Texas State Bobcats football

The Texas State Bobcats football program Texas State University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. They play in the Sun Belt Conference. The program began in 1904 and has an overall winning record. The program has a total of 14 conference titles, nine of them being outright conference titles. Home games are played at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.[2]

Texas State Bobcats football
2020 Texas State Bobcats football team
Texas State Athletics wordmark.svg
First season1904
Athletic directorLarry Teis
Head coachJake Spavital
2nd season, 4–17 (.190)
StadiumBobcat Stadium
(Capacity: 30,000)
Field surfaceFieldTurf Revolution 360 with CoolPlay
LocationSan Marcos, Texas
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferenceSun Belt Conference
Past conferencesWAC (2012)
Independent (2011)
Southland (1987–2010)
Gulf Star (1984–1986)
Lone Star (1932–1983)
TIAA (1922–1931)
Independent (1904–1921)
All-time record512–468–26 (.522)
Bowl record0–0 (–)
Claimed national titlesDivision II: 2 (1981, 1982)
Conference titles14
RivalriesUTSA (rivalry)
Nicholls (rivalry)
ColorsMaroon and Gold[1]
Fight songGo Bobcats!
MascotBoko the Bobcat
Marching bandThe Pride of the Hill Country

Given that the school has grown to become the fifth-largest university in Texas, and one of the 75 largest universities in the United States, it has now taken its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA football.

The team became a member of the FBS Western Athletic Conference in 2012. After only one season in the WAC, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State joined the league in July 2013 and began conference play for the 2013–14 academic year.


Early history (1904–1964)Edit

Southwest Texas State Normal School[3] first fielded a football team in 1904.[4] Oscar W. Strahan, for whom the current basketball arena is named, was hired as the university's first Director of Athletics, and served as the team's first head football coach from 1919 to 1934.[5] He compiled an impressive 72–52–10 record and won three championships (1921, 1924, 1929). Strahan led Texas State into the T.I.A.A. in 1922 and then as a founding member of the Lone Star Conference in 1932. Joe Bailey Cheaney served as head football coach at Southwest Texas State from 1935–1942. The Bobcats went 23–42–6 during Cheaney's tenure. Cheaney was asked to resign following the 1942 season. The university did not field a football team from 1943–1945 due to World War II. Head coaches George Vest, Milton Jowers, R. W. Parker, and Jack Henry all had tenures as Texas State's head coach. Vest led the team to a conference championship in 1948, while Parker won co-championships in 1954 and 1955. Jowers, for whom Jowers Center (home of the Department of Health and Human Performance) is named, served as head coach twice (1951–1953 and 1961–1964). He compiled a 48–18–2 record, winning over 72% of his games, including a conference championship 10–0 season in 1963.

Bill Miller era (1965–1978)Edit

Bill Miller was promoted from assistant coach to head coach in 1965.[4] During his tenure, the Bobcats compiled a record of 86–51–3.[6] Miller retired in 1978 as the school's winningest head coach in its history and the second longest tenured head coach.[6]

Jim Wacker era (1979–1982)Edit

Miller was succeeded by Jim Wacker, who led the Bobcats to two consecutive NCAA Division II national championships in his final two seasons (The school had moved to the NCAA a short time earlier).[7] Wacker left Southwest Texas State to accept the position of head coach at TCU after the 1982 season.[7] Wacker left the Bobcats with a 42–8 record, which included a 13–1 mark in 1981 and a 14–0 mark in 1982.

John O'Hara era (1983–1989)Edit

John O'Hara succeeded Wacker, coaching Southwest Texas State for seven seasons.[8] Under O'Hara's leadership, the Bobcats shared the conference title and made the playoffs in 1983, losing in the first round. O'Hara was the driving force behind moving Southwest Texas State out of Division II and into Division I-AA, where the Bobcats faced much tougher competition on the field and on the recruiting trail. After the 1989 season, O'Hara joined the football staff at the University of Iowa, where he remained until his sudden death in 1992 at the age of 48.

