Austin Claunch lays out goals for first season as new UTSA men’s basketball coach

The Roadrunners are ready for a new voice to lead the program back to prominence

SAN ANTONIO – When University of Texas at San Antonio athletic director Lisa Campos began her search for a head men’s basketball coach, she set out to find someone who could bring some new energy to the Roadrunners program.

Austin Claunch is the energy-packed candidate Campos was looking for. The Houston native couldn’t have been happier to be introduced Thursday as UTSA’s new men’s basketball coach.

It took some time to get Claunch to San Antonio. UTSA had to wait 52 days between the day Claunch was announced as the new head coach and his introductory press conference. During the wait, UTSA’s social media pages cheered him on as he finished out his role as an assistant at Alabama.

Claunch helped the Crimson Tide reach the Final Four for the first time in program history.

“I wanna thank Lisa (Campos) throughout this process for allowing me to finish what we started last year, but also just entrusting me with this opportunity,” Claunch said. “(As) a kid from Texas, I’m not gonna be too cliché, but I am a proud Texan, and I’ve followed this program for a long time.”

Claunch also explained his vision for what he wants to accomplish at UTSA. \

“The vision is to cut down nets at the Convo (Convocation Center), and that’s what we want to do,” Claunch said.

While explaining his coaching style as a fast-tempo offense with a disruptive defense, Claunch also gave insight into how the program will be built on his three pillars.

The first pillar is “Embrace the Moment,” taking in the good and the bad that will come with revamping a program. The second, “Be a Good Teammate,” is not only meant to shape the players’ character but to also entrust their ability to see problems that can be fixed.

The third pillar is “Earn the Right to Win,” which Claunch explained is a lot harder than people may realize since winning doesn’t come easy in college basketball.

Those three pillars are aimed to help Claunch rebuild the Roadrunners program into a team that can compete for American Athletic Conference Championships, and in doing so, get UTSA back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.

“I told our guys a minute ago, ‘You gotta embrace the moment,’” Claunch said. “The good, the bad. It’s all what being a student-athlete is all about, and I wanna help these guys, you know, get to those moments, experience those emotions and be champions.”

If you would like to watch Claunch’s full news conference, click here.

About the Author

Nick Mantas is a KSAT 12 Sports Editor. He has previously worked in Lansing, San Fransisco and Abilene. Nick earned a Master's Degree in Sports Media from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona, where he also interned as a strength and conditioning coach.

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