Larry Coker, the first head football coach of the UTSA Roadrunners, is considered by many to be the Father of UTSA Football. Hired in 2009, Coach Coker built our program from scratch, starting with only a helmet and a football, purchased at a local store. UTSA offered limited staffing and had no football facilities of their own. But Coach saw the potential of our location in one of the nation's largest cities and in the middle of some of the best—yet often under-recruited—high school football talent in the country, and he made the call that led to his hiring.
In just two years, he formed a team that was ready to compete. In 2011, the Roadrunners played and won their first game, and that season attracted NCAA-record crowds for a start-up program. In 2012, UTSA finished 8-4, which under other circumstances would have made them eligible for a bowl in just their second year of play.
Coach Coker is a graduate of Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, where he walked-on to the football team. He spent more than 37 years working his way from coach of a small Oklahoma high school to the helm of an elite college program at the University of Miami. He led the Hurricanes to a 12-0 record and the national championship in 2001. He has coached some of the greatest players in football, including Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, and Edgerrin James.
He left UTSA in 2016 after five seasons with a legacy of starting a Division I Football program that has made it possible for hundreds of young men—including several who went on to the NFL—to get college educations while playing a sport they love. People around the country now know of UTSA and San Antonio because of the exposure our football team has provided.
The Game Plan
To honor his storied career and the thousands of lives coached, the Larry Coker First Head Football Coach Endowed Award has been established with the UTSA Alumni Association. Preference for this honor will be given to a football student-athlete who began his career as a walk-on. Awards will be at the recommendation of the Head Football Coach and in consideration of the NCAA rules and regulations.
By endowing the gift, Coach Coker’s name will forever be linked to the current team as his endowment is awarded. The Larry Coker First Head Football Coach Endowed Award has been established thanks to the generosity of a donor and additional gifts are vital to build a foundation and increase the impact. The longer-term goal is to grow the endowment to more than $500,000, so that it will fully fund at least one football student-athlete each year, in perpetuity.
How You Can Score a Generosity Touchdown
Your support will honor Coach Larry Coker and ensure his legacy continues to reach each new generation of Roadrunners, by helping deserving student-athletes with a strong work ethic pursue dreams of achieving a college education. Your gift is fully tax-deductible, as allowed by law.