Texas State Bobcats football

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Texas State Bobcats football
2018 Texas State Bobcats football team
Texas State Athletics wordmark.svg
First season 1904
Athletic director Larry Teis
Head coach Everett Withers
3rd season, 5–26 (.161)
Stadium Bobcat Stadium
(Capacity: 30,000)
Field surface FieldTurf Revolution 360 with CoolPlay
Location San Marcos, Texas
Conference Sun Belt Conference
Division West
Past conferences WAC (2012)
Independent (2011)
Southland (1987–2010)
Gulf Star (1984–1986)
Lone Star (1932–1983)
TIAA (1922–1931)
Independent (1904–1921)
All-time record 531–462–36 (.534)
Bowl record 2–0 (1.000)
Claimed nat'l titles 2[1] (1981 & 1982 Palm Bowls – Division II Championship Games)
Conference titles 14
Rivalries UTSA Roadrunners
Colors Maroon and Gold[2]
Fight song Go Bobcats!
Mascot Boko the Bobcat
Marching band The Pride of the Hill Country
Outfitter Adidas
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. Beginning with the 2016 season, the Bobcats have been coached by Everett Withers. Home games are played at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.[3]

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.


Early history (1904–1964)[edit]

Southwest Texas State Normal School[4] first fielded a football team in 1904.[5] The team didn't have a coach in its early seasons, until 1910 when J.R. Coxen was hired onto the faculty in Manual Training.[6] Oscar Strahan, for whom the current basketball arena is named, was hired as the university's first Director of Athletics, and served as 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)[edit]

Bill Miller was promoted from assistant coach to head coach in 1965.[5] During his tenure, the Bobcats compiled a record of 86–51–3.[7] Miller retired in 1978 as the school's winningest head coach in its history and the second longest tenured head coach.[7]

Jim Wacker era (1979–1982)[edit]

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).[8] Wacker left Southwest Texas State to accept the position of head coach at TCU after the 1982 season.[8] 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)[edit]

John O'Hara succeeded Wacker, coaching Southwest Texas State for seven seasons.[9] 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)[edit]

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.[10]

Jim Bob Helduser era (1992–1996)[edit]

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)[edit]

Minnesota offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse was hired by his alma mater to serve as head coach following Helduser's departure.[11] 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.[11] 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)[edit]

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)[edit]

Coach Bailiff

TCU defensive coordinator David Bailiff was hired as Matsakis' replacement on February 5, 2004.[12] 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.[13]

Brad Wright era (2007–2010)[edit]

Brad Wright was promoted from running backs coach to head coach of the Bobcats football program after Bailiff's departure.[14] 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.[15]

Franchione's return (2011–2015)[edit]

Coach Franchione

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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] Texas State then negotiated membership in the more stable Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2013,[19] after the WAC stopped sponsoring football.[20] Franchione retired from coaching following the 2015 season.[21] His second tenure with the Bobcats produced a 20–28 record.[22]

Everett Withers era (2016–present)[edit]

Coach Withers

Former North Carolina head coach Everett Withers was hired as Texas State's head coach on January 6, 2016.[23] 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.[24] In 2016, Withers' first season, the Bobcats compiled a 2–10 record.[25] The Bobcats broke the all-time attendance record at their home opener on September 24, 2016 with 33,133.[26] 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.

Conference affiliations[edit]

Championship history[edit]

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 since the 1980s, 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.

Texas State joined the WAC effective July 1, 2012.[27] Then, on July 1, 2013 season, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference.[28]

National championships[edit]

Year Coach Record Championship
1981 Jim Wacker 13–1 NCAA Division II National Champions
1982 Jim Wacker 14–0 NCAA Division II National Champions

Conference championships[edit]

Texas State has won fourteen conference titles, with nine outright and five shared. [29][30]

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[edit]

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[edit]

The Bobcats have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs two times with an overall record of 2–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2005 First Round
Georgia Southern
Cal Poly
Northern Iowa
W 50–35
W 14–7
L 37–40
2008 First Round Montana L 13–31

Division II Playoffs results[edit]

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).

Year Round Opponent Result
1981 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Jacksonville State
Northern Michigan
North Dakota State
W 38–22
W 62–0
W 42–13
1982 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Fort Valley State
Jacksonville State
UC Davis
W 27–6
W 19–14
W 34–9
1983 Quarterfinals Central State L 16–24

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams[edit]

Official record (including any CAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Percentage Streak First Last
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
Louisiana 0 6 .000 Lost 6 2013 2018
Louisiana–Monroe 4 10 .286 Lost 2 1986 2017
South Alabama 2 2 .500 Lost 1 2013 2018
Troy 1 7 .125 Lost 6 1996 2017
Totals 12 38 .240


Texas State football maintains one current rivalry with the UTSA Roadrunners and have a number of defunct rivalries caused by conference realignment.

UTSA Roadrunners[edit]

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.

2012 2017 2018 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Away Home Away Home Away Home Away Home Away
L 31–38 L 14–44 L 21-25

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of September 5, 2018.

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 TBA
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[edit]

The following are former Texas State players in the NFL at the end of the 2017 season.[32]

Name Position Team
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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  2. ^ Texas State University Athletic Logos Art Sheet (PDF). Texas State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
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  13. ^ "Rice hires Texas State's Bailiff as head coach". ESPN. January 19, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  14. ^ "Texas State fires football coach Brad Wright | NCAA Football". Sporting News. November 23, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  15. ^ "Texas State fires Wright after 4–7 season". ESPN. Associated Press. November 22, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Jerry Briggs (January 5, 2011). "Texas State coach search gains steam". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  17. ^ "Texas State Hires Dennis Franchione – Roll 'Bama Roll". Rollbamaroll.com. January 7, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  18. ^ "Texas State Athletics – Texas State Officially Reaches FBS Status, Joins WAC". Texas State Bobcats. July 1, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "Texas State joins the Sun Belt, WAC dwindling | NCAA Football". Sporting News. May 2, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  20. ^ "Franchione returns to coaching at Texas State". Washington Times. Associated Press. January 7, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  21. ^ "Franchione retires after five seasons at Texas St". Sports Illustrated. December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  22. ^ "Dennis Franchione Coaching Record | College Football at". Sports-reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
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  25. ^ "2016 Texas State Bobcats Schedule and Results". Sports-reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  26. ^ Ryder Burke (September 26, 2016). "Texas State drops to the Cougars at home opener". The University Star. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  28. ^ Kim Shugart (May 2, 2012). "Texas State University to join Sun Belt Conference in 2013". The Birmingham News. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  31. ^ "Texas State Bobcats Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Football Schedules. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  32. ^ "NFL Players by College – T". ESPN. Retrieved February 16, 2018.

External links[edit]