The University of Texas at San Antonio and head football coach Jeff Traylor inked a deal Sunday to extend the coach’s contract through 2031, in the midst of a historic season for the nationally ranked football program.

Athletic Director Lisa Campos made the announcement of the extension, valued at $28 million, to the football team with Traylor standing next to her. The room erupted in loud cheers.

The announcement comes as rumors swirled that Texas Tech University was considering Traylor for its recently vacated head coach position. For the first time in its 11-year history, UTSA is ranked in the Associated Press poll, rising to No. 16 this week. The Roadrunners are one of six undefeated teams in college football.

Traylor’s annual salary and supplemental compensation will grow from $2.5 million to $3.5 million over the course of the contract, in addition to potential performance-based bonuses. UTSA also has agreed to increase the salary pool for assistant coaches and support staff.

In a prepared statement, Campos said Traylor has taken UTSA football to “new heights in a short amount of time.” Hired in December 2019, Traylor is UTSA’s third head coach and has more than 30 years of coaching experience.

“Jeff saw something special at UTSA when he first expressed interest in this job and we likewise knew we had someone special when we hired him to take over our program,” Campos said in the statement. “He is an outstanding leader, a culture builder and a molder of young men. He has brought unprecedented national exposure and acclaim to both our institution and the San Antonio community.”

Traylor’s 10-year contract extension builds upon the football program’s success. In August, UTSA opened the $40.4 million Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence, or RACE, a state-of-the-art practice and training facility. President Taylor Eighmy and Campos also recently announced the university’s move from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference.

“Our team believes in him, and our students, alumni and fans are excited about the momentum,” Eighmy said in the statement. “This moment in time is very special. With the opening of our Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence and our upcoming membership in the American Athletic Conference, this is clearly the next transformational waypoint on our bold trajectory for moving our athletics program, our university and our city of San Antonio forward.”

Traylor said in the statement that Eighmy and Campos “proactively engaged” him in contract extension discussions at the beginning of the season.

“I say this all the time, but this game is about the players and they are the reason we are in this profession to begin with,” Traylor said.

“We should all be talking about what they have accomplished this season,” he said. “They are making history every week.”

Previously, Traylor served as an associate head coach at the University of Arkansas, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Traylor also had a 15-year career as head coach at Gilmer High School in his East Texas hometown, where he led the Buckeyes to three state championships. The football stadium in Gilmer is named after him.

In his two seasons at UTSA, Traylor has posted a 15-5 record through his first 20 games, a program record for a head coach. He has guided UTSA to the best overall (8-0) and conference (4-0) starts in school history, and the current eight-game winning streak is the longest in UTSA history and the third-longest active streak among Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) teams. He is one of 21 FBS coaches on the Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards Coach of the Year watch list this season.

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Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.