UTSA Roadrunners football

The UTSA Roadrunners football program represents the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in the sport of American football. The Roadrunners compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Athletic Conference. They are coached by Jeff Traylor, who started in 2020. The Roadrunners play their home games at the Alamodome, which has a seating capacity of 65,000 but whose capacity for UTSA games is normally restricted to 36,582.[2]

UTSA Roadrunners
2023 UTSA Roadrunners football team
First season2011
Athletic directorLisa Campos
Head coachJeff Traylor
4th season, 31–12 (.721)
(capacity: 36,582 (expandable to 64,000))
Year built1993
Field surfaceAstroTurf Magic Carpet II
LocationSan Antonio, Texas
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferenceAmerican Athletic Conference
Past conferencesIndependent
All-time record76–73 (.510)
Bowl record0–4 (.000)
Conference titles2 (C-USA)
Division titles1 (C-USA West Division)
RivalriesTexas State (rivalry)
North Texas
ColorsNavy blue, orange, and white[1]
Fight songGo Roadrunners, Go!
Marching band"The Spirit Of San Antonio" (SOSA)

History edit

Start-up and organization (2006–2010) edit

In February 2006, the University of Texas at San Antonio approached Carr Sports Associates, Inc. to conduct a feasibility study and make recommendations to the university regarding an expansion of the athletics department.[3] In November of that year, UTSA was given the final results of that study.[4] Following the recommendations of CSA, the university facilitated a student referendum in September 2007 to gauge support for a fee increase.[5][6] Nearly 66% of student voters supported the fee increase.

In December 2008, after the approval of the UTSA administration, the university presented the University of Texas System Board of Regents with a long-term plan that followed the feasibility study recommendations to build an $84 million athletic complex and the fee increase for their approval.[7] It was approved by the board soon thereafter.[8]

In January 2009, UTSA launched a campaign to raise money for the program dubbed the "Step Up UTSA" initiative.[9] With a goal of $15 million USD, the campaign is meant to help fund coaches salaries, player scholarships, and construction of practice fields.

On February 4, 2009, former Miami head coach Larry Coker announced he had applied for the head coaching job.[10] Later that month it was announced that Coker along with Tulsa's co-defensive coordinator Paul Randolph and Mel Tjeerdsma, head coach from Northwest Missouri State were the finalists for the position.[11] On March 5, 2009, the San Antonio Express-News reported that Larry Coker, who had won the 2001 national championship as head coach of the Hurricanes, had earned the position.[12] The next day Coker was officially announced as the Roadrunners' first head football coach in a press conference.[13] On April 22, 2009, Coker announced the addition of Mike Menefee, Eric Roark, and David Ross to the roster as assistant football coaches.[14]

On June 4, 2009, UTSA unveiled the team's inaugural helmet design.[15] The design was done by Ohio-based Rickabaugh Graphics, and had final approval by Coker. On January 20, 2010, the program announced the hiring of Travis Bush as offensive coordinator.[16] Bush had previously worked in the same capacity for his alma mater, Texas State.

Although plans for conference and subdivision affiliation were unclear, Lynn Hickey, UTSA's athletic director had strongly hinted at plans for UTSA to join their current conference, the Southland Conference (a member of the Division I FCS subdivision) in September 2009.[17] However, in late January 2010, Hickey stated that the football program would attempt to join the Division I FBS subdivision by 2014 instead, citing an overall disappointment for previous plans. This entailed UTSA joining the subdivision as an independent until finding admission to a conference.

