University of Texas at San Antonio head football coach Jeff Traylor spoke to 85 coaches about how family and Whataburger shakes are at the center of his game plans during last Friday’s Hill Country Coaches’ Clinic.
Eighty-five coaches from 36 schools braved the cold weather to attend the seventh annual coaches’ clinic hosted by the Fredericksburg High School football team at Inn on Barons Creek last Friday and Saturday, before the winter snow storm Uri closed roads.
This year’s theme was bring your wife/spouse/significant other to Fredericksburg for Valentines and to talk some football, according to FHS Head Coach Lance Moffett.
Traylor, who is in his first year as a Division I NCAA coach, embodied the clinic theme of family.
He explained how family and faith guides every decision he makes on and off the field.
“Families are always welcome at all times. I’m that guy,” Traylor said about his coaching philosophy. “If they’ve got something, they better be gone. When you look back, life’s too short. This is why all families are welcome at all times.”
He also recognized how the coaching profession is filled with selfless individuals who like to serve their communities and spoke about the pitfalls of the profession by using himself as an example.
In Gilmer in 2003, he was not only coaching but teaching Sunday school and in several other service and civic clubs in the community. During his Sunday school class, he passed out and was taken to the emergency room for exhaustion.
He credits Tommy Maxwell’s Coaches Outreach organization for saving his life.
“He gave me permission to say no for the first time in my life, and I will always be forever grateful,” he said. “I would encourage all of you in this room to do this, too.”
“I know how you all are trying to save your communities. You’re trying to save your churches, trying to save your family, trying to save children,” he said. “You really better learn to take care of yourself and you really better learn to say no.”
Traylor said he counts his blessings every day. As a high school coach, he said he stayed on equal footing with the rest of his staff, except on game day.
“That’s the only time I play the head coach card, so I can drive my truck back,” he said.
With his 30 years of game day experience, he knows what each win and loss will look like, and he said he considers a game a success, win or lose, if the coaching staff executed their game plan.
“(After the game), I drive my truck back. I go through that Whataburger and I order a big ole shake and I drink the hell out of it, if we’ve done all those things we wanted to do — win or lose,” Traylor said. “If we had those tricks that we wanted to call, if we had the pressure that we wanted to bring, if we had that play we wanted to run.”
“If we didn’t do it, that’s not the way I wanna go down,” he said.
Traylor career highlights
Traylor wasn’t disappointed by his coaching staff often.
In Traylor’s 15-year tenure at his alma mater, Gilmer High School, he posted a 175-26 record and led the Buckeyes to five state championship game appearances, three state titles and 12 district crowns.
In 2014, Gilmer renamed Buckeye Stadium the Jeff Traylor Stadium to honor Traylor, the four-time Texas High School Coach of the Year.
After Gilmer, Traylor served as associate head coach for University of Texas at Austin, Southern Methodist University and University of Arkansas, as well as running backs and tight ends coach.
He signed a five-year contract for $800,000 on Dec. 13, 2019 with the Roadrunners. He is the third head coach in UTSA’s history.
The Roadrunners earned a 7-5 record, after winning seven games in the previous two years. The Roadrunners were second in USA’s West Division Conference and made it to the First Responder Bowl in 2020, where they lost, 31- 24, to Louisiana Tech. It was UTSA’s second bowl game appearance.
“In 30 years, I had never missed a day of work until I got COVID before the bowl game,” Traylor laughed. “You talk about coaching from the living room; when your boys are on ABC, that was tough.”