UTSA Football Coaching Search: Who should the Roadrunners target?

By Mary Scott McNabb

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UTSA football fired head coach Frank Wilson after four seasons at the helm. Wilson had some early success, but struggled to build consistency after losing key players and coaches. 

Now, UTSA athletic director Dr. Lisa Campos is turning to a search firm in search of the next round of candidates, but there’s no set path for a program hiring just its third ever head coach. There are several experienced Power Five coaches who could be available. Multiple high-level coordinators would consider the job. 

UTSA is perhaps the most untapped program in the state of Texas. The fan support in San Antonio is incredible for a school that wins so infrequently. The facilities will be upgraded in the coming year or two. Wilson was paid handsomely, so money won't be an issue for this level. The next coach at UTSA has a chance to permanently raise the status of this program. 

The Roadrunners are the only FBS team in Texas searching for a head coach, so there should be plenty of high-level candidates available.

Realistic Candidates

Larry Fedora, Former North Carolina Head Coach

If the athletic department wanted to hire a truly proven head coach, UTSA could do worse than Fedora. He spent seven years at North Carolina and helped lead the program to one of its most successful periods ever. In 2015, the Tar Heels won 11 games for the first time since Mack Brown, and earned a trip to the ACC title game. 

Even when Fedora was fired at UNC, it wasn’t really his fault. The roster had multiple injuries, and largely got healthier to make a bowl in Mack Brown’s first season. The Texas native spent the last season working as an analyst at Texas, and is ready to coach again. 

Todd Graham – Former Arizona State Head Coach

Like Fedora, Graham is a quick fix. Graham had success at Arizona State, Pitt, Tulsa and Rice – four places that are tough to win. With the Golden Hurricane, he had a 36-17 overall record and three 10-win seasons. 

Graham hasn’t coached since 2017, but is still a high-level candidate for this position. He’s from Mesquite and previously was the head coach at Allen High School. He can be a prickly personality, but is a proven head coach. 

Eric Morris – Incarnate Word Head Coach

Morris has now led Incarnate Word to two seasons of success. He won the Southland a year ago for the first time in the program’s short history, and followed up with a 5-7 record in his second season, while turning quarterback Jon Copeland into an all-conference type player. 

Morris previously served as offensive coordinator and inside receivers coach under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech from 2015 to 2017. He helped develop receivers like Keke Coutee, Dylan Cantrell and Jakeem Grant into NFL players. Morris would be an instant offensive upgrade. 

Out of the Box Candidates

Pete Golding – Alabama Defensive Coordinator

This is an obvious call, even if it might not be a perfect fit. Golding served as UTSA defensive coordinator in Wilson’s first two seasons and helped the Roadrunners produce first round NFL draft pick Marcus Davenport. UTSA’s success can largely be attributed to him. 

However, Golding is at one of the premier jobs in college football and might wait for a bigger name to call. Additionally, at just 35 with two years of Power Five experience, he might not be the right fit for what UTSA needs right now. 

Joey McGuire – Baylor Associate Head Coach

McGuire has only coached at the collegiate level for three years, but is part of one of the better rebuilding jobs in the past few years. He was instrumental in connecting Baylor coach Matt Rhule with Texas high school football coaches and is considered an elite motivator. Rhule moved him around on staff on offense and defense, so he has background everywhere. 

However, McGuire might be even more valuable for his history. The former Cedar Hill coach transformed the Longhorns from nobodies into a perennial state title contender. He’s on the short list of the most popular figures in Texas high school football. McGuire brings instant credibility among high school coaches, and will be a tremendous face of a program. 

Jason Washington – Texas Recruiting Coordinator/CBs

Washington might have been a better fit a year ago – the defensive staff at Texas could still get fired. However, the San Antonio product has played a major role in Tom Herman’s rebuilds at both Houston and Texas. 

Washington has experience coaching cornerbacks and secondary at Texas State, Rice, Houston and Texas. He would immediately be a plus recruiter. Plus, Washington is from the city of San Antonio. However, the athletic department might not want to go back down the recruiter road after Wilson. 

Pipe Dream

Graham Harrell – USC Offensive Coordinator

At this time, it doesn’t appear the USC staff will get fired. However, this is an opportunity for UTSA to buy low on someone who will soon become a sought-after coaching candidate. 

Harrell spent three years as offensive coordinator at North Texas and helped turn Mason Fine into one of the nation’s elite quarterbacks. When he left, the UNT offense left with him. At USC, Harrell withstood multiple quarterback injuries to help produce a top 20 offense. 

Harrell has recruited the state extensively and is a known name thanks to his storied career at Texas Tech. He could step in and potentially dramatically change the on-field production. The only risk is that he has just one year of experience at the Power Five level. 


Rhett Lashlee – SMU Offensive Coordinator

Lashlee is one of the safest candidates UTSA could consider – in the best way. He has experience coordinating in the Sun Belt, AAC and SEC, and helped lead Auburn to a national championship game in 2013. 

However, some of his most impressive work happened in his most recent stop at SMU. In his second season, Lashlee is a finalist for the Broyles Award for leading the Mustangs to a top 10 offense. The Springdale, Arkansas, native has ties to the area and is a hard worker. 

Lashlee would instantly add offensive credibility to this coaching staff. His personality would make him a great fit to build a program. 

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