AP source: Tulane taps Willie Fritz as next football coach

NEW ORLEANS -- Georgia Southern's Willie Fritz has reached an agreement to become Tulane's next football coach, a person briefed on the decision said Friday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an announcement won't be made until the contract is signed. The announcement is expected by Saturday.

Fritz will succeed Curtis Johnson, who was fired Nov. 28 after his second straight 3-9 season. He will be the first significant hire by Troy Dannen, who became athletic director last week after holding the same post for nearly eight years at Northern Iowa.

The 55-year-old Fritz has spent the past two seasons at Georgia Southern, posting 9-3 regular-season records each year. He won the Sun Belt Conference title in 2014 and was the league's coach of the year.

Fritz joined Georgia Southern after four seasons at Sam Houston State, where he went 40-15 in regular-season games. He coached the Bearkats to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in three straight seasons, advancing to the 2011 and 2012 championship games.

Fritz has spent the bulk of his head coaching career at Division II Central Missouri, where he went 97-47 from 1997-2009.

Now he inherits a Tulane program that has a 2-year-old, on-campus stadium and only two bowl appearances since 2002 -- the Hawaii Bowl (2002) and New Orleans Bowl (2013). The 2002 game was Tulane's last bowl victory, over Hawaii.