Texas State Bobcats football

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Texas State Bobcats football
2017 Texas State Bobcats football team
Texas State Athletics wordmark.svg
First season 1904
Athletic director Larry Teis
Head coach Everett Withers
2nd season, 3–16 (.158)
Stadium Bobcat Stadium
(Capacity: 30,000)
Field surface FieldTurf Revolution 360 with CoolPlay
Location San Marcos, Texas
Conference Sun Belt Conference
Past conferences WAC (2012)
Independent (2011)
Southland (1987–2010)
Gulf Star (1984–1986)
Lone Star (1932–1983)
TIAA (1922–1931)
Independent (1904–1921)
All-time record 531–462–36 (.534)
Bowl record 2–0 (1.000)
Claimed nat'l titles 2[1] (1981 & 1982 Palm Bowls - Division II Championship Games)
Conference titles 14
Colors Maroon and Gold[2]
Fight song Go Bobcats!
Mascot Boko the Bobcat
Marching band The Pride of the Hill Country
Outfitter Adidas
Rivals UTSA Roadrunners
Website Texas State Bobcats

The Texas State Bobcats football program is an NCAA Division I-FBS college football team that represents Texas State University. They currently play in the Sun Belt Conference. The program began in 1904 and has an overall winning record. The program has a total of fourteen conference titles, nine of them being outright conference titles. Beginning with the 2016 season, the Bobcats have been coached by Everett Withers. Home games are played at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.[3]

Given that the school has grown to become the fifth-largest university in Texas, and one of the 75 largest universities in the United States, it has now taken its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA football.

The team became a member of the FBS Western Athletic Conference in 2012. After only one season in the WAC, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference. Texas State joined the league in July 2013 and began conference play for the 2013-2014 academic year.


Early History (1904–1964)[edit]

Southwest Texas State Normal School[4] first fielded a football team in 1904.[5] The team didn't have a coach in its early seasons, until 1910 when J.R. Coxen was hired onto the faculty in Manual Training.[6] Oscar Strahan, for whom the current basketball arena is named, was hired as the university's first Director of Athletics, and served as head football coach from 1919-1934. He compiled an impressive 72-52-10 record and won 3 championships (1921, 1924, 1929). Strahan led Texas State into the T.I.A.A. in 1922 and then as a founding member of the Lone Star Conference in 1932. Joe Bailey Cheaney served as head football coach at Southwest Texas State from 1935-1942. The Bobcats went 23-42-6 during Cheaney's tenure. Cheaney was asked to resign following the 1942 season. The university did not field a football team from 1943-1945 due to World War II. Head coaches George Vest, Milton Jowers, R. W. Parker, and Jack Henry all had tenures as Texas State's head coach. Vest led the team to a conference championship in 1948, while Parker won co-championships in 1954 and 1955. Jowers, for whom Jowers Center (home of the Department of Health and Human Performance) is named, served as head coach twice (1951-1953 and 1961-1964). He compiled a 48-18-2 record, winning over 72% of his games, including a conference championship 10-0 season in 1963.

Bill Miller era (1965–1978)[edit]

Bill Miller was promoted from assistant coach to head coach in 1965.[5] During his tenure, the Bobcats compiled a record of 86-51-3.[7] Miller retired in 1978 as the school's winningest head coach in its history and the second longest tenured head coach.[7]

Jim Wacker era (1979–1982)[edit]

Miller was succeeded by Jim Wacker, who led the Bobcats to two consecutive NCAA Division II national championships in his final two seasons (The school had moved to the NCAA a short time earlier).[8] Wacker left Southwest Texas State to accept the position of head coach at TCU after the 1982 season.[8] Wacker left the Bobcats with a 42–8 record, which included a 13–1 mark in 1981 and a 14–0 mark in 1982.

