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UTSA announces 2011 football schedule

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 04/15/2010
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Larry Coker
SAN ANTONIO — Responding to overwhelming interest in its new program, UTSA released its 2011 football schedule late Friday night, an 11-game slate that kicks off on Sept. 3 against Northeastern (Okla.) State, the alma mater of head coach Larry Coker.

“The response from the community has been overwhelming during the past few days,” UTSA Athletics Director Lynn Hickey said from Indianapolis, where she is serving on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. “We recently completed and had planned to release the 2011 schedule in a few days, but the rumors, primarily on the Internet, made it necessary for us to announce the schedule late tonight.”

Seven of the Roadrunners’ first 11 games will be against FCS schools and the remainder will be against NCAA Division II and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics opponents. Several start-up programs have chosen to play junior colleges and prep schools in their inaugural seasons.

UTSA’s other home games at the Alamodome include McMurry (Sept. 10), Bacone College (Sept. 24), South Alabama (Oct. 8), Georgia State (Oct. 29) and Minot State (Nov. 19). The Roadrunners have road dates at Southern Utah (Sept. 17), Sam Houston State (Oct. 1), UC Davis (Oct. 15), Northwestern State (Oct. 22) and McNeese State (Nov. 12).

“This is certainly a challenging schedule,” Coker said. “We’re playing several Southland Conference teams and several other Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools. This would be a challenging schedule for any FCS school, especially a first-year program.

“I’m really excited to have six games in the Alamodome for our home fans.  To open the season and play our first football game ever against my alma mater also makes this a pretty special schedule.”

A 28-year collegiate coaching veteran and two-time national coach of the year, Coker played football at Northeastern State and graduated from there in 1970.

Coker was hired as UTSA’s first head football coach on March 6, 2009. He and Senior Associate Athletics Director for Business Affairs Ross Cobb began contacting schools not long after his hiring to compile schedules.

“I didn’t know how schools would respond, since we’re a start-up program and an independent, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive," Coker said. "People want to come to San Antonio and they also want to play in the Alamodome. Those were two real strong attractions. They also want to be in San Antonio because of the recruiting base that Texas high school football offers.”

Hickey announced earlier this year that UTSA will play two years as an FCS Independent in 2011-12. It then will notify the NCAA in June 2012 of its intent to advance to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2014. The Roadrunners will comply with FBS standards during the 2013 season, then will seek full FBS membership and bowl eligibility in 2014.

“We hope to be able to schedule five FBS home games and at least three on the road in 2013,” Hickey said.  “We’ve received many, many favorable responses from FBS schools for 2013 and beyond, but scheduling that many home games just three years out will be a challenge.”

Coker said contracts for games beyond 2011 and 2012 will be announced as they are signed.

“We’re not ready to say much about schedules beyond 2012, but we’re getting a good response from FBS schools,” Coker said. “It’s going to take some work, but I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to schedule the required five FBS home games and three road games beginning in 2013.”

“Coach Coker and our staff have done an excellent job compiling this first schedule,” Hickey said. “It is one of the most challenging first-year schedules ever put together.  The Southland Conference is one of the strongest FCS conferences in the country and we’re playing three Southland schools. We’re presenting quite a challenge to our coaches and young players, but that’s what Coach Coker wanted.”

UTSA signed its first recruiting class in February and will redshirt all incoming players during the 2010-11 school year.

UTSA is offering fans an opportunity to place a $50 deposit on season tickets by going on line at goUTSA.com or by calling the ticket office at 210/458-UTSA (8872). Season ticket packages will go on sale in July 2010. Deposits are non-refundable and will be applied to the cost of season tickets in 2011.

2011 UTSA Football Schedule
Sept. 3: Northeastern State
Sept. 10: McMurry
Sept. 17: at Southern Utah
Sept. 24: Bacone College
Oct. 1: at Sam Houston State
Oct. 8: South Alabama
Oct. 15: at UC Davis
Oct. 22: at Northwestern State
Oct. 29: Georgia State
Nov. 12: at McNeese State
Nov. 19: Minot State

Schedule notes:
McNeese State, Southern Utah, Sam Houston and UC Davis all will return games at UTSA in 2012. UTSA will return games to Georgia State and South Alabama that same season.
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