SAN ANTONIO — After starting the UTSA football program from scratch in 2009 and leading the Roadrunners to 26 victories in their first five seasons, Larry Coker announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as the program's head coach.
"UTSA has been a very special place to me and I will be forever grateful for the experience," Coker said. "The future of UTSA football is very bright and I look forward to watching the Roadrunners' success in the future."
While leading UTSA, Coker tutored 14 all-conference selections, 17 academic all-conference selections and the first All-American in program history in 2015 USA Today second-team tight end David Morgan II. Triston Wade became the first semifinalist for a national award when he made the cut for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award given annually to the nation's top defensive back. Eric Soza (2013) and Nate Leonard (2014) were the first two UTSA student-athletes to be honored as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes and finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, while Soza also was a member of the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy that same year.
"I want to thank Larry for taking on the huge challenge of starting up this football program," Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey said. "It required an incredible amount of hard work and dedication over the past six years. There were a lot of challenges and unknowns, but Larry was able to represent the university and the city of San Antonio in a first-class manner.
“Larry is a true gentleman, a great leader and a role model and mentor for both our students and our staff. He never complained about all the obstacles we had in front of us, but rather saw those as opportunities and gladly took them on. He is one of the most kind and gracious professionals I have ever worked with. Larry made NCAA history in developing our program and he will always be recognized as a true ambassador for UTSA.”
Coker has 86-47 (.647) career record, three conference championships and the 2001 National Championship at Miami (Fla.). The two-time National Coach of the Year mentored 26 first-team All-Americans, 97 first-team all-conference players and 90 student-athletes who earned academic all-conference accolades.
The Roadrunners set NCAA startup program records for inaugural game (56,743) and average home (35,521) attendance in 2011 and finished no lower than third in the conference in average home attendance in four seasons of league play, including leading the Western Athletic Conference with 29,226 in 2012.
UTSA will begin an immediate national search for a new head coach.