’Runners head coach Larry Coker paid a quick lunchtime visit (at the Dog & Bee) to Beeville, on his way to the Corpus Christi area for speaking engagements, on Tuesday. From there, he and other UTSA staff members were headed to Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley.
The Roadrunners are looking to sew up the South Texas wealth of prime football recruits in the years to come. The area south of San Antonio has enough Division I talent to help stock the locker room at UTSA with a handful of good recruits every year, and Coker and staff want to have a step up on any other university that may venture into the area.
Coker’s Roadrunners will compete in the Mountain West Conference this year before moving to Conference USA in 2013.
Conference USA looks to be the permanent home for the Roadrunners, and they will develop rivalries with the likes of University of Houston, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Marshall, UTEP, SMU, Memphis and Tulane, among others.
The initial season for the Roadrunners had the team playing home games at the Alamodome. There are no changes in venue for the foreseeable future. The coaches, players and staff feel the Alamodome is a great place to showcase the UTSA football program.
“It’s a great place to play, and our first year attendance was great,” Coker said.
The Roadrunners averaged 35,521, which would have placed them second in both the Mountain West and Conference USA. In the Western Athletic Conference, which was a possibility for the Roadrunners, the average gate at the Alamodome would have ranked first in that conference, more the 4,000 above the second place University of Hawaii.
Coker was pleased with the just-completed spring practice at UTSA.
“We got a lot done. We brought in some guys to challenge our returning starters and, with that competition, we got some very good improvement,” he said.
That included improvement in former Trojan quarterback Eric Soza.
“Soza had a good spring. The junior college transfer we brought in and a freshman QB recruit all worked well together and upped the level of competition. That competition makes everyone better,” Coker said.
At this time of the year, all the coaching staffs in the football world believe their next season will be a great one.
“We’re unbeatable right now,” Coker laughed.
“Seriously, it will be tough, but we will be a better football team,” he added.
The Roadrunners have stacked their schedule for this upcoming year with some tougher competition than last year’s first season. New Mexico State, Rice, San Jose State and Utah State dot the football calendar for UTSA this fall.
The Roadrunners open with a road trip to South Alabama on Aug. 30 and will kick off their season at the Alamodome with a game against Texas A&M-Commerce on Sept. 8.