Dennis Franchione era (1990–1991)Edit

Dennis Franchione followed O'Hara, and under his tutelage, the Bobcats had a 6–5 record in 1990 and a 7–4 mark in 1991. Franchione left the Bobcats after two seasons to accept the position of head coach at New Mexico.[9]

Jim Bob Helduser era (1992–1996)Edit

To replace Franchione, the Bobcats promoted Jim Bob Helduser from an assistant coach to head coach. Under Helduser's leadership, the Bobcats compiled a record of 20–34–1. Helduser was approached by Franchione to join his staff at Texas Christian University as offensive line coach, an offer Helduser accepted.

Bob DeBesse era (1997–2002)Edit

Minnesota offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse was hired by his alma mater to serve as head coach following Helduser's departure.[10] In 2000, DeBesse's Southwest Texas Bobcats rolled up the school's best record in a decade (7–4) and earned a No. 25 national ranking.[10] However, mediocrity forced DeBesse out after the 2002 season, as the school's administration had grown weary from mediocre recruiting and play.

Manny Matsakis era (2003)Edit

Manny Matsakis left Texas Tech as the Special Teams Coordinator to become the head coach of the Bobcats in 2003, but he only lasted one season. In his lone season, Texas State compiled a 5–7 record. Matsakis left Texas State after the 2003 season due to management issues associated with the football program and a draft investigation report that found violations of NCAA regulations. Additional athletic department officials were sanctioned.[11]

David Bailiff era (2004–2006)Edit

Coach Bailiff

TCU defensive coordinator David Bailiff was hired as Matsakis' replacement on February 5, 2004.[12] In his first season as the Bobcats' head coach, he guided them to a 5–6 record. In 2005, they finished the regular season 9–2 and were Southland Conference Champions. They then won two games in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, eventually losing to Northern Iowa. In 2006, the Bobcats' were again 5–6. Bailiff left Texas State after three seasons to accept the head coaching position at Rice.[13]

Brad Wright era (2007–2010)Edit

Brad Wright was promoted from running backs coach to head coach of the Bobcats football program after Bailiff's departure.[14] Under Wright's tutelage, the Bobcats compiled a mediocre 23–23 record. Fan support and administration restlessness led the Wright's firing following a 4–7 campaign in 2010.[15]

Franchione's return (2011–2015)Edit

Coach Franchione

Following Brad Wright's dismissal, Texas State University engaged Parker Executive Search to help them find their next head football coach. Finalists included former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Bobby Jack Wright, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, and Dennis Franchione.[16]

On January 7, 2011, Franchione was named head coach of Texas State's football program and signed a five-year contract valued at $350,000 per year.[17] This was Franchione's second tenure with Texas State, having previously coached at what was then Southwest Texas State in 1990 and 1991. His second tenure at Texas State was slightly less successful, as he led Texas State into Football Bowl Subdivision level football in 2012, joining the Western Athletic Conference.[18] Texas State then negotiated membership in the more stable Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2013,[19] after the WAC stopped sponsoring football.[20] Franchione retired from coaching following the 2015 season.[21] His second tenure with the Bobcats produced a 26–34 record.[22]

Everett Withers era (2016–2018)Edit

Coach Withers

Former North Carolina head coach Everett Withers was hired as Texas State's head coach on January 6, 2016.[23] Withers, who was serving as head coach at James Madison in the FCS at the time of his hiring, is the first African American to hold the position of head football coach at Texas State University.[24] In 2016, Withers' first season, the Bobcats compiled a 2–10 record.[25] The Bobcats broke the all-time attendance record at their home opener on September 24, 2016 with 33,133.[26] In 2017, Withers' second season, the Bobcats again recorded a 2–10 record. Withers entered the 2018 season with an overall record of 4-20. Withers was fired as the head coach for football on November 18, 2018 with a 7-28 record as head coach. Defensive Coordinator Chris Woods became the interim head coach for the season finale.

Jake Spavital era (2019–present)Edit

On November 28, 2018, Jake Spavital was hired to replace Withers as Texas State's head coach.[27] Spavital previously served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at West Virginia from 2017–2018. The Bobcats lost to No. 12 ranked Texas A&M 41-7 in the program's first game under Spavital.

Conference affiliationsEdit


In 2005, Texas State split the Southland Conference title with rival Nicholls State, and advanced to the Division I-AA football playoffs for the first time, losing in the semifinal to eventual national runner-up Northern Iowa, and finishing with an 11–3 record.

