Coker Guides UTSA Football To C-USA
By Dan Harralson
DALLAS — Football.com went to Conference USA media day. Here are some question and answers with UTSA's head coach Larry Coker:
Do you feel that you have to prove yourself being a new member of C-USA?
I don't think we have to, but I want to.
How much does the Alamo Dome help in recruiting?
It's nice and it's the best thing we have in recruiting. That and having won a national championship, parents know that, and it allows me to get in the door and talk to kids. The Alamo Dome is pretty special.
How is the atmosphere like in the Alamo Dome on game day?
It's a very fan friendly, very home team friendly atmosphere and very loud. My defensive coordinator, last year, said, 'Coach, I can't hear.' They've re-done the home dressing room. It's a lot of these things. When we bring recruits in, it helps.
Talk about your first college coaching job at Tulsa.
Coach (John) Cooper hired me and I was very interested in the job. He offered me $14,000 a year and I was making more than that as a high school coach. I had to explain this to my wife about this great opportunity, but it turned out to be a great move for me and then Coach Cooper hired me at Ohio State. Having the opportunity to coach in college is surreal.
What are the advantages to selling UTSA to recruits?
Really it's unbelievable. The nature of college football now and all the movement and everything, it's given us an opportunity. People come and look at San Antonio, the city, our student body of 30,000, the Alamo Dome to play in, we have an airport to fly into, there's a lot of positives about it. But we have to prove ourselves, we haven't done anything and I think that's the step with them.
What are your expectations this season?
We want to win every game. I don't know if that's realistic or not, but why not? Our players will think the same thing, if we don't win then we will lick our wounds and go move on to the next one.
Will you continue to play Texas State?
We don't play them this year, but I see that coming back in the future. When I was at Miami, we didn't play Florida every year. It's games like that you try and get back (on the schedule).
Is there any team in the C-USA West you would consider a rival?
I don't think we have rivals. We haven't done enough to create a rivalry. We have to compete on the field and those type things. I think we are going to develop some rivalries. What I like about Conference USA, you got Tulsa, North Texas, you got all the teams with local flavor.