Jake Spavital’s time as head coach of the Texas State football program has come to an end as he was informed on Sunday, a day after the team wrapped up its season, that he would not be returning in 2023.
Spavital met with Texas State Athletic Director Don Coryell, who informed him that the university had decided to go in a different direction.
“I strongly believe that Texas State Football can consistently win at a high level,” Coryell said in a press release. “Our search for a new head football coach is underway, and we will move with the utmost speed and diligence.”
A day after Spavital’s firing, Texas State President Kelly Damphousse discussed the university’s plans moving forward in finding a new head football coach.
“The next step is identifying people who would be strong candidates to replace coach Spavital,” Damphousse said. "We’ve already had a lot of interest expressed by coaches who have had coaching experience and Texas ties in their resume that are interested in the position here. So, I think we’ll move pretty quickly. If not, by the end of this week, certainly by next week we’ll have the position filled.”
Coryell spoke on what Texas State is looking for in their next head football coach.
“We are confident that we will find an excellent leader of men, a man of character, and a tremendous football coach to take us to unprecedented heights.” Coryell said.
One thing Texas State will be looking for, as Damphousse alluded to, is a coach who has ‘Texas ties.' Damphousse confirmed interviews are already in the process of being conducted, but refused to comment any further on the ongoing coaching search.
While it’s anybody’s guess at this point in time who will be named as the 21st head football coach at Texas State, there are several enticing options across college football for Texas State to choose from.
Here is a list of five potential candidates.
Justin Fuente, former Virginia Tech and Memphis head coach
Fuente has ties to Texas, having coached at TCU and 10 years of head coaching experience.
He single-handedly turned one of the worst programs in the FBS in Memphis into a conference championship contender in just three seasons and helped quarterback Paxton Lynch become a first round NFL Draft selection.
Fuente also won 19 games in his first two seasons at Virginia Tech.
K.C Keeler, Sam Houston State head coach
The 63-year-old has had discussions in the past regarding the Texas State head coach position, according to reports. Keeler has 30 years of head coaching experience and has been a proven winner at every program he has coached at notching an incredible 265 career wins, 17 playoff experiences and two national championships in three appearances at the FCS level.
G.J. Kinne, University of Incarnate Word head coach
In his first year as head coach for the Cardinals, the 33-year-old has led the team to a 10-1 record and a top five FCS ranking. Incarnate Word also leads the FCS in scoring at 52.9 points per game.
Kinne could also potentially convince quarterback Lindsey Scott, who has thrown for 50 touchdowns this season, for the Cardinals to join him in San Marcos next year.
Eric Morris, Washington State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach
The former University of the Incarnate Word head coach went 10-3 in his final season with the Cardinals. Morris has deep roots in Texas and built Incarnate Word into the winning program it is today.
Craig Naivar, SMU safeties/special teams coordinator
Naviar has ties to Texas State, having been with the program on two separate stints and was a member of the coaching staff on the 2005 11-3 team, the program’s best team in recent memory.