Thursday, May 20 at 2:41 PM
Drake assistant head football coach Neal Neathery confirmed Monday that he’s interviewed for the UTSA defensive coordinator’s job, but he was evasive when asked whether Roadrunners coach Larry Coker has offered him the position.
“I really can’t say anything about that at this time,” Neathery said. “I wish I could say more, but I can’t.”
While Neathery stopped short of saying he’s bound for San Antonio, he didn’t deny Coker has offered him a job, either.
Translation: Neathery may be UTSA’s first defensive coordinator.
Kens5.com reported last week that Neathery, 39, was in San Antonio two weeks ago for an interview with Coker and other UTSA officials.
Neathery had not returned several messages left on his office and home phones since then, but he answered his office phone when I called him Monday afternoon.
“Since it’s pretty much public knowledge, I can say I have interviewed at UTSA,” Neathery said. “Larry Coker is an awesome guy. UTSA is a good situation and San Antonio’s a great city. I’ve been there recruiting a few times and it’s a great place. But, really, that’s all I want to say.”
Neathery was polite and almost apologetic while declining to comment further.
Coker said last week that he was interviewing applicants for the defensive coordinator’s post, but he declined to identify them.
“I don’t want to get into names,” Coker said.
Neathery has coached at Drake, located in Des Moines, Iowa, for the past two seasons. In addition to serving as assistant head coach, Neathery is the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Drake competes in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division I-AA, and is a member of the Pioneer Football League. Drake finished 8-3 overall and 6-2 in conference play last season.
UTSA, which signed its first recruiting class last month, plays its inaugural season in 2011. The Roadrunners will start out as an independent in the Football Championship Subdivision, and will play their home games at the Alamodome.
Coker has hired six assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Travis Bush, since coming out of retirement to take the UTSA job last March.
The other members of the Roadrunners’ coaching staff are Tony Jeffery, Jim Marshall, Mike Menefee, Eric Roark and Davis Ross.
Neathery, who played college football at Wheaton (Ill.) College, was defensive coordinator and linebackers at Wabash University for seven seasons before joining Chris Creighton’s staff at Drake in January 2008. Neathery was named Division III Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association after his final season at Wabash.
Born in Longview, Neathery attended high school in Stillwater, Okla. Given that Coker was born and raised in Oklahoma, Neathery’s ties to the Sooner State can’t be overstated.
Neathery was defensive coordinator at Ottawa (Kan.) University, which competes in the NAIA, for four seasons before moving to Wabash. He began his coaching career with a three-year stint at Sterling (Kan.) College in 1994.