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|Texas State Bobcats football|
|Athletic director||Larry Teis|
|Head coach||Jake Spavital|
1st season, 0–0 (–)
|Field surface||FieldTurf Revolution 360 with CoolPlay|
|Location||San Marcos, Texas|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|Conference||Sun Belt Conference|
|Past conferences||WAC (2012)|
Gulf Star (1984–1986)
Lone Star (1932–1983)
|All-time record||531–462–36 (.534)|
|Bowl record||2–0 (1.000)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||2 (1981 & 1982 Palm Bowls – Division II Championship Games)|
|Colors||Maroon and Gold|
|Fight song||Go Bobcats!|
|Mascot||Boko the Bobcat|
|Marching band||The Pride of the Hill Country|
|Website||Texas State Bobcats|
The Texas State Bobcats football program is an NCAA Division I-FBS college football team that represents Texas State University. They currently play in the Sun Belt Conference. The program began in 1904 and has an overall winning record. The program has a total of fourteen conference titles, nine of them being outright conference titles. Home games are played at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.
Given that the school has grown to become the fifth-largest university in Texas, and one of the 75 largest universities in the United States, it has now taken its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA football.
The team became a member of the FBS Western Athletic Conference in 2012. After only one season in the WAC, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State joined the league in July 2013 and began conference play for the 2013–2014 academic year.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early history (1904–1964)
- 1.2 Bill Miller era (1965–1978)
- 1.3 Jim Wacker era (1979–1982)
- 1.4 John O'Hara era (1983–1989)
- 1.5 Dennis Franchione era (1990–1991)
- 1.6 Jim Bob Helduser era (1992–1996)
- 1.7 Bob DeBesse era (1997–2002)
- 1.8 Manny Matsakis era (2003)
- 1.9 David Bailiff era (2004–2006)
- 1.10 Brad Wright era (2007–2010)
- 1.11 Franchione's return (2011–2015)
- 1.12 Everett Withers era (2016–2018)
- 1.13 Jake Spavital era (2019–present)
- 2 Conference affiliations
- 3 Championship history
- 4 Division I-A/FBS Bowl Game results
- 5 Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs results
- 6 Division II Playoffs results
- 7 All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams
- 8 Rivalries
- 9 Future non-conference opponents
- 10 Current Bobcats in the NFL
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early history (1904–1964)
Southwest Texas State Normal School first fielded a football team in 1904. Oscar Strahan, for whom the current basketball arena is named, was hired as the university's first Director of Athletics, and served as the team's first head football coach from 1919–1934.  He compiled an impressive 72–52–10 record and won 3 championships (1921, 1924, 1929). Strahan led Texas State into the T.I.A.A. in 1922 and then as a founding member of the Lone Star Conference in 1932. Joe Bailey Cheaney served as head football coach at Southwest Texas State from 1935–1942. The Bobcats went 23–42–6 during Cheaney's tenure. Cheaney was asked to resign following the 1942 season. The university did not field a football team from 1943–1945 due to World War II. Head coaches George Vest, Milton Jowers, R. W. Parker, and Jack Henry all had tenures as Texas State's head coach. Vest led the team to a conference championship in 1948, while Parker won co-championships in 1954 and 1955. Jowers, for whom Jowers Center (home of the Department of Health and Human Performance) is named, served as head coach twice (1951–1953 and 1961–1964). He compiled a 48–18–2 record, winning over 72% of his games, including a conference championship 10–0 season in 1963.
Bill Miller era (1965–1978)
Bill Miller was promoted from assistant coach to head coach in 1965. During his tenure, the Bobcats compiled a record of 86–51–3. Miller retired in 1978 as the school's winningest head coach in its history and the second longest tenured head coach.
Jim Wacker era (1979–1982)
Miller was succeeded by Jim Wacker, who led the Bobcats to two consecutive NCAA Division II national championships in his final two seasons (The school had moved to the NCAA a short time earlier). Wacker left Southwest Texas State to accept the position of head coach at TCU after the 1982 season. Wacker left the Bobcats with a 42–8 record, which included a 13–1 mark in 1981 and a 14–0 mark in 1982.
John O'Hara era (1983–1989)
John O'Hara succeeded Wacker, coaching Southwest Texas State for seven seasons. Under O'Hara's leadership, the Bobcats shared the conference title and made the playoffs in 1983, losing in the first round. O'Hara was the driving force behind moving Southwest Texas State out of Division II and into Division I-AA, where the Bobcats faced much tougher competition on the field and on the recruiting trail. After the 1989 season, O'Hara joined the football staff at the University of Iowa, where he remained until his sudden death in 1992 at the age of 48.
