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 UTSA.
A two-time national coach of the year, Coker has guided the Roadrunners to a 12-10 record through their first two seasons of play. Five players have earned all-league honors, including 2012 first-team All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) defensive back Triston Wade, while 14 have been named academic all-conference.
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 and 3-3 mark in its first and only season in the WAC. It 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, offensive guard Scott 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, which will be a full-fledged FBS progam and bowl eligible in 2014, 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 (FS) Southwest — have depicted the former Miami 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 FS Southwest and Comcast SportsNet Houston.
The Okemah, Okla., native also played a key role in helping UTSA land invitations to the WAC and Conference USA, which it will join on July 1, 2013, 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 87 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
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The Larry Coker File
Career record: 72-25 (.742)
· 2009-present: UTSA, head coach
· 2001-06: Miami (Fla.), head coach
· 1995-2000: Miami (Fla.), assistant coach/offensive coordinator
· 1993-94: Ohio State, assistant coach
· 1990-92: Oklahoma, assistant coach/offensive coordinator
· 1983-89: Oklahoma State, assistant coach/offensive coordinator
· 1980-82: Tulsa, assistant coach/offensive coordinator
· 1979: Tulsa, assistant coach
· 1977-78: Claremore (Okla.) High School, head coach
· 1971-76: Fairfax (Okla.) High School, head coach
· 2002 American Football Monthly National Coach of the Year
· 2001 AFCA/National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association National Coach of the Year
· 2005 AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year
· 2001 AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year
· 2001-02 Big East Coach of the Year
· 2002 Eddie Robinson Coach of Distinction
· Guided UTSA to an 8-4 record in just its second season of play in 2012
· Led Miami (Fla.) to the 2001 BCS National Championship, the first rookie head coach in 53 years and only second ever to lead a team to the title
· First coach since Walter Camp (1888-89) to go undefeated through first 24 games as a head coach
· Has coached 26 first-team All-Americans and 96 first-team all-conference picks
· Also has mentored 73 student-athletes who earned academic all-conference accolades
· 1966-69: Northeastern (Okla.) State, defensive back
· Master's degree in guidance counseling and physical education, Northeastern (Okla.) State 1973
· Bachelor's degree in history, Northeastern (Okla.) State 1970
· Wife: Dianna
· Daughter: Lara
· Grandsons: Daniel, Dillon
|Prominent Players Coached
Kellen Winslow II
|Ohio State (1993-95)
Oklahoma State (1983-89)
Hart Lee Dykes