UTSA Spring football primer: Roadrunners to begin practice on Monday

Star quarterback Frank Harris, head coach Jeff Traylor return for another season

SAN ANTONIO – The back-to-back Conference USA football champion UTSA Roadrunners are set to begin Spring practice starting on Monday.

The team is getting ready for its first season of play in a new-look American Athletic Conference.

The Roadrunners are coming off an 11-3 season that saw them play in a bowl game for the third year in a row.

UTSA has been ranked in the top 25 of all three major polls in each of the last two seasons and they have a combined 23 wins over that span, the fourth-best total among all FBS teams behind only Georgia (29), Michigan (25) and Alabama (24).

The Roadrunners’ Fiesta Spring Game will be held next month at the Alamodome.

Lucky Number Seven

When it comes to Spring, Head Football Coach Jeff Traylor says he has his hands full with seventh-year quarterback Frank Harris, because he always wants to play and be on the field.

“We got to get him where his body feels really good,” Traylor said. “And he doesn’t like that, because he wants to go all the time. I’ve got to protect Frank from Frank.”

Harris, a semi-finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award for the top collegiate quarterback, completed 328 of 471 passes (69.6%) for 4,063 yards and 32 TDs, all school records last year. He added 602 rushing yards — a program record for a QB — and scored nine times on the ground en route to first-team all-league accolades. Harris is 31-11 as UTSA’s starting quarterback.

KSAT 12 sat down with the star quarterback and talked about everything from his love of the San Antonio community, to his recent engagement, and to why he puts ketchup on his steak.

EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with UTSA’s Frank Harris

Harris announced his return to the team alongside Bexar County officials in a press conference, one that included previous Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and current County Judge Peter Sakai. They also announced the creation of City Fans 210 -- a 510(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the highest level of college football.

“I appreciate the support from all of the fans... I wasn’t ready to leave yet,” Harris said during the press conference.

Coaching Changes

Harris however will have to adjust to a new play-caller for 2023, as co-offensive coordinator Will Stein left the Roadrunners to join the Oregon Ducks for their offensive coordinator position.

Associate Head Coach and co-Offensive coordinator Justin Burke will now see additional responsibilities and the team has since hired Sean Davis as its official quarterbacks coach.

Davis, who has been on staff since 2019, was an offensive quality control coach in his first year. He was previously co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of the Incarnate Word from 2013 to 2017. He’s been working with the quarterbacks, including Harris, during his time with the Roadrunners.

UTSA Roadrunners Quarterback Frank Harris. Courtesy: Adam Higgins (Copyright 2022 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

The Roadrunners football team also lost its other co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach this off-season, as Matt Mattox left to take a job with the Purdue Boilermakers.

In his place, UTSA hired Jarrett Anderson as an assistant offensive line coach. Anderson comes to UTSA after a 24-year tenure at TCU, where he coached multiple offensive position groups and served as co-offensive coordinator for five seasons. During his time there his units set numerous offensive records and coached several players to all-conference selections and NFL careers.

Coach Traylor named Grand Marshal of Battle of Flowers Parade

UTSA head football coach Jeff Traylor has been selected as the grand marshal of the Fiesta’s Battle of Flowers Parade for 2023.

Traylor, a two-time Conference USA Coach of the Year, has led the Roadrunners to a 30-10 record in his first three years at the helm. He has the most wins in program history and the best winning percentage (.750) by a coach ever for UTSA.

Traylor will ride on a float decorated in UTSA colors, and the UTSA band, mascot and cheer team will also be featured in the parade.

“I’m truly honored to be selected as Grand Marshal for this year’s Battle of Flowers Parade. San Antonio knows how to throw a party and Fiesta has quickly become one of my favorite events,” Traylor said. “I’m very proud to be able to represent UTSA and our 210 Triangle of Toughness culture in this prestigious role and I can’t wait for the parade on April 28.”

The parade will be held on Friday, April 28, with the theme of “Where Fiesta Reigns!”

“Coach Traylor embodies the spirit of our community and personifies the leadership skills that allow others to reach their potential under his tutelage,” said KaRynn O’Connell, Battle of Flowers Parade chairman. “We are proud to announce that Coach Jeff Traylor is our 2023 Grand Marshal.”

About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Larry Ramirez joined the KSAT 12 sports team in October 2004.