John O'Hara era (1983–1989)[edit]

John O'Hara succeeded Wacker, coaching Southwest Texas State for seven seasons.[9] Under O'Hara's leadership, the Bobcats shared the conference title and made the playoffs in 1983, losing in the first round. O'Hara was the driving force behind moving Southwest Texas State out of Division II and into Division 1-AA, where the Bobcats faced much tougher competition on the field and on the recruiting trail. After the 1989 season, O'Hara joined the football staff at the University of Iowa, where he remained until his sudden death in 1992 at the age of 48.

Dennis Franchione era (1990–1991)[edit]

Dennis Franchione followed O'Hara, and under his tutelage, the Bobcats had a 6–5 record in 1990 and a 7–4 mark in 1991. Franchione left the Bobcats after two seasons to accept the position of head coach at New Mexico.[10]

Jim Bob Helduser era (1992–1996)[edit]

To replace Franchione, the Bobcats promoted Jim Bob Helduser from an assistant coach to head coach. Under Helduser's leadership, the Bobcats compiled a record of 20–34–1. Helduser was approached by Franchione to join his staff at Texas Christian University as offensive line coach, an offer Helduser accepted.

Bob DeBesse era (1997–2002)[edit]

Minnesota offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse was hired by his alma mater to serve as head coach following Helduser's departure.[11] In 2000, DeBesse's Southwest Texas Bobcats rolled up the school's best record in a decade (7-4) and earned a No. 25 national ranking.[11] However, mediocrity forced DeBesse out after the 2002 season, as the school's administration had grown weary from mediocre recruiting and play.

Manny Matsakis era (2003)[edit]

Manny Matsakis was promoted from special teams coordinator to head coach of the Bobcats in 2003, but he only lasted one season. In his lone season, Texas State compiled a 5–7 record. Matsakis left TSU after the 2003 season.

David Bailiff era (2004–2006)[edit]

Coach Bailiff

TCU defensive coordinator David Bailiff was hired as Matsakis' replacement on February 5, 2004.[12] In his first season as the Bobcats' head coach, he guided them to a 5–6 record. In 2005, they finished the regular season 9-2 and were Southland Conference Champions. They then won two games in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, eventually losing to Northern Iowa. In 2006, the Bobcats' were again 5–6. Bailiff left Texas State after three seasons to accept the head coaching position at Rice.[13]

Brad Wright era (2007–2010)[edit]

Brad Wright was promoted from running backs coach to head coach of the Bobcats football program after Bailiff's departure.[14] Under Wright's tutelage, the Bobcats compiled a mediocre 23–23 record. Fan support and administration restlessness led the Wright's firing following a 4–7 campaign in 2010.[15]

Franchione's return (2011–2015)[edit]

Coach Franchione

Following Brad Wright's dismissal, Texas State University engaged Parker Executive Search to help them find their next head football coach. Finalists included former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Bobby Jack Wright, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster, and Dennis Franchione.[16]

On January 7, 2011, Franchione was named head coach of Texas State's football program and signed a five-year contract valued at $350,000 per year.[17] This was Franchione's second tenure with Texas State, having previously coached at what was then Southwest Texas State in 1990 and 1991. His second tenure at Texas State was slightly less successful, as he led Texas State into Football Bowl Subdivision level football in 2012, joining the Western Athletic Conference.[18] Texas State then negotiated membership in the more stable Sun Belt Conference beginning in 2013,[19] after the WAC stopped sponsoring football.[20] Franchione retired from coaching following the 2015 season.[21] His second tenure with the Bobcats produced a 20–28 record.[22]

Everett Withers era (2016–present)[edit]

Coach Withers

Former North Carolina head coach Everett Withers was hired as Texas State's head coach on January 6, 2016.[23] Withers, who was serving as head coach at James Madison in the FCS at the time of his hiring, is the first African American to hold the position of head football coach at Texas State University.[24] In 2016, Withers' first season, the Bobcats compiled a 2–10 record.[25] The Bobcats broke the all-time attendance record at their home opener on September 24, 2016 with 33,133.[26]

Conference affiliations[edit]

No Team: 1905–1908, 1943–1945

Championship history[edit]

In 2005, Texas State split the Southland Conference title with rival Nicholls State, and advanced to the Division I-AA football playoffs for the first time since the 1980s, losing in the semifinal to eventual national runner-up Northern Iowa, and finishing with an 11–3 record.

