Dennis Fryzel
Biographical details
Born(1942-02-21)February 21, 1942
Garfield Heights, Ohio
DiedJuly 6, 2009(2009-07-06) (aged 67)
Playing career
Head coaching record
Overall14–8 (college)

Dennis Fryzel (February 21, 1942 – July 6, 2009) was the last head football coach at the University of Tampa. He was the captain of the football team at Garfield Heights High School, where he lost his teeth to on-the-field injuries. He attended Denison University, where he played football and ran track. Although offered a tryout by the Boston Patriots, he was unable to bulk up enough to accept. He entered the coaching ranks with jobs at his former high school, Columbia University, and Williams College, before being offered the defensive coordinator position by Tampa head coach Earle Bruce. Fryzel took over the head coaching position when Bruce was offered a job at Iowa State University the next year. Fryzel coached for two years at the University of Tampa, before the program was disbanded. Ironically, Fryzel, who had become the fourth UT head coach in as many years, had given assurances on his hiring that he intended to serve out his three-year contract, and not use it to serve as a springboard to a higher-profile job.[1] Fryzel then took the position of special teams coordinator with the expansion NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After one year, he returned to the college ranks and served as defensive coordinator at Syracuse University and Air Force, before rejoining Bruce at Ohio State University. After being fired (along with Nick Saban and Steve Szabo) following the 1981 Liberty Bowl, Fryzel retired from coaching. Saban, who calls Fryzel a "great mentor" and included him on the sideline at Alabama games,[2] credits him with helping him to make up his mind to leave the Miami Dolphins and take the University of Alabama coaching job.[3][4] He died in July 2009 of renal cancer.[4]

Head coaching recordEdit


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Tampa Spartans (NCAA Division I independent) (1973–1974)
1973 Tampa 8–3
1974 Tampa 6–5
Tampa: 14–8
Total: 14–8
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.


  1. Blankenship, Ken. "The Fryzel Era Begins at Tampa". St. Petersburg Times. 14 Sep 1973
  2. Henderson, Joe. "Spartan coach leaves a lasting legacy". The Tampa Tribune. 7 Jul 2009
  3. Meacham, Andrew. "College football was in the blood of Dennis Fryzel, Utah's last coach". St. Petersburg Times. 12 Jul 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 May, Tim. "Football: Ex-Ohio State assistant dies at 67". The Columbus Dispatch. 7 Jul 2009
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