UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor has been named the 2021 Werner Ladder AFCA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Regional Coach of the Year for Region 4, the organization announced on Monday.
Traylor joins Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Arkansas’ Sam Pittman, Michigan State’s Mel Tucker and Utah State’s Blake Anderson as regional coaches of the year and finalists for the 2021 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year. All five regional winners will be honored on Sunday, Jan. 9, during the 2022 AFCA Convention in San Antonio.
Also a member of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards Coach of the Year watch list, Traylor has guided the No. 24 Roadrunners to a 12-1 record and the program’s first conference championship in his second season at the helm, and he now will lead UTSA to its second straight and third overall bowl appearance. The Gilmer, Texas, native has registered a 19-6 record during his tenure in San Antonio, the best 25-game start in program history.
UTSA opened the 2021 campaign with a school-record 11 consecutive victories and has been ranked as high as 15th nationally. The Roadrunners secured their first Conference USA West Division crown with a 34-31 win over UAB on Nov. 20 before capturing the first league title in their 11-year history with a 49-41 home triumph over WKU in the C-USA Championship Game on Dec. 3. UTSA will face No. 24 San Diego State (11-2) in the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl for its third bowl appearance in an ESPN broadcast set for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
Last fall, Traylor became the first UTSA head coach to win his first three games and to notch seven victories in his debut season. He led the Roadrunners to the second bowl appearance in school history with a spot in the First Responder Bowl on Dec. 26 in Dallas. An unprecedented number of Roadrunners earned All-America — Lucas Dean, Hunter Duplessis and Sincere McCormick — and all-conference (19) accolades in 2020.
Traylor boasts more than 30 years of coaching experience, including a highly successful 15-year career as head coach at Gilmer High School, where he led his hometown Buckeyes to three state championships and two state runner-up finishes and posted a 175-26 (.871) record. Named the third head coach in UTSA history on Dec. 10, 2019, Traylor previously was the associate head coach and running backs coach at Arkansas (2018-19) and SMU (2017) after two seasons at Texas serving as associate head coach for the offense and receivers coach in 2016 and special teams coordinator and tight ends coach in 2015.
The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association’s five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.
“Once again, it is an honor to join the AFCA in announcing the winners of the 2021 Werner Ladder AFCA FBS Regional Coach of the Year,” said Stacy Gardella, vice president of brand marketing at WernerCo. “These five coaches ‘stepped up’ and gave college football fans one of the best seasons in recent memory. Werner Ladder would like to congratulate Coach Fickell, Coach Pittman, Coach Tucker, Coach Traylor and Coach Anderson on a job well done.”