On February 3, 2010, National Signing Day, UTSA officially announced their inaugural signing class.[18] The twenty-seven students consisted mainly of incoming freshmen, including two transfer students who were sophomores at the university. Seven of the student athletes were considered all-state performers from their high school careers. The class was heavily recruited from the Greater San Antonio area, as fourteen players were from such area high schools. Each player for the inaugural class was redshirted during the 2010 NCAA Division I FCS football season.[19]

On March 16, 2010, UTSA announced Neal Neathery as defensive coordinator for the team. Neathery had last served in the same position for Drake.[20]

In an effort to move the program to the FBS, UTSA had discussions with the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) about joining that conference after they lost Boise State to the Mountain West Conference during the summer of 2010.[21]

In July 2010, the Northside Independent School District announced a three-year agreement that allowed UTSA to use Dub Farris Athletic Complex for practice.[22] On September 15, 2010, UTSA held its first-ever practice at the stadium.[23]

UTSA began practicing in August 2010, and began competing as an NCAA Division I FCS independent on September 3, 2011.[24][8]

On November 10, 2010, it was reported that the WAC had offered UTSA, along with fellow Southland conference member Texas State and Sun Belt Conference member Denver an invitation to join its conference that would take effect in 2012.[25][26] Denver would join as a non-football school. Such an invitation was an effort to offset the departures of Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada to the Mountain West Conference during the early stages of the 2010–13 NCAA conference realignment. The following day, UTSA announced it had accepted the invitation.[27]

Larry Coker era (2011–2015) edit

UTSA's inaugural football game

In 2011, UTSA started its inaugural season playing its first-ever game against Northeastern State on September 3, 2011, at the Alamodome. With attendance of 56,743, UTSA set a record for the highest-attended game for an NCAA Division I FBS start-up program.[28] UTSA finished their first season with a record of 4–6, and set a record for the largest average home attendance for a new football program with 35,521.[29] This topped the previous record from South Florida of 33,038 in 1997.

In 2012, UTSA followed up its initial campaign with an 8–4 second season as an FBS transitional member, including going 3–3 in the WAC. UTSA closed out its season with a 38–31 win over rival Texas State before an announced crowd of 39,032 at the Alamodome. For the 2012 season, UTSA averaged 29,226 in attendance. Due to being a transitional FBS member, UTSA was not eligible for a bowl.

In April 2012, it was announced that UTSA would join Conference USA on July 1, 2013, following its approval from the University of Texas System Board of Regents to allow the school to accept an invitation, negotiate and finalize terms with the league.[30][31]

In 2013, UTSA played a full schedule of FBS opponents. In their second year of 2 transitional FBS seasons, UTSA was eligible for the C-USA championship. UTSA was only eligible for a bowl under certain criteria, such as if there were not enough bowl eligible teams. UTSA counted as an FBS opponent for bowl eligibility in 2013, and became fully bowl eligible in 2014. UTSA opened the 2013 season with a victory on the road against MWC member New Mexico, before losing at home to Big 12 member Oklahoma State before an announced crowd of 40,977. For the season, despite being picked last in the preseason media poll, UTSA finished at 7–5 overall, with a 6–2 record in conference, and averaged 29,214 in attendance. UTSA finished second in the West division, behind Rice. As a second year FBS transition team, UTSA however, was not selected for a bowl.[32][33]

In 2014, UTSA opened with a 27–7 win over Houston in the opening of new TDECU Stadium. UTSA, however, finished with a disappointing 4–8 overall record and 3–5 in conference play. For the season, UTSA averaged 27,576 fans per game, including a season high of 33,472 against Arizona.

In 2015, UTSA finished with a disappointing 3–9 overall record. After a difficult non conference slate which saw UTSA start out 0–4, UTSA finished 3–5 in the conference, tied for 3rd out of 6 teams in the western division.

Larry Coker resigned on January 5, 2016, after compiling a 26–32 record in his 5 years as the Roadrunners' head coach.

In the 2016 NFL Draft UTSA tight end David Morgan II became the school's first player to be drafted when he was selected in the 6th round (188th overall) by the Minnesota Vikings as well as the program's first All-American.[34]

Frank Wilson era (2016–2019) edit

In January 2016, Frank Wilson was hired as UTSA's second ever head coach, replacing Larry Coker. In his first year as head coach of the UTSA Roadrunners, Wilson helped lead the Roadrunners to a 6–6 regular season record, marking the first time the Roadrunners became bowl eligible. UTSA was ultimately selected for their first bowl game in program history, the 2016 New Mexico Bowl.

