Q&A w/President Dr. Ricardo Romo

UTSA Presdient Dr. Ricardo Romo played an instrumental role in the hiring of new head football coach Frank Wilson. InsideRunnerSports talked with Dr. Romo one-on-one last week.

Interview with UTSA President Dr. Ricardo Romo:

What was your role is the hiring of Frank Wilson?
“My role was to select the coach. That was my role, that’s what the system says, you select the vice presidents, you select the deans, and you select the head coaches. So what I said to them was you guys need to get me recommendations and then I will take the recommendations and choose a coach.” 

What set apart Coach Wilson from the other two candidates?
“You know, Frank is a really special guy. He’s a very modest guy. He doesn’t sit there and tell you I’ve done this, I’ve done that. He’s one of the best recruiters in America and he’s extremely modest about it. He could have said I recruited Fournette and other players, but he didn’t. I like his style. He’s not a boastful and is very hard working. Just from some of the things we saw, we said there’s probably no one working harder. I’m not surprised they said he brings a cot, that’s what he’s going to do. And that’s what makes some of these guys successful. I just saw in him a tremendous energy, a passion, a commitment, a real love for the students, almost like they were family to him. I saw that and said this is a winner.” 

AD Lynn Hickey mentioned this was a critical moment, why is that?
“I think every year is a critical moment for Lynn, that’s her style. That’s not my style. She looks at these things as monumental periods, I say ok. But honestly, I think it’s an exciting moment. It’s a moment of opportunity. I like the fact that he is able to say “I’m here, I brought four suit cases and I’m going to work right now.” It won’t be hard for him. I’m excited about him. I think he’s a winner . When you’ve been in eight bowl games you’ve experienced a lot of intensity and a lot of energy.” 

What role to Chancellor William McRaven play?
“He basically said that I am pleased you guys have done so well, just tell me I’m here to help you. He was not going to be looking over our shoulder saying why did you chose this guy. If you tell me Frank Wilson is the guy, then you have my support. And I needed his support and fast because they normally don’t look at this until the Board of Regents meeting in February. So he said I am ready to help you, just tell me what I need to do. And he did. He stepped up.” 

Why does Wilson’s contract still need BOR approval?
“They said you can hire him, so we have him hired. His contract has to be reviewed by the board. But they already know about it, they’ve already seen it, it’s just a formality.” 

Did all of the money for the contract come from athletics?
“It comes all from athletics. We did a fantastic capital campaign where we raised $200 million dollars and lots of money was raised for athletics. They (athletics) have done well because of the support. Our initial business pro-forma was that we were going to get 10,000 people in the stands. If we get 10,000 people then we can pay the bills .So they’ve put some money away.” 

Will there be an increase in pay for assistant coaches?
“Oh yes. He deserves a good staff. We’ll do everything we can because you don’t win without the horses or the people that can run the operation.”

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