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Coaching Carousel: Jake Spavital Out at Texas State

The Bobcats have not posted a winning season since 2014. That was their only winning season in FBS.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas State Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Belt has its first head coaching change of the 2022 offseason.

Texas State fired head coach Jake Spavital on Sunday following the conclusion of a second consecutive 4-8 season. Texas State lost to Louisiana 41-13 on Saturday.

Spavital became the Bobcats’ head coach prior to the 2019 season. In four seasons in San Marcos, Spavital coached the team to records of 3-9, 2-10, 4-8, and 4-8.

Per, Spavital had one year remaining on his five-year contract. He will collect a buyout of $400,000.

Spavital had previously been an offensive coordinator and assistant at West Virginia, Cal, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Houston, and Tulsa. He began his coaching career in 2008.

Recruiting has been an issue for Spavital in his time at Texas State, initially signing no high school players in his 2021 class, while two would eventually sign.

Spavital was asked whether he would return next year in his media availability following Saturday night’s loss. Spavital indicated he wanted to return, and cited his team’s luck with injuries over his four seasons as a reason he was excited to continue in the position.

“If you look at where we we were in 2019 and where we are now, we’re finally in a place where we can compete,” Spavital said Saturday night.

Here’s what Texas State Athletic Director Don Coryell had to say about the decision, in a statement posted Sunday afternoon:

The Take

It was time to make this call. The Sun Belt is only going to get more competitive. If you’re not ready to grow with your competitors, your program can get left behind very quickly.

Spavital’s Bobcats only won two conference games this year. While one of those was a win over Appalachian State and likely what people will remember as Spavital’s signature win as head coach, that’s not enough.

Furthermore, the recruiting work wasn’t getting it done. The transfer portal can be a great way to find players that can elevate your roster, but this staff’s dependence on it over the last several years is an example of how to not utilize it to build your roster from the ground up.