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UTSA Roadrunners Football is an American football program that represents the University of Texas at San Antonio. The team is coached by former Miami Hurricanes head coach, Larry Coker. UTSA is a member of Conference USA in all sports as of July 1st, 2013. UTSA began practicing in August 2010, and began competing as an NCAA Division I FCS independent on September 3, 2011. Prior to joining C-USA, on November 11, 2010, UTSA had accepted an invitation for membership within the Western Athletic Conference in the football bowl subdivision. UTSA previously became an official member of the WAC on July 1, 2012, and began their transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), prior to moving to C-USA. The team plays its home games at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, which also serves as home to the Alamo Bowl. In April 2012, it was announced that UTSA would join Conference USA on July 1, 2013, following its approval from the University of Texas System Board of Regents to allow the school to accept an invitation, negotiate and finalize terms with the league. UTSA is FBS transitional in 2012 and 2013, and will become a bowl eligible full FBS member in 2014.
In February 2006, the University of Texas at San Antonio approached Carr Sports Associates, Inc. to conduct a feasibility study and make recommendations to the university regarding an expansion of the athletics department. In November of that year, UTSA was given the final results of that study. Following the recommendations of CSA, the university facilitated a student referendum in September 2007 to gauge support for a fee increase. Nearly 66% of student voters supported the fee increase.
In December 2008, after the approval of the UTSA administration, the university presented the University of Texas System Board of Regents with a long-term plan that followed the feasibility study recommendations to build an $84 million athletic complex and the fee increase for their approval. It was approved by the board soon thereafter.
In January 2009, UTSA launched a campaign to raise money for the program dubbed the "Step Up UTSA" initiative. With a goal of $15 million USD, the campaign is meant to help fund coaches salaries, player scholarships, and construction of practice fields.
On February 4, 2009, former Miami Hurricanes head coach Larry Coker announced he had applied for the head coaching job. Later that month it was announced that Coker along with Tulsa's co-defensive coordinator Paul Randolph and Mel Tjeerdsma, head coach from Northwest Missouri State were the finalists for the position. On March 5, 2009, the San Antonio Express-News reported that Larry Coker had earned the position. The next day Coker was officially announced as the Roadrunners' first head football coach in a press conference. On April 22, 2009, Coker announced the addition of Mike Menefee, Eric Roark, and David Ross to the roster as assistant football coaches.
On June 4, 2009 UTSA unveiled the team's inaugural helmet design. The design was done by Ohio-based Rickabaugh Graphics, and had final approval by Coker. On January 20, 2010, the program announced the hiring of Travis Bush as offensive coordinator. Bush had previously worked in the same capacity for his alma mater, Texas State.
Although plans for conference and subdivision affiliation were unclear, Lynn Hickey, UTSA's athletic director had strongly hinted at plans for UTSA to join their current conference, the Southland Conference (a member of the Division I FCS subdivision) in September 2009. However in late January 2010, Hickey stated that the football program would attempt to join the Division I FBS subdivision by 2014 instead, citing an overall disappointment for previous plans. This entailed UTSA joining the subdivision as an independent until finding admission to a conference.
On February 3, 2010, National Signing Day, UTSA officially announced their inaugural signing class. The twenty-seven students consisted mainly of incoming freshmen, including two transfer students who were currently sophomores at the university. Seven of the student athletes were considered all-state performers from their high school careers. The class was heavily recruited from the Greater San Antonio area, as fourteen players were from such area high schools. Each player for the inaugural class was redshirted during the 2010 NCAA Division I FCS football season.
On March 16, 2010 UTSA announced Neal Neathery as defensive coordinator for the team. Neathery had last served in the same position for Drake.
In an effort to move the program to the FBS, UTSA had discussions with the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) about joining that conference after they lost Boise State to the Mountain West Conference during the summer of 2010.
In July 2010, the Northside Independent School District announced a three-year agreement that allowed UTSA to use Dub Farris Athletic Complex for practice. On September 15, 2010, UTSA held its first-ever practice at the stadium.
On November 10, 2010, it was reported that the WAC had offered UTSA, along with fellow Southland conference member Texas State and Sun Belt Conference member Denver an invitation to join its conference that would take effect in 2012. Denver would join as a non-football school. Such an invitation was an effort to offset the departures of Boise State, Fresno State, and Nevada to the Mountain West Conference during the early stages of the 2010–13 NCAA conference realignment. The following day, UTSA announced it had accepted the invitation.