The event, hosted by the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, took on the feel of a pep rally more than a formal function. UTSA Band members played their fight song as alumni and fans, some clad in orange and blue shirts and jerseys, sat among chamber members.
The event was, for more than 70 attendees, a chance to get to know Wilson and his nine assistant coaches and football operations director from professional and personal standpoints.
Wilson joined UTSA in January, succeeding Larry Coker, who departed after leading the Roadrunner football program during its first five years of existence.
Wilson most recently had a six-year stint as assistant head coach, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for LSU, where he was lauded nationwide for his recruiting successes. It’s Wilson’s first head coaching job.
“We get loud in the Alamodome, right?!” Frank Wilson asked the audience.
“Yeah!” attendees yelled in response.
The recruiter in Wilson surfaced during an exchange with UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo at Wednesday’s event. “This is a warmup for the season,” Romo told the crowd.
Romo role-played a father of a high school graduate who was considering attending and playing football at UTSA. He asked what would Wilson tell a father in such a situation on a recruiting trip.
“Well, your son is the most talented quarterback in the city,” Wilson responded to the hypothetical question, eliciting some laughs from the crowd.
Wilson added he would tell such a youngster that he could go to a more prominent collegiate football program, but that UTSA would give him an opportunity to take part in something special– the development of a football program that is gaining serious notice around the country.
“This is a city that was hungry and crazy for football,” said Wilson, adding that “the doors were kicked down” when the Roadrunners began playing football in 2011. “In our inaugural season, we had 56,000 people at the first game and (the team) went on to do some good things in that first season.”
Wilson continued with the hypothetical scenario, saying UTSA would provide the player all that he would need to succeed on the field and in the classroom.
“He’s going to make history. He’ll be the first to win a conference championship,” Wilson added about the hypothetical player, sparking a round of applause. “We’re going to do things that hadn’t been imagined before at the University of Texas at San Antonio.”
Wilson introduced each of his assistant position coaches: Jason Rollins, Ricky Brumfield, Pete Golding, Frank Scelfo, Jeff Kastl, Ryan Pugh, Eric Henderson, Patrick Toney and Everette Sands, along with Tony Jeffery, football operations director.
Wilson took pride in the fact that each of his new assistants have varying levels of experience position coaching from high school, through college and even the NFL.
“When we went to hire this staff, we found they were quality men who could model themselves,” Wilson said. “They’ll show the players how to be a good husband, how to be a good father, how to be a good citizen.”
In a question-and-answer session with event emcee Jay Howard, a former Spurs radio play-by-play announcer, Wilson said that his workload has been “a whirlwind” since he arrived in San Antonio. That workload included National Signing Day in February.
Wilson wants his team to make an immediate impact when play begins in the 2016 season, which starts with a Sept. 3 home game vs. Alabama State. Prior to that, the Roadrunners will also host a spring exhibition April 23 at the Alamodome.
Wilson expects his team to play fast and aggressive on both sides of the ball. But more than that, he told the crowd, it’s vital for fans, the band, students and other supporters to be all involved at each home game at the dome.
“We’ll feed off of our fans and our fans will feed off of us,” he said. “We’ll lead by example, we’ll bring energy and we’ll thrive off of it.”
Wilson said the main reason he came to UTSA was because of the university’s leaders, like Romo and Athletic Director Lynn Hickey, who want to further their vision of a successful football program.
“You have a president and an athletic director who had a like vision, they were already a trendsetter,” he added. “They are committed to us and what we want to do.”
Hickey said that each time she meets with Wilson, she feels confident”that we made a great decision” (in hiring him). She urged the crowd to buy season tickets or show their support for the program in whatever way they can.
“We need your support. We can’t do it without you,” she added. “Be intentional in helping us dominate Conference USA and go to a bowl and buy those tickets.”
Chamber President/CEO Richard Perez shared brief remarks, expressing enthusiasm about the continued partnership between UTSA and the chamber and, by extension, local businesses.
“We want to fill up that dome this season,” Perez told the crowd, before turning to Wilson.”We know we’re going to do well because, like San Antonio, you have the heart of a champion.”
*Featured Image: UTSA’s new head football Coach Frank Wilson greets new Offensive Coordinator Quarterback coach Frank Scelfo. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone