Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Fire Frank Wilson

Frank Wilson addresses the media. Photo by Lindsey Thomas

A 13-point, fourth-quarter comeback against Old Dominion University (ODU) Monarchs (1-9) has unfortunately and likely saved Frank Wilson’s job as UTSA’s head football coach.

The comeback was needed to salvage one of the limpest performances of the season from the Roadrunners (4-5). The Monarchs are classified as one of the worst teams in the entire country, but the UTSA fanbase is celebrating as if the ‘Runners just won a bowl game.

Let me save everyone the trouble; this team is not qualifying for a bowl game this year. Wilson’s four victories this year have come from three of the worst teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) mainstay, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). The ‘Runners’ three FBS wins come against teams with a combined 2-26 record.

The ‘Runners will need two victories against either Southern Miss (6-3), Florida Atlantic University (FAU) (7-3) and Louisiana Tech (8-1) to have a chance at becoming bowl eligible. UTSA will likely be the double-digit underdogs in each of those games.

According to the NCAA, UTSA’s offense ranks 116th out of 130 teams, and their calling card defense was disappointing, to say the least, against the Monarchs. ODU’s offense is last in the country, they scored a season-high 23 points against an FBS opponent against UTSA.

The ‘Runners being the 16th most penalized team in the nation will likely lead to three blowout losses to end the season, leaving Athletic Director Lisa Campos with a crucial decision to make about Coach Wilson’s future.

Wilson is in the fourth year of his five-year contract worth a total of 4.5 million dollars. According to Newsday, Wilson’s buyout, if UTSA turns in that direction, is 375,000 dollars if he is terminated before the end of 2019.

Athletic Director Campos, it is time. Game attendance has fallen as it always does due to lack of interest. Resentment is growing, and the product on the field is borderline unwatchable. It’s time to relieve Frank Wilson of his coaching duties.

One of the key resume items UTSA valued when hiring Wilson was his ability to recruit. He was touted as a great recruiter who could convince top talent to come to UTSA and grow the program. In his first season, he took a team still stocked with former head coach Larry Coker’s recruits to a bowl game.

But Wilson has not been able to replicate any type of success with his recruiting classes. The offense is legitimately awful. The lone bright spot is the emergence of freshman running back Sincere McCormick who, despite the total lack of a passing attack, is having one of the best rushing seasons in UTSA history.

If we want to keep talents like McCormick — whom I predict, will transfer if Wilson stays — we need to make a change in the head coaching position. Top-tier schools will come knocking on McCormick’s door, and winning football seasons sure sound better than 3-9 and 4-8 seasons.

Wilson’s UTSA coaching record of 19-26 is not an acceptable record in a four-year span. UTSA needs to make a change and hire a coach with a dynamic offensive background to increase fan interest. UIW (5-5) plays an attractive style of football and competes well in almost every game they play.

Texas football is about posting quality numbers on the scoreboard, which UTSA has no ability to do. A high scoring offense attracts more eyes on the product, which will aid in avoiding disastrous attendance numbers like those in the game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Coach Wilson’s performance has been dreadful during games this year as well. The poor play calling has led to the team’s low national ranking, and questionable decision making has taken UTSA out of games as much as anything.

One play against Rice, which almost led to UTSA losing to a team that has yet to win a game this season, Wilson called for Lowell Narcisse to rush up the middle on fourth-and-one, which managed to get past the first down marker. Unfortunately for UTSA, a timeout was called.

Wilson called another play that was a pitch backward to the running back, forcing him to gain five yards to reach the line of scrimmage and then the extra yard for the first down. Predictably, Rice blew up the play in the backfield and turned the ‘Runners over on downs inside their red zone.

Even worse, the team simply was not ready to compete in one of the most embarrassing losses in program history early in the season against the University of North Texas (UNT) Mean Green. Coach Wilson leads the nation in cliches and heart, but heart does not lead to victories on the field. It is time for him to go.

UTSA needs to find their version of Lane Kiffin. He has grown FAU into a legitimate football program after consistent 3-9 finishes in Conference-USA. A 5-7 record, Kiffin’s worst record at FAU so far, would be lauded as one of the most successful seasons in UTSA history.

Frank Wilson has been the worst coach in program history. UTSA football is becoming a doormat for perennial bowl-eligible teams like UNT, FAU, Louisiana Tech and Southern Mississippi University. Another four-win season could be catastrophic for UTSA’s hopes to stay in the FBS.

Attendance numbers will continue to decline if no changes are made, and reaching the threshold to stay in the FBS will become more difficult. It is time to move on and search for a new leader of the football program. UTSA can get better under new leadership.

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