Dennis Franchione era (1990–1991)
Dennis Franchione followed O'Hara, and under his tutelage, the Bobcats had a 6–5 record in 1990 and a 7–4 mark in 1991. Franchione left the Bobcats after two seasons to accept the position of head coach at New Mexico.
Jim Bob Helduser era (1992–1996)
To replace Franchione, the Bobcats promoted Jim Bob Helduser from an assistant coach to head coach. Under Helduser's leadership, the Bobcats compiled a record of 20–34–1. Helduser was approached by Franchione to join his staff at Texas Christian University as offensive line coach, an offer Helduser accepted.
Bob DeBesse era (1997–2002)
Minnesota offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse was hired by his alma mater to serve as head coach following Helduser's departure. In 2000, DeBesse's Southwest Texas Bobcats rolled up the school's best record in a decade (7–4) and earned a No. 25 national ranking. However, mediocrity forced DeBesse out after the 2002 season, as the school's administration had grown weary from mediocre recruiting and play.
Manny Matsakis era (2003)
Manny Matsakis left Texas Tech as the Special Teams Coordinator to become the head coach of the Bobcats in 2003, but he only lasted one season. In his lone season, Texas State compiled a 5–7 record. Matsakis left Texas State after the 2003 season.
David Bailiff era (2004–2006)
TCU defensive coordinator David Bailiff was hired as Matsakis' replacement on February 5, 2004. In his first season as the Bobcats' head coach, he guided them to a 5–6 record. In 2005, they finished the regular season 9–2 and were Southland Conference Champions. They then won two games in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, eventually losing to Northern Iowa. In 2006, the Bobcats' were again 5–6. Bailiff left Texas State after three seasons to accept the head coaching position at Rice.
Brad Wright era (2007–2010)
Brad Wright was promoted from running backs coach to head coach of the Bobcats football program after Bailiff's departure. Under Wright's tutelage, the Bobcats compiled a mediocre 23–23 record. Fan support and administration restlessness led the Wright's firing following a 4–7 campaign in 2010.
Franchione's return (2011–2015)
Following Brad Wright's dismissal, Texas State University engaged Parker Executive Search to help them find their next head football coach. Finalists included former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Bobby Jack Wright, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, and Dennis Franchione.
On January 7, 2011, Franchione was named head coach of Texas State's football program and signed a five-year contract valued at $350,000 per year. This was Franchione's second tenure with Texas State, having previously coached at what was then Southwest Texas State in 1990 and 1991. His second tenure at Texas State was slightly less successful, as he led Texas State into Football Bowl Subdivision level football in 2012, joining the Western Athletic Conference. Texas State then negotiated membership in the more stable Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2013, after the WAC stopped sponsoring football. Franchione retired from coaching following the 2015 season. His second tenure with the Bobcats produced a 20–28 record.
Everett Withers era (2016–2018)
Former North Carolina head coach Everett Withers was hired as Texas State's head coach on January 6, 2016. Withers, who was serving as head coach at James Madison in the FCS at the time of his hiring, is the first African American to hold the position of head football coach at Texas State University. In 2016, Withers' first season, the Bobcats compiled a 2–10 record. The Bobcats broke the all-time attendance record at their home opener on September 24, 2016 with 33,133. In 2017, Withers' second season, the Bobcats again recorded a 2–10 record. Withers entered the 2018 season with an overall record of 4-20. Withers was fired as the head coach for football on November 18, 2018 with a 7-28 record as head coach. Defensive Coordinator Chris Woods will be the interim head coach for the season finale.
Jake Spavital era (2019–present)
On November 28, 2018, Jake Spavital was hired to replace Withers as Texas State's head coach. Spavital previously served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at West Virginia from 2017–2018.
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- Independent (1904–1921)
- Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1922–1931)
- Lone Star Conference (1932–1983)
- Gulf Star Conference (1984–1986)
- Southland Conference (1987–2010)
- Independent (2011)
- Western Athletic Conference (2012)
- Sun Belt Conference (2013–present)
In 2005, Texas State split the Southland Conference title with rival Nicholls State, and advanced to the Division I-AA football playoffs for the first time, losing in the semifinal to eventual national runner-up Northern Iowa, and finishing with an 11–3 record.
