Larry Coker did not willingly agree to step down as UTSA's Head Coach on Tuesday, multiple sources have confirmed to InsideRunnerSports. Here is a breakdown of the events that lead to his departure:
On Tuesday morning, Coker and Athletic Director Lynn Hickey had a meeting. Coker had just returned to campus after being out for nearly three weeks recovering from hip replacement surgery. That day, Coker was seen on campus using a walker to get around.
During the meeting, a disagreement ensued when Hickey asked Coker for information about the vacant coordinator positions. Coker, being out of office the last three weeks, did not have enough information to Hickey's satisfaction. An argument followed. Hickey then questioned Coker on his ability to physically continue as head coach. Hickey then asked Coker if he would be willing to retire. Coker informed Hickey he would not retire. Hickey then informed Coker that she would have to let him go. Coker was upset and left the meeting.
Conclusion: Larry Coker was dismissed Tuesday morning.
Additionally, because Coker did not willingly step down, UTSA is now in the position of having to negotiate a buyout of the remaining three years of his contract that total roughly $1.3 million dollars.
All the murmurs of why was Coker not at the press conference, why Hickey was evasive in her answers, why the buy out, why the timing less than a month from signing day, why fire Kevin Brown and not return, and the decision not to elaborate more on his health can be put to rest. After hearing so many different opinions as to what could have happened, this information answers those questions.
Furthermore, Coker's health did play a serious role in this decision. In fact, multiple sources have informed IRS that was the main reason.
Hickey did offer Coker the opportunity to stay in the athletic department in an advisory role, but Coker did not consider the position.
Some say that Lynn Hickey did not want the program to have a black mark for firing the legendary coaching figure while others are saying it was just a good PR move to save the school and coach from any further embarrassment. Right or wrong, these are the facts that led to the dismissal of Larry Coker.