A veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks for three decades and a knowledgeable recruiter for more than 20 years, Eric Roark was hired in April 2009 as one of UTSA’s first assistant football coaches. He tutors the program’s defensive linemen.
Last year, Roark helped the defense rank in the Conference USA top five in five different statistical categories, including second in rushing defense (140.8 ypg). UTSA held a pair of foes to less than 100 yards on the ground, including a program-record minus-26 in the season-opening 27-7 win at Houston. His defensive linemen combined for 317 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks and 18 quarterback hurries. Defensive end Robert Singletary was a second-team all-conference selection, while defensive tackle Ashaad Mabry, who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Orleans Saints in May 2015, and defensive end Cody Rogers were named honorable mention.
In 2013, Roark helped lead UTSA to a 7-5 overall record, including victories over a pair of bowl teams. The Roadrunners finished second in the West Division with a 6-2 mark in their first season in Conference USA. He helped mentor a defense that forced 14 turnovers (6 fumbles/ 8 INTs) and allowed only 143.1 rushing yards per game in 2013, including holding three opponents to less than 100 yards. His unit combined for 249 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 17 quarterback hurries and eight pass breakups. Defensive end Codie Brooks was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team and earned honorable mention accolades alongside Mabry and Singletary.
Roark helped UTSA to an 8-4 overall record and a 3-3 mark in its first and only season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2012. The campaign was highlighted by historic wins against South Alabama, the program’s first road and Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) victory, and New Mexico State, its first league win. The defense forced 29 turnovers (16 fumbles/13 interceptions), which led to 22 scores (15 TDs/7 FGs). The defensive line combined to register 216 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries. Defensive tackle Franky Anaya earned second-team All-WAC accolades.
Roark helped lead the Roadrunners to a 4-6 record during their inaugural campaign in 2011. The defense allowed just 21.4 points and 126.2 yards rushing per game and forced 21 turnovers (11 fumbles, 10 interceptions), which led to 15 scores. Roark’s defensive linemen registered 156 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 15.5 sacks, 19 pass breakups and 13 quarterback hurries. Marlon Smith led the team with eight sacks, while Jason Neill had one of the team's two interception returns for a touchdown, a 67-yarder in the season finale against Minot State.
In his first year in the Alamo City, Roark was instrumental in helping the program sign its first-ever recruiting class. The group featured nine all-state and 28 all-district performers. The second class included nine all-state and 25 all-district players. He also was influential in helping former UTSA track & field All-American Teddy Williams ink a free-agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in July 2010. He was an assistant coach at SMU for six seasons (2002-07) and spent 2008 as the defensive coordinator at Grand Prairie High School.
While at SMU, Roark coached the secondary and defensive ends, coordinated special teams and also served as recruiting coordinator for four seasons. Under his tutelage, the punt team finished second in the nation in 2007 and he coached All-Conference USA punter Thomas Morestead (a fifth-round draft pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2009), linebacker Justin Rogers (a sixth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2007) and defensive end Cory Muse. He was named the fifth-best non-BCS recruiter in the country by Rivals.com in 2005.
Roark spent the 2001 season at Tennessee under former head coach Phillip Fulmer, where he served as a graduate assistant in football administration. He helped the Volunteers win the Southeastern Conference East Division Championship and Citrus Bowl that year.
Prior to his time in Knoxville, he coached defensive backs and was the recruiting coordinator at Tennessee Tech from 1997-2000 under current Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, wide receivers at Middle Tennessee from 1989-97 and defensive backs and wide receivers at Murray State in 1987-88.
He began his collegiate coaching career as the linebackers coach at Southeastern Oklahoma State in 1984 followed by one-year stops as a graduate assistant at San Diego State (1985), also under Smith, and Iowa State (1986).
Roark earned three letters as a defensive back at Oklahoma State from 1979-82 under Jimmy Johnson.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from Southeastern Oklahoma State in 1984 and received master’s degrees in the same discipline from Middle Tennessee in 1996 and a second in sport management from Tennessee five years later.
Roark and his wife, Connie, have two sons, Ben and Nick.
The Eric Roark File
Professional Players Coached
· Corey Chamblee (free agent)
· Ashaad Mabry (free agent)
· Bryan McCann (free agent)
· Thomas Morstead (fifth round)
· Justin Rogers (free agent)
· Teddy Williams (free agent)