UTSA football coach has finger smashed by rat trap as motivational ploy goes wrong

‘It would have killed a lesser man, but I’m OK,’ HC Jeff Traylor says

UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor signals to the crowd after losing an NCAA college football game against North Texas in Denton, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Jacobsohn) (Andy Jacobsohn, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA football coach Jeff Traylor had his finger smashed by a rat trap after a motivational ploy went awry following the Roadrunners’ 36-10 win over Florida Atlantic this past weekend.

Traylor had the coaching staff place more than 100 rat traps inside the players’ lockers, as a way to emphasize to the players to not get caught up with outside noise.

The traps were supposed to be used as a metaphor, with the meaning: “Don’t eat the cheese.”

One of his players, however, re-loaded a trap, placing it where Traylor speaks to the team. The player has not been identified.

“We passed out 112 of them. We unloaded all of them, but one of my smart aleck seniors loaded his back up and put it up on the podium where I speak to the kids. I put my hand down. It looks like my pinky got smashed by a hammer,” Traylor said. “It would’ve killed a lesser man, but I’m okay.”

The metaphor of the rat trap or poisoned cheese has been used by several coaches, most notably Alabama’s Nick Saban and even recently North Carolina’s Mack Brown, whose No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels lost last Saturday to the 1-5 Virginia Cavaliers 31-27, at home. Saban has often spoken of trying to avoid social media and its “rat poison.” The trap has been Taylor’s version.

Traylor’s intended goal is to keep the team’s winning streak going. He’ll now have to try to do that while nursing an injured finger.

UTSA has recently opened American Athletic Conference play at 3-0, following a rough 1-3 start to begin the season. They next face East Carolina on Saturday at home, with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be shown on ESPN+.

About the Author:

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