Saint Joseph's baseball's all-time leader in coaching victories, Fritz Hamburg is now in his 10th season as the head coach of the Hawks.
Since taking over the Hawk baseball program, Hamburg has guided the team to an increased win total in six of his eight seasons, tying the school record for wins in a season in 2012 before breaking it in both 2013 and 2014. His 2016 squad then went on to become the program's second team to reach the 30-win plateau, while the senior class of 2016 posted the most victories of any four-year class in school history. Hamburg has led the Hawks to six consecutive 20-plus win seasons, the only coach in Saint Joseph's history to achieve that feat.
Hamburg has taken the Hawks to heights never before seen by the Crimson and Gray, as his tenure has included three Liberty Bell Classic championships (2012, 2014, 2016) and three trips to the Atlantic 10 Championship (2012, 2014, 2016). Prior to his arrival on campus, the Hawks had never won the LIberty Bell Classic, nor qualified for the Atlantic 10 postseason.
Over the course of his extensive coaching career, Hamburg has established a reputation as one of the nation's finest tutors of young pitchers and catchers and has brought his track record of success to his first head coaching job, as evidenced by former SJU hurlers Ryan Kemp and A.J. Holland being selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Jimmy Yacabonis followed in their footsteps when he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2013 Draft, while backstop Brian O'Keefe was a seventh-round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals and righthander Jordan Carter went in the 22nd round to the Cleveland Indians in 2014.
In 2016, Hamburg led the Hawks to their second 30-win season in program history, and second in three years, as SJU notched 31 wins en route to a third-place finish in the Atlantic 10. Hamburg guided Stafford to multiple Player of the Year awards, All-Region honors, and a Third Team All-America selection. Stafford was joined on the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team by John Brue, who became just the fourth Hawk to be named to the league's First Team in consecutive seasons.Tim Brennan was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Co-Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, while Charlie Concannon was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honoree.
The 2014 season may go down as one of the greatest campaigns in the history of Saint Joseph's athletics, as the Hawks shattered the school record with 35 wins en route to a second place finish in the Atlantic 10 and SJU's second A-10 Championship berth in three years. The Hawks broke a number of team and individual records throughout the season and ranked among the NCAA statistical leaders in over a dozen categories. Collin Forgey became SJU's first-ever Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Carter earned the Hawks' first-ever Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year honor, and Hamburg himself became the first SJU head coach to earn the league's Coach of the Year award. The trio also swept the Big 5 awards – Hamburg's third Big 5 Coach of the Year honor in his six seasons on Hawk Hill – and the Hawks were named the organization's Team of the Year for the second time in three seasons. Also for the second time in three years, Saint Joseph's won the Liberty Bell Classic title, topping La Salle at Citizens Bank Park on April 22.
2012 was a banner year for baseball on Hawk Hill as Hamburg's charges became the first Saint Joseph's squad to qualify for the Atlantic 10 Championship. The 2012 Hawks also achieved another first for the program on April 17 when they defeated Penn, 6-3, at Citizens Bank Park to claim SJU's first-ever Liberty Bell Classic title. Pitcher Kyle Mullen became the first Hawk starting pitcher in program history to be named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team and was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Pitcher of the Year. First baseman Kevin Taylor was an All-Conference First Team selection as well, while the squad was named the Big 5 Team of the Year and Hamburg pulled in Big 5 Coach of the Year honors for the second time in four seasons.
Hamburg came to Hawk Hill after eight years at the United States Military Academy, first as an assistant coach and later as the associate head coach.While at West Point, Hamburg was named the 2007 Baseball America/American Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year. During that three-year stretch, Army was the only program in Division I to rank in the top 12 in ERA every season.
A native of Doylestown, Pa., Hamburg began his collegiate playing career at Virginia Tech before transferring to Ithaca. It was there that he earned All-America honors and helped lead the Bombers to a Division III national championship in 1988. The 1989 graduate then spent a year in the Philadelphia Phillies organization before embarking on his coaching career.