Matt Fritsche | Assistant Coach
Matt Fritsche joined the Bluejay staff in 2013-14, making an immediate impact on the development of Creighton’s post players. Fritsche’s influence helped Alexis Akin-Otiko become the 2014-15 BIG EAST’s Most Improved Player.
Fritsche came to Creighton after serving as the head coach at Midland University during 2012-13, where he guided the Warriors to a 12-18 record (Midland was 9-21 the previous year).
Fritsche handles the on-court work with the post players, shares the recruiting duties and assists with travel coordination.
A native of Maywood, Neb., Fritsche spent a decade (2002-12) building Bellevue West high school’s girls’ basketball team into a statewide power, collecting 199 victories against just 56 losses. He guided Bellevue West to three Nebraska Class-A State Championships (2006-07, 2008-09 & 2009-10) and also reached the championship game in 2010-11.
Fritsche owns a host of personal coaching accolades, earning coach of the year honors from nine separate organizations during the span of 2009-11. Among those honors was the 2010 Omaha World-Herald Coach of the Year and the 2009 Lincoln Journal Star Coach of the Year.
Matt served on the WBCA Nike All-American Committee, scouting top players from Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota. He has also assisted in the selection of players for the WBCA All-American game and aided in determining which players should be eligible for All-American honors. With strong high school connections across the state, Fritsche has coached four separate age groups of Omaha Crusaders Select teams and was a six-year coach of the Pinnacle Banks/Daubert All-Star Basketball U17 team.
“Having been on the other side of the recruiting equation as a high school and club coach, I think Fritsche’s experience gives our team a different perspective in terms of how to recruit,” said Jim Flanery. “Matt is a great person and a really good communicator.”
Fritsche has significant ties to the Creighton women’s program before becoming a Bluejay himself. Former Bluejays’ Akin-Otiko and Kelsey Woodard each played for him at Bellevue West. In addition, Fritsche worked with several former Creighton players at the AAU level including Jasmin Corbin, Katie Frank, Chevelle Herring, Sarah Nelson, Kellie Nelson and Sam Schuett.
A graduate of University of Nebraska-Kearney (1999), Fritsche earned his Master’s in educational leadership from Doane College in (2004). He and his wife, Colleen, have two children Kellen and Kinley.
Flanery on Fritsche: “Matt is a coach who has been able to consistently get the most out of his players and teams. He is a good big picture guy, he knows the importance of team dynamics and how to keep in mind what is best for the team as a whole.”
Chevelle Herring | Assistant Coach
After a stellar playing career with Creighton (2005-10) Chevelle Herring returned to the Bluejay bench in 2013 as an assistant coach. She shares recruiting responsibilities and is responsible for on-court work with the shooting guards.
Before returning to Creighton, Herring served as an assistant coach at Midland University in 2012-13, where she worked for current Bluejay assistant Matt Fritsche. Prior to Midland, Herring coached at Benson High School (2010-11) and with the Omaha Crusaders AAU team (2011). In addition, Herring led the South Dakota Attack, an Elite AAU team, during the summer of 2013.
A three-year starter for Creighton, Herring played her entire tenure under Flanery’s direction. She closed her career with 1,098 points, 254 assists and 119 steals. Following her junior season, Herring was an All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team selection as she led Creighton with 441 points. She also earned a spot on the 2010 MVC All-Tournament Team, helping the Bluejays advance to the championship game.
Herring graduated from Creighton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations in 2010.
Flanery on Herring: “Having been a player at Creighton gives her an advantage in recruiting. A lot of people focus on where someone can recruit from, [Herring] will be able to specifically recruit to Creighton because she went here. Her experiences as a Bluejay will resonate with players and parents.”
Linda Sayavongchanh | Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
An eight-year coaching veteran, Sayavongchanh joined the Bluejays last season after spending two years (2013-15) on the sidelines for the Saint Louis Billikens. With the Bluejays, Sayavongchanh is the recruiting coordinator and also works with the guards.
She also spent time on the bench for North Dakota (2012-13), Drake (2009-12) and began her career as a graduate assistant for the University of Minnesota-Duluth (2007-09).
A standout athlete before beginning her coaching career, Sayavongchanh starred at Drake from 2002-06. A three-time All-MVC (Missouri Valley Conference) selection, Sayavongchanh finished her career with 1,129 points and was named to the MVC All-Defensive team three times. She closed her career second in steals for the Bulldogs with 266, including 105 in 2003-04.
A standout at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Sayavongchanh is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame as well as the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame.
Sayavongchanh holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Drake (2007) and earned a master’s degree in education at Minnesota-Duluth in 2009.
