Jeff Traylor: Man of Good Stock, Coach of our Roadrunners
Written by Taco Joe on December 15, 2019
UTSA has selected Jeff Traylor, former associate head coach at Texas, SMU and Arkansas, as its new head football coach. Traylor has nearly 30 years of coaching experience, including a highly successful 15-year career as head coach at Gilmer High School, where he led teams to three state championships and two state runner-up finishes, winning more than 87% of his games. Traylor has served most recently as associate head coach and running backs coach for two seasons at Arkansas. Prior to that, he served in the same role at SMU for the 2017 season. He began at the collegiate level as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Texas in 2015 before becoming the Longhorns’ associate head coach for offense and wide receivers coach the following year. “As we conducted an extensive national search, one candidate prominently rose above the others for his record of success, his commitment to preparing student-athletes for life and his deep ties to football here in the state of Texas,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “Coach Traylor embodies all of these characteristics and has an outstanding reputation among his high school, college and professional peers for his ability to recruit, develop and mold champions—on the field and in life.”A native of Gilmer, Traylor built his hometown program into a prep powerhouse during his 15-year tenure. A four-time Texas High School Coach of the Year for Class 4A, he posted a 175-26 record (.871 winning percentage) and led the Buckeyes to five state championship game appearances, three state titles and 12 district crowns. Gilmer turned in a pair of perfect 16-0 seasons, won 10-or-more games 11 times, and registered seven 13-win seasons and three 15-win campaigns during his tenure. In 2014, Gilmer renamed Buckeye Stadium to Jeff Traylor Stadium to honor Traylor’s success
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To those who didn’t watch the announcement presser, I know what your thinking. “here we go again, another SEC running backs coach, known for his recruiting, and seems to care a lot about building a positive player culture.” Trust me, as a person who had the opportunity to talk to Coach Wilson on many occasions, I can honestly say, these two men are not the same.
When you shake Coach Traylor’s hand he’ll ask you for your name, repeat it, and say it’s nice to meet you I’m Jeffery Traylor. He says it in an East Texan draw so smooth that melted caramel gets jealous. He shakes your hand firmly, but not domineeringly, and then talks to you and actually pays attention.
When I first met Coach, me and the Bad Birds threw our chain on him, took a picture and told him that we’re there to support him no matter what. He then went out of his way to introduce himself to every one of the meanest fans in college sports, but this was a meet and greet, on his actual first day as a roadrunner, this has to be an act no?
You’d think so, but today during UTSA Men’s Basketball’s route of UT-Prarie Basin, Coach Traylor made as good of an impression as a person can make. At the half, we went over to talk to him and take some more pictures of him with our chain. He was great as always, but after the game, while we were talking to some of our alumni friends Coach came up to me, after talking to my mom for about ten minutes. He told me about how proud my mom is of me and then we talked about our childhoods and our moms for a little. Then we went over to the Bad Birds so he could talk to them, he introduced himself in the patented Coach Traylor way and thanked us for our passion. We talked about how we were all in the band, he asked what instruments we played, and talked to us like we were old friends, not fans he was trying to win over. The whole time he looked at us in the eye and laughed with us and only checked his watch when the Cowboys scored. After our whole interaction Austin, one of the Bad Birds, noted that he stayed for the entire game and talked to every fan he could in the same way he talked to us. In talking to this man for a few brief minutes I understand why recruits gravitate toward him the way they do, I was ready to walk on the team myself. Coach Traylor is one of those people that just makes you want to go. He’s a football guy, who speaks in metaphors and war stories. Coach Traylor is exactly what his title suggests, a coach. But when it comes to Jeff Traylor, coaching the team isn’t enough, he wants to coach the school into a culture of passion, pride, unity, and love for this school.
I’ve only had the pleasure to talk to Coach Traylor a few times, in those two times I’ve only grown to respect him more. This man is built by Texas, he’s a Texas HSFB legend, he is the third head coach of my beloved Roadrunners, and he has my full unyielding support.
Welcome to the Traylor Park ‘Runners