On September 9, 2017, UTSA had a landmark 17–10 victory over Baylor which gave UTSA its first ever victory over a Power Five team. UTSA would ultimately finish 6–5 for the season (one game against the Houston Cougars was canceled due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Harvey). Although UTSA was bowl eligible again, they did not receive an invite, ending their season.

On April 26, 2018, defensive end Marcus Davenport became the first Roadrunner to be a first-round draft pick, being selected 14th overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 2018 NFL Draft.[35]

In the 2018 season, UTSA struggled through its non-conference schedule, going 1–3 (their lone win being against rival Texas State). UTSA then won two consecutive conference games to improve to 3–3, but dropped its remaining six games to finish 3–9.

After another struggle in the 2019 season, in which they finished 4–8 overall and 3–5 in conference play, UTSA fired Wilson on December 1, 2019, after 4 seasons and a 19–29 overall record.[36]

Jeff Traylor era (2020–present) edit

On December 9, 2019, Arkansas running backs coach Jeff Traylor was hired as the 3rd head coach in the program's history.[37] Upon accepting the position Traylor was tasked with shaping the program's culture and did so by introducing the "210 Triangle of Toughness". The "Triangle of Toughness" grew to be more than just representing San Antonio (through the city's area code), but the identity of the program. Players and coaches are expected to embody all traits of the triangle: Selflessness, perfect effort, integrity, passion and toughness.[38] After going 2-0 in Coach Traylor's first season as Head Coach, the program received votes in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the first time.[39] Traylor also became the first head coach in program history to start his career with three wins[40] after beating MTSU on September 25, 2020. UTSA finished the 2020 regular season with a record of 7-4 along with a second bowl game appearance in program history at the First Responder Bowl.[41] In Traylor's second season at the helm UTSA would go on to complete the 2021 regular season campaign with an 11-1 record. This would account for the most wins in a single regular season and the longest win streak in program history.

Under Coach Traylor the UTSA Football program earned its first top 25 rankings in week 8 of the 2021 season. The rankings included ESPN's Power Rankings (#24), USA Today Sports AFCA Coach's Poll (#25),[42] and in the Associated Press Top 25 (#24).[43] UTSA was controversially left out of the initial College Football Playoff ranking for the 2021 season and became the second undefeated team to be snubbed in history. However the following week the Roadrunners made history once again becoming ranked by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for the first time in program history.[44] This also marked the first time in program history that UTSA was ranked in all three polls/rankings (Associated Press #15,[45] USA Today Sports AFCA Coach's Poll #16,[46] and #23 in the College Football Playoff Selection Committee rankings).[44] On October 21, 2021, it was announced that UTSA had joined The American and would start participating as a conference member in 2023.[47]

A game between UTSA and Army in 2022

Conference affiliations edit

Championships edit

Conference championships edit

Season Conference Coach Overall
2021 Conference USA Jeff Traylor 12–2 7–1
2022 11–3 8–0

Division championships edit

Season Division Coach Opponent CG Result
2021 Conference USA - West Jeff Traylor Western Kentucky W 49–41

Bowl games edit

UTSA has played in four bowl games, compiling a record of 0–4. In 2016, UTSA tied an NCAA record for fastest program to reach a bowl game (6th season) along with University of South Alabama (2014) and Georgia State University (2015).[48]

Season Coach Bowl Stadium Location Opponent Result
2016 Frank Wilson New Mexico Bowl University Stadium Albuquerque, NM New Mexico L 20–23
2020 Jeff Traylor First Responder Bowl Gerald J. Ford Stadium University Park, TX No. 19 Louisiana L 24–31
2021 Frisco Bowl Toyota Stadium Frisco TX No. 24 San Diego State L 24–38
2022 Cure Bowl Exploria Stadium Orlando, FL No. 24 Troy L 12–18
2023 Frisco Bowl Toyota Stadium Frisco TX Marshall

