Signing day. Those are the buzz words in UTSA’s football department. On National signing day—Feb. 3—high school recruits can sign an official letter of intent to play for a specific university.

Although Head Coach Larry Coker and his staff typically split their time evenly between recruiting and fundraising, recruiting has taken precedence as signing day draws closer.

“[This time of year,] I wouldn’t pass up a chance for recruiting to do something else. For example, on Dec. 9, I’ll be in Houston at an awards banquet and then making home visits to recruits,” Coker said.

Twelve to fifteen prospects are scheduled for official visits to the football program for each of the first two weekends of December, and coaches will be conducting home visits thereafter. Recruits are divided among the coaches, who pursue only those players they are assigned.

The team hopes to have commitments for the vast majority of its available scholarships when Feb. 3 rolls around: Although the football program has 25 available scholarships, Coach Coker intends to sign only 20-22 players by early February.

“We want to save a few for very talented players who [inevitably] become available after signing day,” he said.

The coaching staff will also look to add new members after the signing day craze passes. Coker hopes to add four to six new assistant coaches by year’s end.

“There are a lot of great people, great coaches who want to come here. The down side is, of course, you can’t bring everybody,” he said.

The coaching staff will eventually fill out to nine coaches (three have already been hired).

The other half of the equation is money. The athletics department has been tasked with raising roughly $15 million over the next several years, and the schedule calls for about $1.8 million to be raised in the 2009-2010 academic year.

“I’m very confident we’ll meet the goals,” Coker said. “Even though the economy has seen some hard times around the country, San Antonio has held up pretty well.

The unemployment rate here is much lower here than in other places.”

The schedules for fundraising and the construction of athletics complexes are on schedule. An agreement is being finalized with Northside Independent School District to lease Dub Farris Stadium, located near 1604 and Hausman, for interim practices.

When asked if he had anything he wanted to say to the UTSA student body, Coker responded with a statement of gratitude and optimism.

“Thank you for your support, stay with us, and be patient. [Building a team] is going to take some time; it’s a process, but we’re moving toward that process, and the end product is going to be great.”

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