Texas A&M Football Moving on from Jeff Traylor?
One of the names that had been popping up rather often for the Texas A&M football job—and one that was rather controversial among the fanbase—was that of Jeff Traylor, UTSA head coach. Traylor was a longtime high school coach at Gilmer high school in east Texas and has served on staffs at Texas and Arkansas before landing at his current job in San Antonio. I’ve made my thoughts clear on Traylor in the past—I don’t think he’s the guy to take the Aggies where they need to go—but it was almost suspicious how hard it was to avoid his name in connection with this job early on.
That connection seems to have somewhat fizzled out, however. Here’s what Traylor said recently in a radio interview when asked about the job:
Here’s a transcript courtesy of yours truly!
"But my players, probably distracted, went out and broke the school record for the most yards in the history of our school against a very good opponent on national TV. So my objective is to take care of my players, and only my players. My wife and I love it here, we want to stay here, we’ve got things to do here, we are still way behind in a lot of areas that my president and my AD and our boosters are working like heck to get caught up. And the good news is when people are out there discussing hiring you, for some reason, your own place seems to get moving a little bit faster. So this is a win-win for everyone as long as my players keep winning and they get the best Jeff Traylor."
This is far more definitive than he has been in the past when asked about Texas A&M football. See below:
"Q: Did you interview with Texas A&M?A: Uh, we play Friday at 2:30."
It certainly seems like Texas A&M football has let Coach Traylor know that they are headed in another direction with this hire. This will likely mollify the majority of Texas A&M football fans, who were not bullish on him as a candidate, and maybe confuse certain other fans who—though far in the minority, in my experience—consider him much more highly than the average Aggie fan.
In all, I think this is in the best interests of the Texas A&M football program. I don’t think Traylor is ready for this big of a spotlight given how his time at Arkansas went, nor do I think he has enough connections outside of Texas to keep the Aggies nationally relevant. His Roadrunner teams are tough and play well, but there’s more than that going into this hiring decision. When all the opposing fans and national media that are talking down on A&M as an opportunity consider this hire the “perfect fit,” you know it’s not what you’re looking for.