Roadrunners in the NFL Draft edit

Rivalries edit

Texas State edit

The I-35 Rivalry is the rivalry between Texas State and UTSA. The teams first met in 2012, both as members of the WAC. For the 2013 season, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference and UTSA moved to Conference USA, which temporarily halted the rivalry. The series was renewed in 2017 and has been played every season since except for in 2019, 2021, and 2022. The rivalry is either played in San Marcos or San Antonio. The teams have met five times, with UTSA holding a 5–0 lead in the series through the 2023 season.[49]

North Texas edit

North Texas and UTSA first met in 2013. That year both were first year members of Conference USA. UTSA and North Texas have played 10 times with both teams winning five. The first game was played at Apogee Stadium in Denton on November 23, 2013. North Texas needed to win the game to clinch the Conference USA West division. UTSA stunned the Mean Green when they won the game 21–13. The Roadrunner win allowed Rice to become the west division champions. UTSA won three of the first four meetings. North Texas got their first win in the series in 2015. In 2017 North Texas stunned UTSA with a last minute drive of 90 yards to win the game. That began a streak of three wins in a row by the Mean Green against UTSA. The Roadrunners snapped that streak with a win in 2020. In 2021 North Texas gave UTSA their only loss of the season in the final game of the regular season. UTSA stunned North Texas in 2022 by completing a 90-yard game winning drive in the Alamodome. The two met on December 2 in the Alamodome with UTSA winning the Conference USA Championship game. In their first meeting in The American Conference play UTSA won their first game in Denton in ten years.

Future AAC opponents edit

Year Home games Away games
2024 North Texas, Tulane, Memphis, Temple Tulsa, Rice, South Florida, Navy
2025 Tulsa, Rice, Navy North Texas, Memphis, UAB, Charlotte
2026 Memphis, UAB, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte Rice, East Carolina, Temple

Future non-conference opponents edit

Announced schedules as of August 1, 2023.[50]

2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 2033
Kennesaw State at Texas A&M at Texas State Texas State at Texas State Texas State at Texas State Texas State at Air Force at San Jose State
at Texas State Texas State at Texas at LSU at Texas at Texas
at Texas at UNLV Air Force San Jose State
Houston Christian