In 2008, Texas State overcame a 21–0 deficit to win the Southland Conference championship with a 48–45 overtime victory against Sam Houston State, its first outright league title since 1982.

Texas State joined the WAC effective July 1, 2012.[27] Then, on July 1, 2013 season, Texas State moved to the Sun Belt Conference.[28]

National championships[edit]

Year Coach Record Championship
1981 Jim Wacker 13–1 NCAA Division II National Champions
1982 Jim Wacker 14–0 NCAA Division II National Champions

Conference championships[edit]

Nine of Texas State's fourteen conference titles are outright titles, while the other five are shared titles.[29]

Year League Overall Record Conference Record
1921 Texas Normal Championship 7–0–0 5–0–0
1924 Texas Teachers College Championship 5–3–0 5–1–0
1929 Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association 6–1–2 4–0–2
1948 Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 8–1–0 4–0–0
1954 Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 6–3–1 5–0–1
1955 Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 6–5–0 4–0–0
1963 Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 10–0–0 6–0–0
1971 Lone Star Conference (NAIA) 8–1–1 7–1–1
1980 Lone Star Conference (Division II) 8–3–0 5–1–0
1981 Lone Star Conference (Division II) 13–1–0 6–1–0
1982 Lone Star Conference (Division II) 14–0–0 7–0–0
1983 Lone Star Conference (Division II) 9–2–0 6–1–0
2005 Southland Conference (Division I FCS) 11–3 4–1
2008 Southland Conference (Division I FCS) 8–5 6–2

† Denotes shared title. Reference:[30]

Division I-A/FBS Bowl Game results[edit]

The Bobcats have been bowl eligible twice since moving up to Division I-FBS. In 2013, Texas State went 6-6 in the first year the Bobcats were eligible to win a conference title or attend a bowl game after their 2-year FCS to FBS transition. In 2014, Texas State finished the season 7–5, 5–3 in Sun Belt play to finish in a three way tie for fourth place. Although eligible, they were not selected to participate in a bowl game; the Bobcats were the only eligible 7–5 FBS team not to receive a bowl bid.

Division I-AA/FCS Playoffs results[edit]

The Bobcats have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs two times with an overall record of 2–2.

Year Round Opponent Result
2005 First Round
Georgia Southern
Cal Poly
Northern Iowa
W 50–35
W 14–7
L 37–40
2008 First Round Montana L 13–31

Division II Playoffs results[edit]

The Bobcats have appeared in the Division II playoffs three times with an overall record of 6–1. They are two time National Champions (1981, 1982).

Year Round Opponent Result
1981 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Jacksonville State
Northern Michigan
North Dakota State
W 38–22
W 62–0
W 42–13
1982 Quarterfinals
National Championship Game
Fort Valley State
Jacksonville State
UC Davis
W 27–6
W 19–14
W 34–9
1983 Quarterfinals Central State L 16–24

All-time record vs. Sun Belt teams[edit]

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Sun Belt opponents:

Opponent Won Lost Percentage Streak First Last
Appalachian State 0 3 .000 Lost 3 2004 2017
Arkansas State 1 3 .250 Lost 2 2013 2016
Coastal Carolina 0 0
Georgia Southern 1 2 .333 Lost 2 2005 2015
Georgia State 2 2 .500 Lost 2 2013 2016
Idaho 4 5 .444 Lost 2 1990 2016
Louisiana–Lafayette 0 4 .000 Lost 4 2013 2016
Louisiana–Monroe 4 9 .308 Lost 1 1986 2016
New Mexico State 2 2 .500 Loss 2 2012 2016
South Alabama 2 1 .667 Won 1 2013 2015
Troy 1 6 .143 Lost 5 1996 2016
Totals 17 37 .315


Texas State football maintains one current rivalry with the UTSA Roadrunners and have a number of defunct rivalries caused by conference realignment.

