Student and graduate assistants give their time and effort every day for Texas State football, from setting up practices to making copies, to ensure the smooth operation of the team.
Texas State football has two student assistants whose roles are somewhat ambiguous. Their duties include anything and everything, void of coaching itself — which is prohibited by NCAA rules.
Coach Dennis Franchione said the student assistants are an essential asset for the team.
“It’s everything from helping with the scout team to helping with standard reports and putting note books together,” he said. “No job is too big and no job is too small. They pitch in and free our coaches up to focus on coaching and recruiting, which is what needs to be done”.
Wes Condra, exercise and sports science junior, has volunteered with the team as a student assistant since he was a freshman. As a senior in high school, he was unsure of his future after graduation.
Condra had no plans for college but he did have an ultimate passion for football, and dreamed of being a coach one day. In time he found himself at Texas State pursuing his dream one step at a time, starting with the student assistant position.
Condra best describes his work as “gaining experience” by being a part of the program and learning all he can from the coaches. The job is not always an easy one, even with the opportunity to learn about the occupation directly.
Condra said that one of the biggest challenges is gaining respect from the players.
“You really have to earn it,” he said. “I came here when I was a freshman two years ago and I got nothing. Everyone kind of dismisses you. But as I got to know everybody, we’ve been building relationships and trust. Respect comes with it.”
Unlike their student counterparts, the graduate assistants work directly on coaching and scouting. The GA’s main goal is to earn experience in hopes of launching their career and gaining a coaching position.
Graduate assistant Rawley Farrell played football at Texas A&M for Franchione and was asked to come join the staff at Texas State this year.
Although being a GA can be tough and time consuming, Farrell said the work is always worth the valuable experience.
“It is a position where you’re trying to learn, and these guys have all the answers,” he said.
“You’re trying to absorb some knowledge from them. It’s been really good trying to get the feel of how they do things, because hopefully you can take it in the future and do it yourself.”