Larry Coker, who built UTSA from scratch, steps down

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Larry Coker, who built the Texas-San Antonio football program from scratch in 2009, stepped down Tuesday after five seasons.

The 67-year-old Coker had a 26-32 record at UTSA, including 3-9 this past season.

Coker was considered a major hire for the fledgling program. He won a national title with Miami in 2001 but was fired there in 2006.

Coker took over at UTSA two years before it played its first game. When he took the job, the Roadrunners hadn't yet signed a single player, had no football facilities or even a schedule for their first season. His best season with the Roadrunners was 8-4 in 2012 but the team never made it a bowl game.

Coker had one other winning season, 7-5 in 2013, but couldn't sustain the success. The Roadrunners had consecutive losing seasons the next two years.

"I want to thank Larry for taking on the huge challenge of starting up this football program," said Lynn Hickey, UTSA associate vice president and athletic director. "It required an incredible amount of hard work and dedication over the past seven years. There were a lot of challenges and unknowns, but Larry was able to represent the university and the city of San Antonio in a first-class manner."

Coker spent 37 years working his way from coach of a small Oklahoma high school to the helm of an elite college program at Miami. He led the Hurricanes to a 12-0 record and the national championship in 2001, his first year as head coach after taking over for Butch Davis.

Fired five years later, Coker was out of football until landing at Texas-San Antonio, a place Coker envisioned as an eventual powerhouse location in one of the nation's largest cities and in the middle of some of the best high school football talent in the country.

In a statement, Coker called UTSA a "special place" and said he was grateful for the chance to coach there.

"The future of UTSA football is very bright and I look forward to watching the Roadrunners' success in the future," Coker said.

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