Current rivalries[edit]

I-35 Maroon/Orange Rivalry - UTSA Roadrunners[edit]

Texas State and UTSA faced off for the first time in the football continuation of the I-35 Maroon/Orange Rivalry between the two schools in the Alamodome November 24, 2012. The Bobcats lost the game to the UTSA Roadrunners by a score of 38 to 31.

Currently, Texas State holds an 0-2 disadvantage to UTSA.

Future Rivalry Games:

2012 2017 2018 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Away Home Away Home Away Home Away Home Away
L 31-38 L 14-44 - - - - - - -

Defunct rivalries[edit]

Sam Houston State Bearkats[edit]

Texas State and Sam Houston State faced each other 89 times on the gridiron between 1919 and 2011, making the Bearkats the most familiar Bobcat rival in program history. Both programs have experienced long runs of success and failure throughout their histories, and the rivalry was strengthened further by geographical proximity, cultural differences, and being peer institutions in the same university system.

After Texas State's move to FBS and the WAC in 2012, the series was discontinued. Sam Houston State won the most recent tilt between the two teams in San Marcos on November 19, 2011 by a score of 36-14. It is unknown whether the two schools will schedule each other for future matchups.

Texas State currently holds a 48-36-4 series lead.[citation needed][when?]

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks[edit]

The Lumberjacks and Bobcats played each other continuously through multiple conference realignments and name changes from 1923-2012. The rivalry has mostly been based on proximity and familiarity rather than parity and competitiveness between the two programs, as one program has generally been successful while the other has struggled.

Texas State won the latest tilt between the two foes in San Marcos, 41-37, on September 22, 2012. Texas State currently holds a 57-29-1 series lead.[citation needed]

Battle for the Paddle - Nicholls State Colonels[edit]

In fall 1998, just before the Bobcats were scheduled to take on the Nicholls State Colonels, rains flooded San Marcos and the field at Bobcat Stadium. Athletic directors and coaches from each school decided not to continue with the game and coined the annual contest named "Battle for the Paddle," joking that fans and athletes needed to use a boat and paddle to get to the game. The game eventually took place on November 28, 1998 with the Bobcats prevailing 28-27 to win the Paddle.

NSU Athletic Director Rob Bernardi brought controversy to the final chapter of the rivalry in 2011, when he refused to bring the Paddle to San Marcos due to Texas State having a scholarship advantage as an FCS transitional school.[31] Texas State players and fans made their own paddles in response, and the Bobcats won 38-12. It is unknown whether the two schools will schedule each other in the future.

Nicholls State currently holds the series lead, 16-14.[citation needed][when?]

SWT vs. A&I - Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas[edit]

The Bobcats and Javelinas were fierce rivals in the Lone Star Conference from the year of entry of TAMU-Kingsville (then Texas A&I University) into the LSC in 1954 to the year of departure of Texas State (then Southwest Texas State University) to the Gulf Star Conference in 1984. However, by the time of TAMU-Kingsville's entry into the LSC, both teams were already quite familiar with each other, having played continuously from 1939-1953 and six times from 1925-1938. Both teams were very competitive and generally successful during the time of their rivalry, as Texas State won nine Lone Star Conference titles and two (NCAA Division II) national titles and TAMU-Kingsville won twelve Lone Star Conference titles and nine (NAIA) national titles. The two schools continued to play each other after Texas State's departure from the Lone Star Conference with only one interruption (1986) from 1984-1995. Texas State won the last meeting, 28-21, in San Marcos on September 7, 2002. It is unlikely that the two schools will face each other in the future due to Texas State's move to the NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision and TAMU-Kingsville's continued residence in the NCAA's Division II.

The Javelinas currently hold the series lead, 33-25-2.[citation needed][when?]

Other Rivalries[edit]

Other rivals from Texas State's years in the Lone Star, Gulf Star, and Southland Conferences include Angelo State, Texas A&M-Commerce (then East Texas State), Abilene Christian, and North Texas.