In 2008, Texas State overcame a 21–0 deficit to win the Southland Conference championship with a 48–45 overtime victory against Sam Houston State, its first outright league title since 1982.
|1981||Jim Wacker||13–1||NCAA Division II National Champions|
|1982||Jim Wacker||14–0||NCAA Division II National Champions|
|Year||Coach||Conference||Overall Record||Conference Record|
|1921||Oscar W. Strahan||Texas Normal Championship||7–0||5–0|
|1924||Oscar W. Strahan||Texas Teachers College Championship||5–3||5–1|
|1929||Oscar W. Strahan||Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association||6–1–2||4–0–2|
|1948||George Vest||Lone Star Conference (NAIA)||8–1||4–0|
|1954†||R.W. Parker||Lone Star Conference (NAIA)||6–3–1||5–0–1|
|1955†||R.W. Parker||Lone Star Conference (NAIA)||6–5||4–0|
|1963||Milton Jowers||Lone Star Conference (NAIA)||10–0||6–0|
|1971†||Bill Miller||Lone Star Conference (NAIA)||8–1–1||7–1–1|
|1980||Jim Wacker||Lone Star Conference (Division II)||8–3||5–1|
|1981||Jim Wacker||Lone Star Conference (Division II)||13–1||6–1|
|1982||Jim Wacker||Lone Star Conference (Division II)||14–0||7–0|
|1983†||John O'Hara||Lone Star Conference (Division II)||9–2||6–1|
|2005†||David Bailiff||Southland Conference (Division I FCS)||11–3||4–1|
|2008||Brad Wright||Southland Conference (Division I FCS)||8–5||6–2|
† Denotes shared title.
Division I-A/FBS Bowl Game results
The Bobcats have been bowl eligible twice since moving up to Division I-FBS. In 2013, Texas State went 6–6 in the first year the Bobcats were eligible to win a conference title or attend a bowl game after their 2-year FCS to FBS transition. In 2014, Texas State finished the season 7–5, 5–3 in Sun Belt play to finish in a three way tie for fourth place. Although eligible, they were not selected to participate in a bowl game; the Bobcats were the only eligible 7–5 FBS team not to receive a bowl bid.
Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs results
The Bobcats have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs two times with an overall record of 2–2.
|2008||First Round||Montana||L 13–31|
Division II Playoffs results
The Bobcats have appeared in the Division II playoffs three times with an overall record of 6–1. They are two time National Champions (1981, 1982).
National Championship Game
North Dakota State
National Championship Game
|Fort Valley State
|1983||Quarterfinals||Central State||L 16–24|
All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams
Official record (including any CAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:
|Appalachian State||0||3||.000||Lost 3||2004||2017|
|Arkansas State||1||4||.200||Lost 3||2013||2017|
|Coastal Carolina||1||0||1.000||Won 1||2017||2017|
|Georgia Southern||1||3||.250||Lost 3||2005||2018|
|Georgia State||2||3||.400||Lost 3||2013||2017|
|South Alabama||2||2||.500||Lost 1||2013||2018|
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Texas State football maintains one current rivalry with the UTSA Roadrunners and have a number of defunct rivalries caused by conference realignment.
Texas State and UTSA faced off for the first time in the football continuation of the I-35 Maroon/Orange Rivalry between the two schools in the Alamodome November 24, 2012. The Bobcats lost the game to the UTSA Roadrunners by a score of 31 to 38.
Currently,[when?] UTSA leads the series 3–0.
|L 31–38||L 14–44||L 21-25|
Rivalry with Nicholls.
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of September 5, 2018.
|at Texas A&M||vs SMU||vs Baylor||vs UTSA||at Baylor||vs UTSA||vs Eastern Michigan||vs Tulsa|
|vs Wyoming||vs UTSA||at UTSA||at Baylor||at UTSA||vs Arizona State||at UTSA|
|at SMU||vs Ohio||at Eastern Michigan||vs Houston Baptist||at Arizona State|
|vs Nicholls||at New Mexico State|
Current Bobcats in the NFL
The following are former Texas State players in the NFL at the end of the 2017 season.
|Craig Mager||DB||Los Angeles Chargers|
|David Mayo||LB||Carolina Panthers|
|Darryl Morris||CB||New York Giants|
|Ty Nsekhe||T||Washington Redskins|
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