SAN ANTONIO – Larry Coker has stepped down as UTSA's head football coach, according to a press release from UTSA's athletic department.
The announcement of Coker's departure ends a day of speculation that began with an initial report Tuesday morning from FootballScoop.com.
Coker built the Roadrunners football program from the ground up and has been UTSA's only head coach since its inception in 2009.
UTSA has also moved from the FCS level to the Football Bowl Subdivision level and into Conference USA under Coker's watch.
The Roadrunners finished 3-9 last season and Coker went 26-32 overall in five seasons as head coach.
"UTSA has been a very special place to me and I will be forever grateful for the experience," Coker said in the press release. "The future of UTSA football is very bright and I look forward to watching the Roadrunners' success in the future."
In 2011, the Roadrunners set attendance records for an NCAA startup program with 56,743 fans for their inaugural game and an average home attendance of 35,521.
Coker won a national championship at Miami in 2001 and his hiring brought immediate credibility to UTSA's football program.
UTSA Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey issued the following statement in the release:
"I want to thank Larry for taking on the huge challenge of starting up this football program," Hickey said. "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.
“Larry is a true gentleman, a great leader and a role model and mentor for both our students and our staff. He never complained about all the obstacles we had in front of us, but rather saw those as opportunities and gladly took them on. He is one of the most kind and gracious professionals I have ever worked with. Larry made NCAA history in developing our program and he will always be recognized as a true ambassador for UTSA.”
Hickey held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address the news.
"We started this whole process with one football and a helmet. How cool is that we're in here today and we're worried about and we're looking at coaches from all over the country contacting us about the job. And we're FBS in Conference USA and the idea of winning a conference championship and getting to a bowl game for the first time is extremely real. Thank you, Larry Coker. (It's) just unbelievable what he brought our program," Hickey said.
UTSA will begin a national search for a new head coach immediately.