Future non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced schedules as of August 14, 2017

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 TBA
vs Houston Baptist at Rutgers at Texas A&M vs UTSA at UTSA vs UTSA at Baylor vs UTSA at UTSA vs Tulsa
at Colorado vs Texas Southern vs Wyoming vs SMU at Baylor vs Baylor at UTSA vs Arizona State at Arizona State
vs UTSA at UTSA at SMU vs Ohio
at Wyoming vs New Mexico State at New Mexico State


Current Bobcats in the NFL[edit]

The following are former Texas State players now in the NFL.[when?][33]

Name Position Team
Joplo Bartu LB
Craig Mager DB Los Angeles Chargers
David Mayo LB Carolina Panthers
Darryl Morris CB Indianapolis Colts
Ty Nsekhe T Washington Redskins
Ryan Melton T Buffalo Bills[34]


  1. ^ "Southwest Texas St. Bowl History". Cfbdatawarehouse.com. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  2. ^ Texas State University Athletic Logos Art Sheet (PDF). Texas State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. January 12, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Texas State Football History Database". Txstatebobcats.cstv.com. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  4. ^ "1905 Pedagogue - Southwest Texas State Normal School". Exhibits.library.txstate.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  5. ^ a b "Former Texas State football coach dies at 74". Espn.com. 2006-02-21. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  6. ^ "1911 Pedagogue - Southwest Texas State Normal School". Exhibits.library.txstate.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  7. ^ a b "Former Texas State football coach dies at 74". Espn.com. 2006-02-21. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  8. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  9. ^ February 24, 1992 (1992-02-24). "Iowa Line Coach Dies On Cruise - tribunedigital-chicagotribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  10. ^ The Associated Press (2015-12-22). "Texas State coach Dennis Franchione retires". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  11. ^ a b Bob DeBesse. "Bob DeBesse Bio - Sam Houston State Bearkats Athletics". Gobearkats.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  12. ^ "David Bailiff named coach for Texas State - Midland Reporter-Telegram". Mrt.com. 2004-02-03. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  13. ^ "Rice hires Texas State's Bailiff as head coach". Espn.com. 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  14. ^ "Texas State fires football coach Brad Wright | NCAA Football". Sporting News. 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  15. ^ "Texas State fires Wright after 4-7 season". Espn.com. 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  16. ^ "Texas State coach search gains steam". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  17. ^ by outsidethesidelines Jan 7, 2011, 8:00am CST (2011-01-07). "Texas State Hires Dennis Franchione - Roll 'Bama Roll". Rollbamaroll.com. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  18. ^ "Texas State Athletics - Texas State Officially Reaches FBS Status, Joins WAC". Txstatebobcats.com. 2012-01-07. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  19. ^ "Texas State joins the Sun Belt, WAC dwindling | NCAA Football". Sporting News. 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  20. ^ "Franchione returns to coaching at Texas State". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-01-08. [dead link]
  21. ^ Wire, SI. "Franchione retires after five seasons at Texas St". 
  22. ^ "Dennis Franchione Coaching Record | College Football at". Sports-reference.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  23. ^ "Texas State hires James Madison's Everett Withers as head coach". Espn.com. 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  24. ^ Paul Livengood (2016-01-07). "Texas State University welcomes its new head coach, Everett Withers | The University Star". Star.txstate.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  25. ^ "2016 Texas State Bobcats Schedule and Results | College Football at". Sports-reference.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  26. ^ Ryder Burke (2016-09-26). "Texas State drops to the Cougars at home opener | The University Star". Star.txstate.edu. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  27. ^ [2] Archived March 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ "Texas State University to join Sun Belt Conference in 2013". 
  29. ^ [3] Archived December 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ http://txstatebobcats.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/092304aaa.html
  31. ^ "Goodbye to the paddle". HoumaToday.com. 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  32. ^ "Texas State Bobcats Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2017-08-14. 
  33. ^ "NFL Players by College - T". espn.go.com. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  34. ^ wgr550.com http://www.wgr550.com/articles/news/full-bills-rookie-minicamp-roster-and-details. Retrieved May 13, 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]