The firing of former Texas State head football coach Everett Withers and the hiring of new coach Jake Spavital felt like a power move by the athletic department and the university administration. This play is a distraction to former and current students, faculty and members of the San Marcos community from the very vocal and tenacious “#FireTeis” movement.
Despite the promptness of the new hiring, however, the people of San Marcos have not been fooled. Regardless of who the new head football coach is, Athletic Director Larry Teis has done very little to push the athletic department in a positive direction, and his firing or resignation is well past due.
Teis’ role as an athletic director is no different than the hundreds of other athletic directors across the nation. He is tasked with overseeing and ensuring the well-being of the athletics department, from ground-zero to the very top. And just like any other underperforming director, coach or staff member is unquestionably fired, Teis is absolutely no exception.
Teis’ job includes providing student-athletes with the necessities they need in order to be successful in their respective sports. However, judging by the lack of overall success in terms of wins, he clearly has not done his job effectively.
Since Teis became athletic director in March of 2004, Texas State’s football team, men’s basketball team and women’s basketball team have possessed overall losing records. Men’s cross country and men’s golf have not witnessed much success at all. The baseball, volleyball, soccer and softball teams have retained overall winning records, but none of those head coaches were hired by Dr. Teis, so none of their hard work and success should be associated with him.
To make matters and his actions worse, an even further disgrace to the university’s athletics, Teis has conveyed a lack of care for students and student-athletes outside of their respective playing fields.
In a Twitter thread, Keff Ciardello, a Texas State beat writer for the Austin American-Statesman claimed that after a bus accident en route to a football game, in which several student-athletes and staff workers were sent to the hospital for injuries, Teis did not reach out to or make any statement on behalf of the athletics department recognizing those individuals.
His lack of action regarding what likely could have been a frightening experience for the people involved says more about his character than any of his words can convey. Make no mistake, Teis did not speak to or reach out to anyone because he genuinely did not care to do so. There is absolutely no other explanation that he or the university could put out to change that sentiment. Students deserve an athletic director that cares about them in every facet of their individual lives; not an individual who is merely in place to collect a ridiculous salary for not doing much.
Another crucial aspect of Teis’ job is marketing, which he is also terrible at. Texas State’s more than successful volleyball program gets little to no recognition. Very seldom are there any billboards outside of San Marcos promoting Texas State athletic events. Very seldom is there Texas State athletic merchandise in stores outside of San Marcos. Very seldom is Dr. Teis reported having met with loyal donors who may not have much to offer but still find ways to contribute.
Teis has been so bad at his job that even long-time donors to the athletic department are beginning to pull out.
Individuals who have continually supported Texas State athletics are now preparing to take their hard-earned money elsewhere and that speaks volumes about Teis. It says that individuals no longer have faith in him. It says that people are sick and tired of having an athletic director that does not cater to their needs. It says that the community is fed up and will continue to keep their dollars until he is relieved of his duties.
A good athletic director is one who places an emphasis on having great fan relations. To no one’s surprise, Teis has failed at that as well. Even worse, people in San Marcos genuinely do not like, respect or support him.
Fans began a “Vote of No Confidence” poll for Teis, and almost 400 individuals have responded. Voters range from longtime supporters to actual employees in the athletic department. Listed reasons for those that lack confidence in Teis range from personal experiences to overall poor job performance.
Teis has proven that he is not capable of being a competent leader. He has not supported or helped students. He has been terrible at marketing. He has lost donors. He has lost money. He has lost any support that he may have garnered over the years from Texas State students, faculty, alumni and the San Marcos community.
The people have witnessed enough. It is in the best interests of the athletic department and Texas State to finally cut ties with Teis.
– Jaden Edison is an electronic media sophomore