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|Born||June 23, 1948|
|1966–1969||Northeastern State (OK)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Fairfax HS (OK)|
Claremore HS (OK)
Oklahoma State (OC)
Ohio State (DB)
Ohio State (QB)
Miami (FL) (OC)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
1 National (2001)
3 Big East (2001–2003)
AFCA Coach of the Year (2001)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (2001)
2x Big East Coach of the Year (2001–2002)
Larry Edward Coker (born June 23, 1948) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio, whose Roadrunners football team began play in 2011. From 2001 to 2006, Coker served as the head coach at the University of Miami. His 2001 Miami team was named the consensus national champion after an undefeated season that culminated with a victory in the Rose Bowl over Nebraska. Coker was fired by Miami on November 24, 2006 following his sixth loss that season. After a stint as a television analyst for ESPNU, Coker was announced as the head coach for the Roadrunners.
Coker has served as an assistant at several universities including Ohio State University, the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University. He was Miami's offensive coordinator from 1995 to 2000 before taking over as head coach following the departure of Butch Davis to the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
Coker was hired as head coach of Miami after lobbying by the players, who had been edged out of the BCS Championship Game the year before. Coker had immediate success, guiding the Hurricanes to a 12–0 record and the national championship in his first season after dominating a Nebraska Cornhuskers team in the Rose Bowl. For his efforts, Coker was given numerous honors, including the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award and the AFCA Coach of the Year.
The Hurricanes won their first 12 games in 2002, pushing a winning streak that dated back to the 2000 season to 34 games and giving Coker an unblemished 24–0 record heading into the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game. In a controversial game, the 11½-point underdog Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Hurricanes, 31–24, in two overtimes to win the national championship. With the Buckeyes trailing 24–17 and facing a fourth-and-3 from the Miami 5-yard line in the first overtime, Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel threw a pass to the right corner of the end zone to receiver Chris Gamble, who was being covered by Miami defensive back Glenn Sharpe. Gamble reached back and got his hands on the ball, but could not hold on. Fireworks were set off and Miami players and fans streamed onto the field in celebration of what they thought was another national championship. However, several seconds later, official Terry Porter threw a flag on the field and called Sharpe for pass interference for pushing Gamble. Three plays later Ohio State scored a touchdown and send the game into a second overtime. The Buckeyes quickly scored a touchdown at the start of the second overtime period to take the lead and clinched the championship when the defense stopped Miami and quarterback Ken Dorsey on a fourth-and-goal pass play from the Ohio State 1-yard line. Despite the loss, Coker tied Walter Camp for the best record by a college football head coach in his first 32 games at 31–1.
In 2003, things took a different turn when a pair of late season losses kept Miami out of the BCS National Championship Game for the first time during Coker's tenure. Nevertheless, the 'Canes won the Big East Conference and defeated their arch-rivals, the Florida State Seminoles, for the second time that season in the Orange Bowl. Miami finished the campaign with an 11–2 record and a #5 ranking in both major polls.
Miami joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004 and the team finished with a somewhat disappointing 9–3 record and #11 ranking in the final polls. The Hurricanes ended the season by beating the rival Florida Gators, 27–10, in the Peach Bowl Atlanta.
In late September 2005, Coker agreed to a five-year contract extension with the university. The new contract would have paid Coker in the neighborhood of $2 million per season, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in college football.
The 2005 season ended on a disappointing note for Coker and Miami, as the Hurricanes lost two of their last three games, including a 40–3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl. This was the worst bowl defeat in school history, and included a post-game fight in the tunnel leaving the stadium. In the wake of this loss, Coker fired four longtime Miami assistants. The team finished 9–3 for the second consecutive season.
Coker was reported to be on the hot seat entering the 2006 season, with many speculating that he would need to at least take the team to a BCS bowl in order to keep his job.
Miami began the 2006 season 1–2, with losses to Florida State and Louisville, leaving the team unranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 1999. The Louisville loss led to rumors that Coker's firing was imminent, but Miami Director of Athletics Paul Dee gave Coker a vote of confidence, stating that he would coach at least through the end of the season.
After the team's October 14 win against FIU was marred by a bench-clearing brawl, questions were raised in the media as to whether Coker would resign or be fired, but he was again given a vote of confidence by the school administration. The next week, with 13 players suspended by the ACC, Miami defeated winless Duke, 20–15. All but one of the players returned the next week, as Miami jumped out to a 10–0 lead over Georgia Tech, but struggled in the fourth quarter, losing the game 30–23. This left the team at 5–3, further encouraging speculation that Coker would be dismissed by season's end.
The following week, the 'Canes lost to Virginia Tech, 17–10, as ESPN College Football analysts questioned Coker's management of the clock in the game's final minutes. This was the first time Miami had been an underdog at home in Coker's six seasons as coach. The team fell to 5–4 and 2–3 in the ACC, suffering its first four-loss season since 1999.
Miami defeated a ranked Boston College team on Thanksgiving to finish the regular season 6–6. Revealing an apparent lack of communication between Coker and UM President Donna Shalala, Coker predicted after the victory that he would be back as head coach in 2007. The following day, however, Coker was fired.
On December 8, 2006, the University of Miami announced Larry Coker's successor to be Randy Shannon. Shannon had been UM's defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2006 under Coker. Coker was allowed to coach the team in the 2006 MPC Computers Bowl on December 31, 2006. in which Miami defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack, 21–20.
In January 2007, Coker interviewed for the head coaching position at Rice University. According to several media sources, Coker was one of two finalists for the position. However, Rice selected David Bailiff, formerly head coach at Texas State University, and Coker was not affiliated with any team at the beginning of the 2007 season.
In February 2009, Coker applied for the first head coach position for the University of Texas at San Antonio's new football team. On March 5, it was reported that he would be the head coach for the school's inaugural season.
Head coaching record
|Miami Hurricanes (Big East Conference) (2001–2003)|
|Miami Hurricanes (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2004–2006)|
|2005||Miami||9–3||6–2||2nd (Coastal)||L Peach||18||17|
|2006||Miami||7–6||3–5||4th (Coastal)||W MPC Computers|
|UTSA Roadrunners (NCAA Division I FCS Independent) (2011–2011)|
|UTSA Roadrunners (Western Athletic Conference) (2012–present)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll. |
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- ESPN - Coker fired by Miami after .500 season - College Football
- Flores, David (2009-03-05). "Coker to be named UTSA football coach". mysanantonio.com. San Antonio Express-News. http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/UTSA_is_said_set_to_name_new_coach_on_Friday.html. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- UTSA profile
- Miami profile
- Larry Coker at the College Football Data Warehouse
- Interview with Larry Coker, February 11, 2011. University of Texas at San Antonio: Institute of Texan Cultures: Oral History Collection, UA 15.01, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.