References edit

  1. ^ UTSA Athletiscs Brand Guide (PDF). February 8, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  2. ^ "2022 UTSA Football Quick Facts" (PDF). UTSA Roadrunners. August 27, 2022. Retrieved December 5, 2022.
  3. ^ "Athletics Feasibility Study: Executive Summary". University of Texas at San Antonio. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Gabler, David (November 29, 2006). "UTSA receives football feasibility study". UTSA Today. University of Texas at San Antonio. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  5. ^ Gabler, David (September 13, 2007). "UTSA students pass athletics fee referendum". UTSA Today. University of Texas at San Antonio. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  6. ^ "Students approve fee increase in UTSA's first step toward football team". ESPN. September 13, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  7. ^ Ludwig, Melissa (December 17, 2008). "Will football be worth the cost to UTSA students?". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  8. ^ a b Whisler, John; Briggs, Jerry (December 18, 2008). "UTSA football gets green light". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  9. ^ "Cavendar presents UTSA Athletics with donation". UTSA athletics. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
  10. ^ "Former Miami coach applies for UTSA job". mysanantonio.com. San Antonio Express-News. February 4, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  11. ^ "UTSA announces finalists for head football coach position". UTSA athletics. February 23, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  12. ^ Flores, David (March 5, 2009). "Coker to be named UTSA football coach". mysanantonio.com. San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on March 6, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2009.
  13. ^ "UTSA introduces Larry Coker as head football coach". UTSA Athletics. March 6, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  14. ^ "UTSA names three assistant football coaches". UTSA Today. April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  15. ^ Bailey, W. Scott (June 4, 2009). "UTSA unveils inaugural Roadrunners football helmet". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  16. ^ Mayforth, Tyler (January 21, 2010). "College Football: Bush leaves State for UTSA". San Marcos Daily Record. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  17. ^ McCarney, Dan (January 31, 2010). "UTSA now plans to go it alone in football". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  18. ^ "UTSA Football announces inaugural signing class on Wednesday". UTSA athletics. February 3, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
  19. ^ "UTSA Football concludes walk-on tryouts". UTSA athletics. March 24, 2010. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
  20. ^ "UTSA names Neal Neathery program's defensive coordinator". UTSA athletics. March 16, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
  21. ^ "UTSA on WAC's Radar!". UTSA Tailgaters. July 10, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  22. ^ "Banner Day for UTSA Football". UTSA Roadrunners. July 13, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  23. ^ "Roadrunners hold historic first practice on Wednesday night". UTSA athletics. September 16, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  24. ^ "UTSA receives go ahead to add football on Thursday". Utsa Athletics. UTSA Roadrunners athletics. December 18, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2008.
  25. ^ McCarney, Dan (August 19, 2010). "UTSA Will Pursue WAC Membership". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  26. ^ Katz, Andy (November 10, 2010). "Sources: Three teams to join WAC". ESPN. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  27. ^ Stephens, Kyle (November 11, 2010). "UTSA accepts invitation Nov. 11 to join Western Athletic Conference". UTSA. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  28. ^ "UTSA rolls in program's first game". Los Angeles Times. September 3, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011.[dead link]
  29. ^ Flores, David (November 20, 2011). "UTSA ends first football season with lopsided victory against Minot State". KENS. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2011.
  30. ^ "SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR BOARD OF REGENTS' MEETING" (PDF). U. T. System Administration. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  31. ^ "Regents to vote on UTSA to C-USA". ESPN. April 28, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  32. ^ "Bowl tiebreakers include FCS wins, 5-7 teams". ESPN.com. August 3, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  33. ^ November 11, Jerry Briggs on; AM, 2013 at 9:13 (November 11, 2013). "With 58 teams eligible, bowl hopes for UTSA remain uncertain". UTSA Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  34. ^ "UTSA's David Morgan II becomes first NFL draft pick in program's history". www.utsa.edu. Retrieved November 12, 2021.
  35. ^ Kalmus, Jared (April 26, 2018). "UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 14th overall pick in the NFL Draft".
  36. ^ Kercheval, Ben (December 1, 2019). "UTSA fires coach Frank Wilson after four seasons following 4-8 record". cbssports.com. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  37. ^ Kalmus, Jared (December 9, 2019). "UTSA hires Jeff Traylor to become the program's third head coach". Underdog Dynasty. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  38. ^ Annan, Corey. "Under Jeff Traylor, UTSA Is Reaching New Heights". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  39. ^ "Roadrunners receive votes in latest AP Top 25 Poll". UTSA Athletics. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  40. ^ "Roadrunners outlast Middle Tennessee in Friday night thriller". UTSA Athletics. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  41. ^ "UTSA to face Louisiana in SERVPRO First Responder Bowl". UTSA Athletics. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  42. ^ "NCAA College Football Coaches Poll | USA Today Sports". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  43. ^ "AP Top 25 Poll". AP NEWS. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  44. ^ a b "College Football Playoff Selection Committee Releases Second Rankings of 2021". College Football Playoff. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  45. ^ "NCAA College Football AP Top 25 Poll for November 7, 2021 | USA Today Sports". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  46. ^ "NCAA College Football Coaches Poll for November 7, 2021 | USA Today Sports". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  47. ^ "American Athletic Conference Announces the Addition of Six Universities" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. October 21, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021. "UTSA to join American Athletic Conference". www.utsa.edu. October 22, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  48. ^ Brnger, Garrett (December 4, 2016). "UTSA players excited to play in school's first college bowl game". KSAT. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  49. ^ "Winsipedia - UTSA Roadrunners vs. Texas State Bobcats football series history".
  50. ^ "UTSA Roadrunners Football Future Schedules". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved August 1, 2023.

External links edit