Just days after losing defensive coordinator Neal Neathery to Eastern Michigan, another crucial member of the UTSA staff has left the program. Per the ever-dependable Football Scoop, Shane Elder will be leaving UTSA to join UNT's staff in a similar role.
Shane Elder was UTSA's associate athletic director for football after serving as the program's director of operations since the program's inception. Elder was the man behind the curtain for UTSA as he worked tirelessly to keep the football program running efficiently. According to GoUTSA.com, his job responsibilities are listed below:
He is responsible for coordinating team travel, on-campus recruiting visits, the walk-on program and housing and meal programs for student-athletes, assisting with summer camps, overseeing the program's compliance paperwork, scheduling and organizing community service outings and serving as the high school coaches liaison.
Elder's replacement will have his hands full. Not only will he or she need to develop hundreds of relationships with coaches, student athletes, recruits, and faculty members, the future associate AD for football will also need to kick start the program's outreach to high school football coaches.
Losing an important program resource is tough. Having him leave to a conference rival for what may be a demotion (in title at least) is humbling. This move, when viewed in conjunction with Neathery's departure, screams of serious trouble. Those inside the program know how dire the situation is and have opted out of the struggle for lateral moves, likely due to a lack of faith in the program's leadership.
Given the skeleton crew left running the program with three coaches and an associate AD gone, it's clear that the program is currently in shambles. As National Signing Day approaches, hires need to be made wisely and quickly lest more pieces of the puzzle leave for greener pastures.
Athletic Director Lynn Hickey's loyalty to Larry Coker is admirable but it's becoming clear that it is not a wise business decision. Coker's rusty national championship ring isn't doing the program much good as the ship sinks to the bottom of the FBS ocean with its anchor attached to a sub .500 lifetime coach.
With two coordinators and an associate AD out the door, UTSA needs to take this opportunity to wipe the slate clean as the program is fundamentally broken in its current state.
EDIT: I've just learned Senior Associate Athletics Director of Business and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Terry has also left UTSA.