UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor has been named to the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards Coach of the Year watch list for the second consecutive year, it was announced on Wednesday.
Traylor is one of 25 FBS head coaches to land on the list and he joins Willie Fritz (Tulane), Gus Malzahn (UCF) and Kane Wommack (South Alabama) as the only Group of Five coaches honored today. The award is given each January to a college football coach for contributions that make the sport better for athletes and fans alike by demonstrating grit, integrity and a winning approach to coaching and life both on and off the field.
The reigning Conference USA Coach of the Year, Traylor has UTSA off to a 5-2 overall record and its second straight 3-0 start to league play this season. The Roadrunners, who are receiving a vote in this week’s USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, are riding a four-game winning streak entering Saturday’s matchup against North Texas, which is tied with UTSA atop the standings with a 3-0 mark. UTSA has won 12 of its last 13 home games, including 52-24 over Texas Southern on Sept. 24 and 31-28 over WKU on Oct. 8. The Roadrunners also have scored road victories this season against Army (41-38/OT), Middle Tennessee (45-30) and FIU (30-10).
Taking over a team that won a combined seven games in the two seasons prior to his arrival, he has led the Roadrunners to a 24-9 record, the best record through 33 games by a UTSA head football coach. Additionally, he has guided UTSA to 15 wins in 18 conference games during his tenure.
UTSA enjoyed a record-setting campaign in Traylor’s second season. The Roadrunners won their first 11 games, were nationally ranked (as high as No. 15) for the first time in school history and captured the program’s first league title by winning the 2021 C-USA Championship with a 49-41 victory over WKU. UTSA capped the season with its second straight and third overall bowl appearance. Traylor was honored for his success as the 2021 C-USA Coach of the Year, the AFCA FBS Regional Coach of the Year for Region 4 and a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, AFCA National Coach of the Year and George Munger College Coach of the Year Award. He also was chosen as the 2021 San Antonio Express-News Sportsman of the Year.
In his first season, Traylor guided the Roadrunners to a 7-5 overall record, a runner-up finish in C-USA’s West Division with a 5-2 mark and an appearance in the First Responder Bowl. The Roadrunners received votes in a national poll for the first time in program history and the seven wins are the most by a first-year UTSA head coach.