Flanery on Sayavongchanh: “Linda has a really good blend of youth and experience. She helps us in recruiting, player development, on campus and in the community. She has worked for some very good coaches over the past and has proven to be a great resource for us to re-think some things in areas that we want to get better. I was impressed with the way Linda carried herself when our paths had crossed out on the recruiting trail.”
Carli Tritz | Video Coordinator
One of the most dynamic players to don a Creighton women’s basketball uniform, Carli Tritz returns for her third season on the Bluejay bench. She will be taking on a new role, accepting the role of video coordinator in July of 2016.
Tritz spent the last two years as Creighton’s graduate manager and taking on a portion of the Director of Operations role as Jenny Vickers was out on maternity leave during the 2014-15 season.
Tritz’s best performance as a Bluejay came when her team needed it the most, the 2012 MVC Tournament. She was named the Tournament MVP, delivering a career-high 29 points in the Bluejays’ semifinal win over Missouri State. One night later in the final against Drake, Tritz supplied 19 points to guide Creighton to its first NCAA Tournament appearance under Flanery.
Carli closed her sophomore season with All-MVC First Team recognition. She was named MVC Tournament MVP after averaging 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Tritz set Creighton MVC Tournament records by making 20 and attempting 26 free throws during the tournament. She was the highest scoring sophomore in the MVC (14.4 ppg) and the first sophomore to lead the Jays in scoring since MVC Player of the Year Christy Neneman in 2001-02.
Forced to end her playing career (with the exception of a brief appearance on senior night) prior to the 2013-14 season due to chronic knee pain, Tritz recorded 1,041 points over 97 games.
“Getting hurt really opened my eyes to the other side of sports. I enjoy the impact you can have on another person’s life,” said Tritz. “I have great respect for this program, from the coaching staff to the players and I believe this position offers a tremendous chance to develop as a coach.”
Flanery on Tritz: “We’re thrilled to have Carli stay involved with our program in the role of graduate manager. Carli’s personality will fit in well with our staff, and she will be good at the detail work that will encompass a majority of her duties. I’m sure our current players will enjoy and value having her be part of our staff. From Carli’s standpoint, this is a good opportunity for her to get a start in coaching. It should give her a good glimpse as to whether this is something she wants to continue to pursue.”
Jenny Vickers | Director of Operations
Jenny Vickers returns for her 13th season on the Creighton women’s basketball staff, including her fourth season as the Director of Basketball Operations. Vickers served as an assistant coach for the Bluejays from 2006-13 and was the graduate manager for two seasons (2004-06).
Amongst Vickers’ responsibilities include coordinating camps, marketing the team, coordinating travel and setting up community outreach.
Vickers’ impact on the Creighton program has been impressive. Her coaching of forwards Megan Neuvirth and Sam Schuett helped the duo to impressive freshmen campaigns in 2006-07. Neuvirth led the team and Missouri Valley Conference in steals, topped the team in rebounding and earned league Newcomer of the Year honors, while Schuett led the Jays in three-point shooting and earned MVC All-Freshman Team recognition. Neuvirth, the 2008-09 MVC Defensive Player of the Year, had an outstanding career, finishing with more than 1,200 points and a school-record 929 career rebounds. Both Neuvirth and Schuett earned All-MVC First Team honors in 2009-10.
The former Jenny Burns was a forward for the Bluejays from 1999 through 2003. Prior to returning to the Bluejay bench, Vickers spent the 2003-04 season as an intern in the Creighton athletics department working with both marketing and ticketing. She also spent a semester each as a student teacher and a substitute teacher in the Bellevue, Neb., school district. While working at Bellevue West High School with current Creighton assistant Matt Fritsche, Vickers coached the junior varsity basketball team. She has also coached with the Crusaders summer basketball program.
The Minnetonka, Minn., native was a starter on Creighton’s back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship teams in 2001-02 and 2002-03. She was a major contributor to Creighton’s 2002 NCAA Tournament team and 2003 WNIT Final Four squad.
Vickers was twice named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District VII Second Team accolades as a senior while graduating with a 3.96 grade-point average. She led the Jays in blocked shots as a senior and finished her career ranked in the top-10 in Creighton career blocked shots. Despite battling injuries during her first two seasons, she ranked eighth in games played when she finished her career.
Vickers earned bachelor of arts degrees in history and secondary education in December 2003. She and her husband, Steve, reside in Omaha and have children, Connor, Sam and Walter.
Flanery on Vickers: “Jenny is really easy to work with, trustworthy and dependable with how she goes about her business. Although she isn’t on the court, she provides an immense amount of comfort and stability to the players and the program as a whole.”