In 2008, Texas State overcame a 21–0 deficit to win the Southland Conference championship with a 48–45 overtime victory against Sam Houston State, its first outright league title since 1982.

Texas State joined the WAC effective July 1, 2012.[28] Then, on July 1, 2013 season, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference.[29]

National championshipsEdit

Year Coach Record Championship
1981 Jim Wacker 13–1 NCAA Division II National Champions
1982 Jim Wacker 14–0 NCAA Division II National Champions

Conference championshipsEdit

Texas State has won 14 conference titles, with nine outright and five shared.[30]

Year Coach Conference Overall record Conference record
1921 Oscar W. Strahan Texas Normal championship 7–0 5–0
1924 Oscar W. Strahan Texas Teachers College championship 5–3 5–1
1929 Oscar W. Strahan Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association 6–1–2 4–0–2
1948 George Vest Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 8–1 4–0
1954 R. W. Parker Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 6–3–1 5–0–1
1955 R. W. Parker Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 6–5 4–0
1963 Milton Jowers Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 10–0 6–0
1971 Bill Miller Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 8–1–1 7–1–1
1980 Jim Wacker Lone Star Conference (Division II) 8–3 5–1
1981 Jim Wacker Lone Star Conference (Division II) 13–1 6–1
1982 Jim Wacker Lone Star Conference (Division II) 14–0 7–0
1983 John O'Hara Lone Star Conference (Division II) 9–2 6–1
2005 David Bailiff Southland Conference (Division I FCS) 11–3 4–1
2008 Brad Wright Southland Conference (Division I FCS) 8–5 6–2

† Co-championship

Division I-A/FBS Bowl Game resultsEdit

The Bobcats have been bowl eligible twice since moving up to Division I-FBS. In 2013, Texas State went 6–6 in the first year the Bobcats were eligible to win a conference title or attend a bowl game after their 2-year FCS to FBS transition. In 2014, Texas State finished the season 7–5, 5–3 in Sun Belt play to finish in a three way tie for fourth place. Although eligible, they were not selected to participate in a bowl game; the Bobcats were the only eligible 7–5 FBS team not to receive a bowl bid.

Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs resultsEdit

The Bobcats have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs two times with an overall record of 2–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2005 First Round
Georgia Southern
Cal Poly
Northern Iowa
W 50–35
W 14–7
L 37–40
2008 First Round Montana L 13–31

Division II Playoffs resultsEdit

The Bobcats have appeared in the Division II playoffs three times with an overall record of 6–1. They are two time National Champions (1981, 1982).

Year Round Opponent Result
1981 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Jacksonville State
Northern Michigan
North Dakota State
W 38–22
W 62–0
W 42–13
1982 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Fort Valley State
Jacksonville State
UC Davis
W 27–6
W 19–14
W 34–9
1983 Quarterfinals Central State L 16–24

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teamsEdit

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:[citation needed][when?]

Opponent Won Lost Percentage Streak First Last
Appalachian State 0 6 .000 Lost 6 2004 2020
Arkansas State 2 6 .250 Won 1 2013 2020
Coastal Carolina 1 2 .333 Lost 2 2017 2020
Georgia Southern 1 4 .200 Lost 4 2005 2020
Georgia State 4 3 .571 Won 2 2013 2019
Louisiana 0 8 .000 Lost 8 2013 2020
Louisiana–Monroe 5 12 .250 Won 1 1986 2020
South Alabama 3 3 .500 Lost 1 2013 2020
Troy 1 10 .091 Lost 9 1996 2020
Totals 17 54 .239

All-time Coaching RecordsEdit

Head Coach Years Win-Loss-Tie Pct.
Oscar W. Strahan 1919-1934 72–52–10 .537
Joe Bailey Cheaney 1935-1942 23–42–6 .324
Milton Jowers 1951-1953, 1961–1964 48–18–2 .706
Bill Miller 1965–1978 86–51–3 .614
Jim Wacker 1979–1982 42–8 .840
John O'Hara 1983–1989 36–41 .468
Jim Bob Helduser 1992–1996 20–34–1 .364
Bob DeBesse 1997–2002 26–40 .394
Manny Matsakis 2003 5–7 .417
David Bailiff 2004–2006 21–15 .583
Brad Wright 2007–2010 23–23 .500
Dennis Franchione 1990–1991, 2011–2015 39-43 .477
Everett Withers 2016–2018 7-29 .194
Jake Spavital 2019–present 5-19 .208


Texas State football maintains one current rivalry with the UTSA Roadrunners and have a number of defunct rivalries caused by conference realignment.


