Coker eyes new UTSA program

Updated: February 4, 2009, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- Former Miami coach Larry Coker has applied to lead the new Texas-San Antonio football program in what would be his first head coaching job since the Hurricanes fired him in 2006.

Coker, who led Miami to the BCS championship in 2001 and is currently an ESPN college football analyst, told the San Antonio Express-News he spoke to UTSA over the phone about the job last month.

"That's as far as it's gotten," Coker told the newspaper.

Coker said athletic director Lynn Hickey did not indicate if or when he might be interviewed. School officials have said they hope to have a head coach in place by March 1, and UTSA hopes to make its college football debut in 2011.

ESPN spokeswoman Tilea Coleman told The Associated Press that Coker did not want to comment. Hickey did not immediately return messages left at UTSA.

Coker went 60-15 in six seasons but was fired after going 6-6 his final year. That season was marred with off-the-field problems, as well as Miami's infamous on-field brawl with Florida International that resulted in the suspension of 31 players.

Coker reached the pinnacle of college football in 2001, guiding Miami to a 12-0 record and a national championship against Nebraska in his first season as head coach.

The 60-year-old is now interested in a budding program still getting off the ground.

San Antonio is the largest city in the nation without an NFL or Division I-A football team. UTSA has about 28,000 students, and an overwhelming majority in 2007 approved a referendum that was a major step in obtaining a football program.

The Roadrunners plan to play in the Alamodome, the 65,000-seat downtown stadium built in 1993 that never attracted the NFL franchise like the city hoped.

Coker won the Big East in his first three seasons at Miami. He has said since leaving the Hurricanes that he wanted to coach again, and his name has been rumored for past openings elsewhere.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press