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UTSA finally has a head football coach. Now what?

According to UTSA officials, a projected timeline would go as follows: Completion of hiring a coaching staff by the end of 2009; 2010 – begin practicing (1st Season); 2011 – Play Independent Football schedule (Kickoff 1st Season); 2012 – Play Southland Conference Football schedule.

As for new head football coach, Larry Coker, he is right on schedule. Coker is scheduled to begin his first day at UTSA on April 1.

“The first thing I’m going to do is get my office set up,” Coker said. “I’ve got a few coaches coming in to interview.”

A permanent office location has yet to be determined as a new facility complex has yet to be constructed. No specific names were mentioned as to whom Coker is considering for the assistant coaches position.

“I have three coaches to hire hopefully by the end of the month,” Coker said. “I will be interviewing coaches for those positions in the upcoming weeks.”

“I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of good coaches, so the plan is to bring in coaches that I know,” Coker said. “These coaches will have experience at the high school and collegiate level and possibly at the pro.”

Once Coker has his coaches in place, recruiting for UTSA’s first ever football class will begin. Coker has experience recruiting in Texas having recruited a quarterback and tight end in his latter years with the Miami Hurricanes.

While Coker is hiring his assistant coaches, he and the rest of the athletic department will also be focused on fundraising to support the new football program.

“I’m not exactly sure what Lynn (Hickey, UTSA’s Athletic Director) has in mind, but we are going to be very active among the community trying to get fundraising done in the coming months.”

The goal is to reach $15 million over the next eight years, which would support a football program and eventually raise $84 million for an athletic complex.

According to UTSA athletics, the $15 million is the budget required from 2009 through 2016, or approximately $1 – $2 million annually, to support football operations and move the entire Athletic Department to the next level of NCAA competition.

The $15 million will be used to fund Athletic Department operations. Plans are being developed for a fundraising initiative to secure the needed funding.

Fee increases as approved by students and the $15 million in fundraising commitments will provide annual operation budget levels sufficient to sustain a football program in the Southland Conference, the university’s current Football Championship Subdivision conference affiliation.

Will the hiring of assistant coaches keep the enthusiasm up around campus? Unfortunately, for those graduating in the next two years, only time will tell.

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