As I scrolled through the twitter-verse today, I came to the realization that we are entering the Golden Age of UTSA Athletics. Every day there seems to be a new announcement about the success of our programs, the growth and development of facilities or the increasing involvement and buy in of the fanbase. "The UTSA Roadrunners" have become a household name where previously we were unknown and overlooked by the majority of the public. I mean for God's sake, I'm literally currently drinking out of a Circle K UTSA football championship cup AND I HAVE A PACK OF UTSA BRANDED BUD LIGHT IN MY FRIDGE!
As a fan who has seen some of UTSA athletics darkest times, I took a moment to take it all in and reflect on how far we've come and in my moment of reflection I realized that there is one person who UTSA fans owe an enormous debt of gratitude:
Dr. Lisa Campos.
In honor of her hard work and all that she's done, I wanted to take a quick second to highlight Dr. Campos and express my sincerest appreciation for the best AD in the entire country and someone who I think is often overlooked and not appreciated enough by UTSA fans. There is so much to be said of the importance and impact of Dr. Campos on UTSA Athletics and in this I will barely scratch the surface. I hope that the UTSA and San Antonio community never fails to appreciate all that she does for the university and city and let's hope we get to experience many more years of her leadership.
Part of Dr. Campos' genius lies in her ability to get the most out of what she's given. It's no secret that UTSA doesn't have the largest budget, the most resources, or the best facilities. Yet, since landing at UTSA, Dr. Campos has almost single handedly ushered in a new era of prosperity, proving that you don't need to be a rich program to have success. The unprecedented achievement and cultural renaissances our soccer, baseball, and football programs are experiencing are all proof of this.
Coaches Derek Pittman, Pat Hallmark, and Jeff Traylor have completely turned their programs around and taken them to the next level. They all also have three things in common:
1. When they were signed none of them were huge coaching names.
2. None of them received massive contracts.
3. All of them were hired by Dr. Campos.
While she didn't have the budget to hire the biggest names, Dr. Campos' impeccable eye for talent allowed her to still hire great coaches who were perhaps just overlooked or undervalued. Moreover, not only has she demonstrated that she can hire the next great coaches, she's proven that she can keep them too.
When the P5's came calling for Jeff Traylor, Dr. Campos shocked the college football community by snatching her second year head football coach from the grips of Texas Tech and signed him to an extension that locked him down for next 10 years.
After transforming UTSA baseball into one of the best teams in the nation, she convinced Pat Hallmark, an increasingly hot coaching commodity, to agree to a 4 year contract extension despite having some of the worst facilities in all of NCAA D1 baseball. How did she pull it off? By committing to them and committing to developing and improving facilities sooner rather than later. Projects like the R.A.C.E. facility and Park West expansion, which even the playing field between us and opposing programs and help our programs win recruiting battles, are testaments to this.
Coaches want to work for her and its because of her leadership and her dedication to do whatever it takes to make sure her programs, coaches, and student athletes are as successful as they can be. In doing so she has developed a culture of success that permeates through every UTSA athletic program and beyond.
As a student, I have directly seen and felt Dr. Campos' impact across campus. And as a member of SOSA and The Bad Birds, I can personally attest that Dr. Campos has never hesitated to interact with us or other students and help us have the best athletics experience possible. She genuinely cares about students, and her investment in fostering a better relationship between the athletics department and the everyday student is paying dividends. Just five years ago the student body was full of apathetic and cynical students who refused to pass a resolution to increase funding for athletics. Now it has transformed into one of the rowdiest and devoted student sections in the nation.
Dr. Campos' impact on students transcends beyond sports. Through her work and partnership with Brenda Tracy, a sexual assault survivor, public speaker, and founder of the national campaign and nonprofit, SetTheExpectation, UTSA became the first university in the nation to implement the "Tracy Rule", which is the most comprehensive Serious Misconduct rule in the NCAA. UTSA's implementation of the Tracy Rule and participation in the SetTheExpectation campaign is a direct reflection of Dr. Campos' steadfastness and dedication to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all UTSA students.
Dr. Campos is also an amazing role model to all the women and young girls out there who dream to rise to the highest levels of a male dominated sports world. She carries herself with dignity and proves everyday that she is the best of the best and belongs at the top.
She may not get all of the attention. Her name may not be on all of the headlines. But there, standing tall and strong, behind all the growth, accolades, and success, there is an architect. Meticulously working, planning, and designing the Golden Age of UTSA athletics.
Dr. Lisa Campos is: