IMG_5693.jpg

March 6 has long been remembered in San Antonio for the fall of the Alamo. After 2009 it will also be remembered as the day UTSA introduced Larry Coker as the first head football coach.

Coker was named head coach Wednesday but it became official Friday at the UC Ballroom. The ceremony, which could have passed for a pep rally, was kicked off by Assistant Vice President of University Communication David Gabler.

“Welcome to a great day in the history of UTSA,” Gabler said.

After a raucous ovation from the capacity crowd Gabler introduced UTSA President Ricardo Romo to the podium. Romo also played on the atmosphere when he started.

“What a crowd, what a day, it is a great day in our history,” Romo said, “We have talked a lot about the being the next great Texas university but now it is time to start the next great Texas football program.”

Athletic Director Lynn Hickey echoed Romo’s sentiments when it came time for her to speak.

“This is a day of celebration and thanksgiving,” Hickey said, “this is another milestone to make UTSA the next great university.”

With Hickey done, it was time for the man of the hour, Larry Coker, to take the podium and speak to the fans in attendance.

“I have had some great experiences but I have never been more impressed than I am right now,” Coker said, “The thing I picked up on was the enthusiasm and excitement of this university.”

Romo thanked the students who were in attendance for their support throughout the process.

“For years we have wanted football and now its about to happen,” Romo said, “Students, we couldn’t do it without you.”

Hickey also showed her appreciation for the student body who voted to raise prices to fund the team.

“The most important group to thank is the students, none of this would have happened without the students,” Hickey said, “Since you passed that referendum, when you go to the game, your ticket’s been paid so you’re getting in the game.”

Coker voiced his regard for the students and understood the importance of football to UTSA.

“The thing I picked up on was the enthusiasm and excitement of this university,” Coker said, “I can tell from Romo that he wants excellence from this program and you do to and you deserve it. I want to build a program you all can be proud of.”

Hickey stressed that the hiring of Coker was just a small part of a bigger process for UTSA football.

“This is a marathon not a sprint, we needed someone to be here for the long haul,” Hickey said, “This was not a splash hire, you make a hire to make it stick.”

Related Stories

More from Paisano1

Editorial Board

At the University of Missouri, real change happened — but only when loss of university revenue was threatened. Missouri student…

More In Sports

Julia Maenius Assistant Sports Editor

Senior Emily Ramirez is now entering her fourth season as a defensive specialist for the UTSA Roadrunner volleyball team. After…