Fritz Retires After 32 Years Leading Lake Forest

Tony Fritz, the Lake Forest coach since 1978, is retiring and will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant Seamus Gregory.

Fritz, who also served as the school’s soccer program until 1993, had a 351-428-44 record in 32 seasons leading the Foresters hockey team.

“I am very excited to move on to the next phase of my life,” Fritz said. “I look forward to spending more time with my wife [Pat], children [Curtis and Charlene], and grandchildren [Griffin, Owen and Lily]. I also plan on enjoying Forester hockey from the bleachers instead of behind the bench. I am confident Seamus will do a great job and I will continue to support him and the players in any way I can.”

Fritz led the Foresters into the American Collegiate Hockey Association in 1985, then to the NCHA in 1992. He was named that league’s coach of the year in 2004 after finishing the season ranked eighth in the nation.

Lake Forest moved to the MCHA in 2009.

“I want to thank Coach Fritz for all he has done for Lake Forest College,” athletic director Jackie Slaats said. “He has represented the institution extremely well and has had a positive influence on many people, including me, the players he has coached, as well as his colleagues in our department and in the sport of hockey. He will be missed tremendously.

“I also welcome Coach Gregory to our full-time staff and a more prominent role in the department this year. He has done a great deal for the hockey team as an assistant coach and I am confident he will continue to improve the program.”

Gregory was an assistant to Fritz for the last two seasons.

The school said it would conduct a national search for Fritz’s replacement after the 2010-11 season.