UTSA Basketball

Claunch & The Convo

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Austin Claunch.

Remember the name folks.

It took less than three business days for UTSA Basketball to end its head coaching search last month, resulting in a guy named Claunch as the new primary resident head man of the Historic Convocation Center on the campus of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Claunch is a Texan, and a native of Argentina, who values community and has voiced how honored he is to now call San Antonio home. He has a confidence about him that many coaches lack, carries himself proudly, professionally and boldly.

An hour into the job, Claunch said he thinks UTSA can have the best home court in the AAC.

Yes, you heard that correctly. And yes, he is indeed referring to the Convocation Center.

Bold statement indeed, possibly delusional depending on who you ask.

“I’m more focused on trying to help people see the vision I have, more so than getting a new arena right now,”
“Good teams win games,” Claunch said, “but great communities win championships.”

The Historic Convo, get ready darlin, because your time is coming, and I am here for all of that smoke. Give it all to me, the entire enchilada. All of it.

Because the Convo isn’t going anywhere, and that is a good thing. I am not going to say I told you so, but there was this semi – controversial article a few months back that might be worth a re-read.

UTSA doesn’t need a new basketball arena right now. Never did, not yet at least.

They needed a coach, and they finally got the coach in Claunch.

That shiny new arena that all so many alumni, students and fans cry over will come next, complete with additional dining options and even that new jumbotron video board everybody loves. All thanks to one thing and one thing alone.


Winning seems to influence things like a new arena getting approved, as the old saying goes — Winning fixes everything.

Not only does Claunch want to win, but he wants to win big, and fresh off a Final Four run as an assistant with Alabama you can bet he believes it.

But should you?

Some may say that Coach Claunch seems to dream a little too large, which brings to light the question of could it be, that Claunch dreams are too big to be even dreamed of at all?

Hell no!

Why shouldn’t we dream?

A team from the American Athletic Conference reached the Final Four just two years ago, playing home games in an arena smaller and, arguably, in worse shape than UTSA’s Convocation Center. No exaggeration.

That same team made the big dance again this past season, earning an at-large bid. They didn’t even have to win the AAC tournament for an automatic ticket, they were that impressive all season long to earn the respect to get them in. Not to mention earning national television time slots during prime hours on weekends in January and February.

Now, think about the said team described above as UTSA as opposed to FAU. It doesn’t sound nearly as farfetched as it used to, right?

It doesn’t. Not now, not present day. And that is because the UTSA Roadrunners have themselves a match-made-in-heaven head basketball coach that is uniquely fit to make it happen in San Antonio.

In just a few short weeks, Claunch has already built as solid of a staff as you will see in Division 1 college basketball. The most notable trait across each of his assistants at first glance is their youth, same as Claunch.

Combine that with a hunger, fire, and above all, a belief in the San Antonio community, and you have a winning combination that works, and we do not have to look far to prove that it does.

I recall a certain Division 1 football program in a pretty dire situation a few years ago. That program went out and hired a fiery first-time head coach who brought in a youthful staff that believed in San Antonio.

Championships followed, along with all the other beautiful things that entailed, putting UTSA Football on the map. Is UTSA Basketball next up to go through a seismic shift like football did?

Did Dr. Campos pull off another perfect hire?

Could Austin Claunch be the Jeff Traylor of the hardwood?

We’ll be looking forward to the season tip-off to start to figure that out.

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