The University of Texas Board of Regents approved UTSA's athletics initiative in October 2008, then hired Coker away from ESPN in March 2009.
Even before the first players started a scrimmage-only 2010 season, the Roadrunners were admitted to the Western Athletic Conference and announced future games with Arizona, Houston, Colorado State and Virginia, with the Oklahoma State deal to follow.
The Roadrunners went 4-6 as a Championship Subdivision independent team in 2011, and went 8-4 overall, 4-4 in the WAC in 2012. Before that 2012 season started, the heavily raided C-USA lured UTSA to the fold, beginning July 1, 2013.
UTSA is 2-3 overall, having absorbed expected losses to Oklahoma State (56-35), Arizona (38-13) and Houston. But the Roadrunners, picked last in the West Division in the C-USA coaches' preseason poll, opened the season with a 21-13 victory at New Mexico and swatted Texas-El Paso 32-13 for their first C-USA win.
As one could guess, the Roadrunners are loaded with Texans - 14 hail from other states. Coker said more than 30 come from the San Antonio area.
But none of them tackled the level of competition they're facing this season. They all heard it was coming when they came to UTSA, but only Coker and his staff had experienced it.
In a way, Coker is launching the program all over again, even if he has 32 two-year lettermen listed on the two-deep. The Roadrunners have something to show for it, and are looking for more Saturday at Marshall.
"I think they've really bought in," Coker said. "I think it's a thing where they want to play in the highest level possible. We've moved up, some may say too fast. That's where we are, we play good teams every week.
"Someone told me we had the 11th-best schedule. I don't know if that's true or not, that's what one magazine said. Our kids really enjoy the challenge."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.