But, did you know that he played college football against future NFL greats? He grew up in the East County, and earned his real estate license at age 18. “My mother said it would be a good idea to have my license in case I ever wanted a real estate career like hers,” Rip said. Rip’s mother is Illiff Fritzer, who co-owned Rhodes & Iliff, an independent, real estate powerhouse in the East County in the 1970s through the 1990s. Today, Illiff Fritzer, age 83, lives at the New Frontier Mobile Home Park in Santee.
“Rip is my real first name and Raymond is my middle name. My mom selected my first name because she didn’t want anyone to call me by a nickname,” said Rip, 56. “I’ve answered the same question about my first name at least one million times.”
Rip was a member of the first four-year graduating class at Valhalla High School in El Cajon (class of 1978). He played wide receiver and defensive back in high school. After high school, he worked in construction for a year before enrolling at Grossmont College and played football for two seasons there. After sitting out a year to recover from knee surgery, he played two seasons at Fresno State University for the Bulldogs. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.
“Both at Grossmont and at Fresno, I played with a number of pro players like Henry Ellard, a receiver with the Los Angeles Rams, and Stephone Paige, a receiver with the Chiefs,” said Rip.
At the 1982 California Bowl game, played in Fresno, when the Bulldogs played Bowling Green State University, Rip was covered by safety Martin Bayless, who later played 13 seasons in the NFL. “The game was played on our home field and we were down by 21 points, 28-7, with 11 minutes to go,” said Rip. “We came back, scored three touchdowns in the final quarter, including a two-point conversion on the second touchdown. We scored the go-ahead touchdown with 11 seconds remaining and won the game 29-28.”
After college, Rip sold windows and doors for about two years. During this time, he coached high school football players at Valhalla and Helix high schools.
In 1988, he decided to dedicate his full time to real estate sales. “My mom was right, I couldn’t stay away from the industry forever,” Rip said.
Today, the Rip Fritzer Team includes eight agents, including transaction coordinator Donna Metcalf, who has worked with Rip since 2003. “If Donna left our team, I would seriously need to find another profession,” said Rip.
Rip admires PSAR because of the character of the members. “Our Association has dedicated people who are willing to take their commitment in business and customer service to another level,” he said. “The members are warm and friendly. Whenever I’ve asked a question from the staff, I’ve never heard `no.’”