Prior to the end of a 3-9 football season, head coach Everett Withers was dismissed Nov. 18 from the team and university. In his place, Texas State hired former West Virginia University offensive coordinator Jake Spavital.
Spavital is the 20th head coach of the Bobcats. Previously, he was the offensive coordinator for the Mountaineers for the past two seasons. He has been in the coaching profession for the past 10 years as both a quarterbacks coach and an offensive coordinator, with a brife stint in 2016 as interim head coach at the University of California Berkley.
Spavital is the second youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision and takes over one of the youngest rosters in the nation. Spavital said he is excited to take on the new role and looks forward to the potential of the team.
“We’re going to win games, we’re going to win championships, we’re going to win bowl games,” Spavital said.
Texas State teamed up with Parker Executive Search Firm to assist in the recuitment process, which took 10 days. Atheltic Director Larry Teis and University President Denise Trauth stated in a press release that the search process was quick but to the point.
“I knew that he was our guy when it took 22 hours to get here and he still wanted to take a tour of our facilities this morning at 1 a.m.,” Teis stated in a press release Wednesday evening. “We finalized the contract at noon today.”
Spavital inked a five year deal with Texas State, with a base salary of $800,000 a year.
The search was confidential, though rumors surfaced early that University of Houston offensive coordinator Kendal Briles was the front runner for the position, Trauth refused to comment on any of the rumors of the search or other candidates interviewed or involved in the search process.
“They have the ability to do a confidential search, which is very important because most of the canidates that you’re looking at for these jobs are sitting assitants or coordinators so it has to be confidential,” Trauth said. “We really did need someone on the offensive side of the ball. We certainly wanted someone who could connect with the team. At the very begining, Jake Spavital jumped out of the stack.”
Trauth said she feels badly about the criticsim associated with the Athletics Department in the form of the #FireTeis movement.
“Our Athletics Department is solid,” Trauth said. “We have fabulous associate athletic directors and others within the department and I feel bad that there has been discussion out there that would suggest anything other than a superior department. I have full confidence in Teis. He is our athletic director going forward. I made that very clear to coach Spavital, that athletics would be lead by Larry.”
Moving forward, Trauth said athletics at Texas State is continuously moving forward and continues to make history.
“I think now, we’re in a good place,” Trauth said. “We’ve hired a new football coach, the Men’s basketball team is 6-1, we’ve got volleyball in the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. We’re just in a great place with athletics, it’s a super solid department and I think anyone who gets to know the department knows that.”