Texas State and UTSA faced off for the first time in the football continuation of the I-35 Maroon/Orange Rivalry between the two schools in the Alamodome November 24, 2012. The Bobcats lost the game to the UTSA Roadrunners by a score of 31–38. UTSA leads the series 4–0.[31]


Rivalry with Nicholls.

Future non-conference opponentsEdit

Announced schedules as of December 30, 2020.[32]

2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
Baylor at Nevada at Baylor Lamar Eastern Michigan at Texas at UTSA UTSA at UTSA UTSA at UTSA
Incarnate Word at Baylor Nevada Arizona State at Arizona State
at Eastern Michigan Houston Baptist at Liberty Nicholls

Current Bobcats in the NFLEdit

The following are former Texas State players in the NFL as of October 17, 2019.[33]

Name Position Team
Craig Mager DB Free Agent
David Mayo LB New York Giants
Darryl Morris CB Free Agent
Ty Nsekhe T Buffalo Bills


  1. ^ Texas State University Athletic Logos Art Sheet (PDF). January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "Texas State Football History Database". Txstatebobcats.cstv.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "1905 Pedagogue – Southwest Texas State Normal School". Exhibits.library.txstate.edu. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Former Texas State football coach dies at 74". ESPN. February 21, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "Bobcat History" (PDF). Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Former Texas State football coach dies at 74". Espn.com. February 21, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Iowa Line Coach Dies On Cruise – tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Chicago Tribune. February 24, 1992. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
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  10. ^ a b "Bob DeBesse Bio – Sam Houston State Bearkats Athletics". Gobearkats.com. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "Texas State dismisses coach, AD; associate reassigned". www.txstate.edu. June 7, 2016.
  12. ^ "David Bailiff named coach for Texas State – Midland Reporter-Telegram". Mrt.com. February 3, 2004. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  13. ^ "Rice hires Texas State's Bailiff as head coach". ESPN. January 19, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  14. ^ "Texas State fires football coach Brad Wright | NCAA Football". Sporting News. November 23, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  15. ^ "Texas State fires Wright after 4–7 season". ESPN. Associated Press. November 22, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Jerry Briggs (January 5, 2011). "Texas State coach search gains steam". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  17. ^ "Texas State Hires Dennis Franchione – Roll 'Bama Roll". Rollbamaroll.com. January 7, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  18. ^ "Texas State Athletics – Texas State Officially Reaches FBS Status, Joins WAC". Texas State Bobcats. July 1, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "Texas State joins the Sun Belt, WAC dwindling | NCAA Football". Sporting News. May 2, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  20. ^ "Franchione returns to coaching at Texas State". Washington Times. Associated Press. January 7, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  21. ^ "Franchione retires after five seasons at Texas St". Sports Illustrated. December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  22. ^ "Dennis Franchione Coaching Record | College Football at". Sports-reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  23. ^ "Texas State hires James Madison's Everett Withers as head coach". ESPN. January 6, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  24. ^ Paul Livengood (January 7, 2016). "Texas State University welcomes its new head coach, Everett Withers". The University Star. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  25. ^ "2016 Texas State Bobcats Schedule and Results". Sports-reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  26. ^ Ryder Burke (September 26, 2016). "Texas State drops to the Cougars at home opener". The University Star. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "WVU offensive coordinator Jake Spavital to coach Texas State". ESPN. November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ Kim Shugart (May 2, 2012). "Texas State University to join Sun Belt Conference in 2013". The Birmingham News. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ "UTSA stays perfect vs. Texas State in two-overtime thriller". UTSA Athletics. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  32. ^ "Texas State Bobcats Football Future Schedules". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  33. ^ "NFL Players by College – T". ESPN. Retrieved February 16, 2018.

External linksEdit