Texas State dismisses coach, AD; associate reassigned

Date released: 01/28/04

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – Texas State University-San Marcos President Denise Trauth announced that the head football coach, director of athletics and an associate director of athletics have been relieved of their duties effective immediately.

Manny Matsakis, head football coach since December 2002, was dismissed due to management issues associated with the football program and a draft investigation report that found violations of NCAA regulations.

Texas State’s Director of Athletics Greg LaFleur was also dismissed and Associate Director of Athletics Dana Craft was reassigned to other duties outside the athletics department. These actions were taken due to the need to have new leadership in the athletics department, Trauth said. LaFleur has been athletics director at Texas State since 2001, and Craft joined the university in 1977 as coach of women’s basketball.

Trauth said of the football issues, “The alleged violations, when taken each by themselves, are not of a large magnitude, but the number of reports over a short period of time is troubling. These reports and our concerns over the management of the football program call for this action.”

Trauth indicated that the two most serious NCAA allegations dealt with extra hours of practice beyond the 20 hours per week allowed by the NCAA rules, and prohibited knowledge of voluntary workouts during the summer. The improper management issues were related to the football program’s budget and personnel.

“ This is a very difficult time in the recruiting season to be taking this action, but we wanted the student-athletes we are recruiting to know what the coaching situation was at Texas State before the national letter of intent signing day on February 4. An athlete who signs a letter of intent is committed to a college even if there is a coaching change. We do not want to mislead these potential students. We want the student-athletes we have been recruiting to come to Texas State not only for our football program but for the great educational experience we offer,” Trauth said.

The more significant of the alleged violations, Trauth said, affected the academic welfare of the student-athletes, and she added that it was important for everyone associated with the university to understand that its student-athletes are students first and athletes second.

Trauth said that a search for a new head football coach will begin immediately, and that interviews with candidates could begin next week. Trauth, Vice President for Student Affairs James Studer, NCAA Faculty Representative and Professor of Finance and Economics Paul Gowens, and Associate Director of Athletics Larry Teis will be the selection committee for the new coach.

Trauth indicated she would name interim replacements for both administrators soon, and that the university would conduct a nation-wide search to fill the positions permanently.

Trauth said, “This has not been a pleasant day in the history of Texas State athletics, but I believe we needed to make these changes so that the athletics program can reach the potential that I believe it has. With a new coach and new leadership along with new cooperation among the athletics staff, the university administration, students and Bobcat boosters, I am confident we will have an athletics program that is exciting and one that will reach new heights.”