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Hired to start the UTSA football program from scratch on March 6, 2009, Larry Coker has brought immediate success and unprecedented regional and national exposure to the university.
A two-time national coach of the year, Coker has guided the Roadrunners to 23 wins through their first four seasons of play, including a 12-10 mark in three years of conference play. UTSA has had 11 all-conference selections and 17 academic all-conference honorees.
Coker and the Roadrunners opened their fourth season of play with a dominating 27-7 road win at Houston before a national television audience, spoiling the debut of the Cougars' TDECU Stadium in the process. UTSA took eventual Pac-12 South Division champion Arizona to the wire in a 26-23 setback in the home opener — also on national TV — six days later. Riddled by key injuries for the remainder of the year, the Roadrunners finished 4-8 overall and 3-5 in Conference USA. UTSA ranked second in the league in average home attendance (27,576), while four Roadrunners garnered second-team all-conference accolades: Sean Ianno (PK), Scott Inskeep (OG), Jesse Medrano (DS) and Triston Wade (S). Additionally, Nate Leonard collected first-team Capital One Academic All-America and C-USA All-Academic accolades and became the second straight UTSA player to be named a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Picked to finish last in the West Division in their first season in C-USA, the Roadrunners exceeded all expectations by registering a 6-2 league ledger and staying alive for a berth in the C-USA Championship Game entering the final week of the 2013 regular season. UTSA ended the season on a five-game winning streak as part of a 7-5 overall record with a schedule that included seven bowl teams. The young program also continued to compile impressive attendance numbers by averaging 29,214 fans in six home games, which ranked second in C-USA.
Inskeep and Wade picked up second-team all-conference accolades at offensive line and safety, respectively, while Leonard was a second-team Academic All-American and he joined Eric Soza on C-USA’s All-Academic Team. Additionally, Soza, the program’s starting quarterback for its first three campaigns, also was a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and a finalist for both the William V. Campbell Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy.
UTSA surprised most preseason prognosticators in 2012, as the youthful squad with just six seniors reeled off five consecutive wins to start the season and finished with an 8-4 overall record. The Roadrunners finished fourth behind three bowl eligible teams in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) with a 3-3 mark in their only season in the league. The slate was highlighted by the program’s first-ever road and Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) win in a thrilling 33-31 decision at South Alabama in the season opener, the first conference victory in the 35-14 win at New Mexico State in the WAC lid-lifter and a 38-31 victory against I-35 rival Texas State in the finale before a season-high 39,032 fans at the Alamodome.
UTSA, which led the WAC in average home attendance (29,226), saw five players earn all-conference accolades, including Wade at first-team defensive back. Defensive tackle Franky Anaya, Inskeep and linebackers Steven Kurfehs and Brandon Reeves all landed on the second team. Fourteen Roadrunners were tabbed Academic All-WAC for holding a 3.0-or-higher cumulative grade-point average.
Coker guided UTSA to a 4-6 record in its inaugural season in 2011 despite having a team comprised largely of sophomores and freshmen. The attention and excitement surrounding the Roadrunners was evidenced by the fan support, as UTSA set NCAA startup program records for inaugural game (56,743) and average home (35,521) attendance.
Coker has made national headlines for the program since arriving in the Alamo City in March 2009. Numerous national stories and “UTSA Football: The Birth of a Program” — a six-part series that aired on FOX Sports Southwest — have depicted the former Miami (Fla.) head coach’s effort to build an FBS team from scratch. The program’s weekly magazine show, “UTSA Football Insider,” began airing during the 2012 season on FSN Southwest and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Okemah, Okla., native also played a key role in helping UTSA land invitations to the WAC and C-USA and he has helped compile future non-conference schedules that include some of college football’s heavy hitters.
Coker’s expertise has been recognized by his coaching colleagues, as he served as an assistant coach for Team Texas under former Dallas Cowboys standout Bill Bates in the 2011 NFL Players Association Game, which featured draft-eligible senior college players. He also has been a guest speaker at numerous coaching conventions.
Before UTSA named Coker its first head coach, he spent two seasons as a college football analyst for ESPN.
Prior to that, Coker arguably was one of the nation’s top head coaches from 2001-06 at Miami (Fla.). He posted a 60-15 record (.800) in his six seasons, including wins in his first 24 games (first coach since Walter Camp in 1888-89 to do so), and led the Hurricanes to the 2001 National Championship in his first season, becoming just the second coach in NCAA history to do so and the first in 53 years.
Coker was a two-time National Coach of the Year (2001-02), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region Coach of the Year (2001, ‘05) and Big East Coach of the Year (2001-02) honoree.
He led the Hurricanes to a pair of Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game appearances, three BCS bowl games, a total of six bowl contests overall and three consecutive Big East Conference Championships from 2001-03 during his tenure.
Coker has coached 26 first-team All-Americans and 97 first-team all-conference picks during his career and also has mentored 90 student-athletes who earned academic all-conference accolades. In fact, his 2005 Miami team graduated all 21 players, a total higher than any other program in the country, and the Hurricanes’ 84-percent graduation rate a year earlier was far higher than the national average. His teams annually were honored for their excellence in the classroom by the AFCA.
Coker has been successful in every stop of his 38-year coaching career, including 22 seasons as an assistant at the collegiate level. He has been on college teams that have made a total of 18 bowl appearances and those squads have been victorious 14 times.
He served as Miami’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1995-2000 and the Hurricanes won all four of their bowl games during that time.
Prior to his arrival at Miami, Coker spent two seasons at Ohio State (1993-94) as defensive backs coach. The Buckeyes participated in two bowl games during his tenure and were the 1993 Big Ten Co-Champions.
From 1990-92, he was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and the Sooners posted two bowl victories while he was there.
Before heading to Norman, Coker spent seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State from 1983-89. In his seven seasons with the Cowboys, he coached 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders and the team won four bowl games.
Coker first made the jump to Division I with Tulsa in 1979 as the offensive backfield coach. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1980 and served in that role for three seasons. The Golden Hurricane won three Missouri Valley Conference Championships during his four-year stay.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from Northeastern (Okla.) State University in 1970 and earned his master’s in guidance counseling and physical education three years later from the same school.
Coker and his wife, Dianna, are the parents of a daughter, Lara, and they are the grandparents of twin boys, Daniel and Dillon.
Coker's Year-by-Year Record
The Larry Coker File