Larry Coker

Larry Coker
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1948-06-23) June 23, 1948
Okemah, Oklahoma
Playing career
1966–1969 Northeastern State
Position(s) Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1971–1976 Fairfax (OK) HS
1977–1978 Claremore (OK) HS
1979 Tulsa (RB/QB)
1980–1982 Tulsa (OC)
1983–1989 Oklahoma State (OC)
1990–1992 Oklahoma (OC)
1993–1994 Ohio State (DB)
1995–2000 Miami (FL) (OC)
2001–2006 Miami (FL)
2009–2015 UTSA
Head coaching record
Overall 86–47
Bowls 4–2
Accomplishments and honors
1 National (2001)
3 Big East (2001–2003)
AFCA Coach of the Year (2001)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (2001)
2x Big East Coach of the Year (2001–2002)

Larry Edward Coker (born June 23, 1948) is an American football coach and former player. From 2001 to 2006, Coker served as the head coach at the University of Miami. His 2001 Miami team was named the consensus national champion after an undefeated season that culminated with a victory in the Rose Bowl over Nebraska. In the process of winning the championship, Coker became the 2nd head coach since 1948 to win the national championship in his first season. (Bennie Oosterbaan from the University of Michigan and Dennis Erickson of Miami were the last 2 head coaches to accomplish this feat.) Coker was fired by Miami on November 24, 2006 following his sixth loss that season. After a stint as a television analyst for ESPNU, Coker was announced as the head coach for UTSA, whose Roadrunners football team began play in 2011. Coker resigned as UTSA coach on January 5, 2016.

Coaching career

Coker has served as an assistant at several universities including Ohio State University, the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University. He was Miami's offensive coordinator from 1995 to 2000 before taking over as head coach following the departure of Butch Davis to the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.

He had several successful seasons as OC over nearly a decade from 1983 - 1993. He is most known for coaching RBs Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders at Oklahoma State.


2001 season

After Butch Davis was hired by the NFL's Cleveland Browns, Coker, previously the offensive coordinator, was promoted to head coach after lobbying by the players. The Hurricanes had been edged out of the BCS Championship Game the year before despite being ranked #2 in both the final AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll and having defeated BCS #2 Florida State. Coker had immediate success, guiding the Hurricanes to a 12–0 record and the national championship in his first season after dominating a Nebraska Cornhuskers team in the Rose Bowl. For his efforts, Coker was given numerous honors, including the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award and the AFCA Coach of the Year.

2002 season

The Hurricanes won their first 12 games in 2002, pushing a winning streak that dated back to the 2000 season to 34 games and giving Coker an unblemished 24–0 record heading into the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game. The 11½-point underdog Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Hurricanes, 31–24, in two overtimes to win the national championship. Despite the loss, Coker tied Walter Camp for the best record by a college football head coach in his first 32 games at 31–1.

2003 season

In 2003, things took a different turn when a pair of late season losses kept Miami out of the BCS National Championship Game for the first time during Coker's tenure. Nevertheless, the 'Canes won the Big East Conference and defeated their arch-rivals, the Florida State Seminoles, for the second time that season in the Orange Bowl. Miami finished the campaign with an 11–2 record and a #5 ranking in both major polls.

2004 season

Miami joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004 and the team finished with a somewhat disappointing 9–3 record and #11 ranking in the final polls. The Hurricanes ended the season by beating the rival Florida Gators, 27–10, in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

2005 season

In late September 2005, Coker agreed to a five-year contract extension with the university. The new contract would have paid Coker in the neighborhood of $2 million per season, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in college football.

The 2005 season ended on a disappointing note for Coker and Miami, as the Hurricanes lost two of their last three games, including a 40–3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl. This was the worst bowl defeat in school history, and included a post-game fight in the tunnel leaving the stadium. In the wake of this loss, Coker fired four longtime Miami assistants. The team finished 9–3 for the second consecutive season.

Coker was reported to be on the hot seat entering the 2006 season, with many speculating that he would need to at least take the team to a BCS bowl in order to keep his job.

2006 season

Miami began the 2006 season 1–2, with losses to Florida State and Louisville, leaving the team unranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 1999. The Louisville loss led to rumors that Coker's firing was imminent, but Miami Director of Athletics Paul Dee gave Coker a vote of confidence, stating that he would coach at least through the end of the season.

After the team's October 14 win against FIU was marred by a bench-clearing brawl, questions were raised in the media as to whether Coker would resign or be fired, but he was again given a vote of confidence by the school administration. The next week, with 13 players suspended by the ACC, Miami defeated winless Duke, 20–15. All but one of the players returned the next week, as Miami jumped out to a 10–0 lead over Georgia Tech, but struggled in the fourth quarter, losing the game 30–23. This left the team at 5–3, further encouraging speculation that Coker would be dismissed by season's end.

The following week, the 'Canes lost to Virginia Tech, 17–10, as ESPN College Football analysts questioned Coker's management of the clock in the game's final minutes. This was the first time Miami had been an underdog at home in Coker's six seasons as coach. The team fell to 5–4 and 2–3 in the ACC, suffering its first four-loss season since 1999.


Miami defeated a ranked Boston College team on Thanksgiving to finish the regular season 6–6. Revealing an apparent lack of communication between Coker and UM President Donna Shalala, Coker predicted after the victory that he would be back as head coach in 2007. The following day, however, Coker was fired.

On December 8, 2006, the University of Miami announced Coker's successor to be Randy Shannon. Shannon had been UM's defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2006 under Coker. Coker was allowed to coach the team in the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl on December 31, 2006.[2] in which Miami defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack, 21–20.

In January 2007, Coker interviewed for the head coaching position at Rice University. According to several media sources, Coker was one of two finalists for the position. However, Rice selected David Bailiff, formerly head coach at Texas State University, and Coker was not affiliated with any team at the beginning of the 2007 season.


In February 2009, Coker applied for the first head coach position for the University of Texas at San Antonio's new football team. On March 5, it was reported that he would be the head coach for the school's inaugural season.[3] Coker compiled a 26–32 record in 5 seasons as the Roadrunners' coach before resigning on January 5, 2016.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Miami Hurricanes (Big East Conference) (2001–2003)
2001 Miami 12–0 7–0 1st W Rose 1 1
2002 Miami 12–1 7–0 1st L Fiesta 2 2
2003 Miami 11–2 6–1 1st W Orange 5 5
Miami Hurricanes (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2004–2006)
2004 Miami 9–3 5–3 T–3rd W Peach 11 11
2005 Miami 9–3 6–2 2nd (Coastal) L Peach 18 17
2006 Miami 7–6 3–5 4th (Coastal) W MPC Computers
Miami: 60–15 34–11
UTSA Roadrunners (NCAA Division I FCS independent) (2011)
2011 UTSA 4–6
UTSA Roadrunners (Western Athletic Conference) (2012)
2012 UTSA 8–4 3–3 4th
UTSA Roadrunners (Conference USA) (2013–present)
2013 UTSA 7–5 6–2 T–2nd (West)
2014 UTSA 4–8 3–5 4th (West)
2015 UTSA 3–9 3–5 T–3rd (West)
UTSA: 26–32 15–15
Total: 86–47
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


External links

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