of helping me make the adjustment and smooth a lot of things out for us,” Drown said. “She had the recruiting connections to keep things moving forward for 2016s and 2017s. She also brings a lot of knowledge about the program and the Sun Belt and has helped make my transition a lot easier.”

Wagoner joined the Eagles after five seasons as an assistant coach at Georgia College and spent the 2009-10 season as a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball team. He helped the Bobcats to a Peach Belt Conference championship game appearance and a 16-13 record in 2014-15 and a tournament championship in 2010-11.

“He has great contacts with the high schools in the state of Georgia. Georgia College’s team camp has grown to where it is probably the largest team camp in the state. He was dealing with hundreds of high-school coaches across the state and is very connected there,” Drown said. “He brings some things defensively that are close to what I believe, and I think we will be able to learn from his system and the system that I have used and coordinate those two together.”

Stewart came to Statesboro after three seasons as an assistant coach at Toledo. She also spent one season at Jacksonville as an assistant coach after three seasons on the support staff at her alma mater, Georgia Tech. Stewart played professionally in Iceland for one season after graduating and before taking an assistant coaching job at Agnes Scott College in 2005. In 2007, she was elevated to head coach of the Scotties before assuming the assistant director of operations position at Georgia Tech.

“She has played at a very high level and coached at a high level in Division I. Alex grew up in Atlanta, played here in Georgia and has club connections with a lot of these teams,” Drown said. “Throughout this process, one of the things I was trying to keep in consideration when putting a staff together was to keep Georgia as the focus of our recruiting.”

Seven Eagles to play in summer leagues

STATESBORO — Seven members of the Georgia Southern baseball team will spend this summer competing in collegiate-baseball leagues across the country.

These Eagles will continue to work on their game by facing collegiate competition during the summer before returning to campus for the start of fall practice.

Georgia Southern will be represented in seven different leagues including the New England Collegiate Baseball League, Northwoods League and Coastal Plains League.

The Eagles set to play in summer leagues are:

• Cal Baker — Quakertown (Pennsylvania) Blazers, Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League

• CJ Brazil — Aldie (Virginia) Senators, Valley League

• Ryan Cleveland — Wisconsin Rapids (Wisconsin) Rafters, Northwoods League

• Ryan Frederick — New Bedford (Massachusetts) Baysox, New England Collegiate Baseball League

• Adam Kelly — Atlanta Crackers, Sunbelt League

• Anthony Paesano — Leesburg Lightning, Florida Collegiate League

• Kent Rollins — Florence (South Carolina) Red Wolves, Coastal Plains League

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