Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Sombrilla Magazine looks back at UTSA Football’s swift evolution

Sombrilla Magazine looks back at UTSA Football’s swift evolution

DECEMBER 23, 2022 — For many years, a novelty T-shirt boasting the phrase “UTSA Football: Still Undefeated” was one of the top-selling items at the Rowdy Campus Store. The shirts were a joking nod to UTSA’s absence of a football program in a state where the sport is the unquestioned king.

That all changed in 2009 when the university announced that it would start playing football in the fall of 2011. The program started in earnest with a lone helmet that university leaders would take to community events to garner interest in the fledgling Roadrunners Football brand.

My, how far we’ve come. Roadrunner fans across San Antonio and beyond are basking in back-to-back conference championships and looking forward to a leap to the American Athletic Conference in 2023. Simply put, the progress UTSA Football has made in a dozen seasons is awe-inspiring — and Sombrilla Magazine was there every step of the way.

Take a look back at the transformative journey by revisiting these six Sombrilla pieces:


2010: Are you ready for some…

Football at UTSA had been a dream for years, but in 2010, it finally started to feel real when players finally put on the pads and began practicing. With the first football game less than a year away, Sombrilla Magazine checked in with UTSA’s first head football coach Larry Coker, former athletics director Lynn Hickey and several others in the lead-up to the inaugural season.


2012: On tougher turf

After a 2011 season as an NCAA Division I FBS start-up program and another as an FBS transitional member in the Western Athletic Conference in 2012, UTSA announced it would join to Conference USA in 2013. This Sombrilla Magazine article breaks down the move to C-USA and how conference officials were blown away by the attendance for Roadrunners football games.


2016: All hands on deck

In 2016, UTSA Football hired its second head coach in program history. Frank Wilson came to San Antonio from LSU, where he earned a reputation as one of college football’s top recruiters as an assistant head coach and running backs coach for the Tigers. In this article, he talks about his “all hands on deck” mentality and his hopes to engage fans and families.


2017: Bird’s Eye View — One for the books

Only six years after their inaugural season, the Roadrunners made their first appearance in a bowl game in December 2016, taking on the University of New Mexico in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. This photograph recalls kicker Victor Falcon’s 27-yard-field goal, which went in the record book as the first ever points scored by UTSA during a bowl game.


2020: Legend Status

Jeff Traylor was named UTSA’s third head football coach in December 2019, and, well, we all know how that worked out. But before the Conference USA championships and the 210 Triangle of Toughness were a reality, Traylor sat down with Sombrilla Magazine to discuss his success as a Texas high school football coach and the need for significant investments to get UTSA to the next level.


2022: Bird’s Eye View — Savoring the moment

The Roadrunners took their fans on a magical ride in 2021, appearing in the AP and Coaches Poll for the first time ever before capturing the program’s first conference championship in December 2021. The monumental win over Western Kentucky sent just about everyone in the Alamodome into a celebratory frenzy. This photograph perfectly captured that joy on the faces of running back Sincere McCormick and his mother.

Shea Conner and Margaret Lamar



UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu.


UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.