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Jake Spavital is Officially on the Hot Seat at Texas State

In 2018, Texas State made Jake Spavital the new head coach in the hopes of breathing life into the dismal prospects for the university’s flagship athletic program. It’s no secret Texas State football hasn’t had much success. Their only claim to fame was over three decades ago when they won two national championships, mind you, at the FCS level.

However, the success they hoped to bring has yet to surface. In fact, since entering the FBS level, they lost for the first time to an FCS school last year under his leadership. His current record is at 9-27, and that’s coming off of his best year (4-8) last season. These standings were not what the Bobcats hoped for when inking him to the most expensive deal in Texas State football history. 

Jake Spavital is Officially on the Hot Seat | Texas State Football

It is becoming increasingly apparent to fans and critics alike that the cushion Spavital sits on has officially become hot. He signed a five-year deal in 2018, with a base salary of $800,000. But, it is now year four of that deal, and no contract extension has been heard of, nor signed. If, and that’s a big word, the school were to extend his contract, it is hard to imagine why he would want to stay longer in a place he has had little success.

Seemingly, it is because he knows he would have to fall back to the rank of offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach before taking the helm of another ship anytime soon. His current record certainly wouldn’t warrant any larger FBS program having interest. If he doesn’t want to rise to the ranks again, he must prove himself this year. 

Jake Spavital texas state football
Credit: Kirby Crumpler/Texas State Athletics

Jake Spavital Must Prove Himself Quickly

Additionally, it is hard to imagine that with the little success his regime has had, the university would pay him more money than they currently do. Simultaneously, it shouldn’t be expected that he would take a pay cut when he can arguably gouge them at the current rate. It makes little sense for the university to offer a two-year contract and higher base pay. So, if he does get a contract extension, expect it to be heavy on incentives as opposed to outright guaranteed money. Realistically, I can only imagine a new contract offered if the team has a winning season. Heck, I can imagine the university getting hot and heavy over .500 season. 

Famously, few people know they are making history when they are doing it, and Jake Spavital is no exception to this rule. Unknowingly, he unleashed a trend in college football that has arguably changed the face of the game, he maximized the transfer portal. Don’t believe me? Here’s an article about his use of the transfer portal. Interestingly enough, it was after his use of the portal that other programs saw its potential. 

Ironically, this trend he started has gone very well for other teams and still has not gotten him his desired results. The proverbial monkey’s paw was awarded to him but no wishes were granted. Spavital claimed that year four would be their best chance to live up to expectations. Correct me if I’m wrong, but signing a five-year deal and then openly admitting year four is when you turn on the jets… doesn’t seem like a good deal.

He claims the current roster has the most depth his team’s had led since his arrival, but each year they have had more transfers and signings. So which is it? Each year they’ve gone and got the recruits they wanted. Each year got a new transfer who wanted playing time. Some transfers came from larger schools and better programs in the hopes of getting valued playing time. In Layman’s terms, they have accumulated talent. They brought in people who want to be there. All in all, if this is the culmination of his work, then this is the year to prove it, or he might be finding a new home next season.


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