Building a Team


A key ingredient for building a winning team is exceptional coaching, and it seems that head coach Travis Bush checks that box for The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros.

Bush, who was introduced in December as the first head football coach in the university’s history, has more than 20 years of experience coaching football — from high school to the NFL.

He has been part of several successful college football programs over the years, including Texas State University, Texas Christian University, and the University of Houston.

Bush was also on the coaching staff at The University of Texas at San Antonio when the school launched its football program in 2011. He shared he’s delighted to have the chance to build another successful program closer to home.

“It’s pretty exciting having the experience of being on staff at UTSA and starting that program from scratch, and now having the opportunity to do it again and maybe do some things better — and this time being the head coach — is pretty cool,” he said.

Bush was the head football coach at New Braunfels Canyon High School when UTRGV President Guy Bailey, UTRGV Vice President and Director of Athletics Chase Conque, and Maggie Hinojosa, UTRGV’s vice president of strategic enrollment and student affairs, announced plans to bring Division I college football to the Valley by 2025.

Bush, who is from the Valley, said he knew there had been discussions to create a football program at the university before the announcement was made.

It didn’t take long before Bush’s phone started to ring.

“They reached out and made contact first, gauged some interest, and we started talking in more detail,” he said.

Less than a month after that announcement, Bush was named UTRGV’s first head football coach and has hit the ground running to create this new program.

Bush is leaning on what he learned from the UTSA coaching staff about building a college football program from the ground up.

However, he said that it’s a lot different from the perspective of a head coach than an assistant, but the plan that the leadership at UTRGV has put together is a good one.

“What I am learning now is how much I didn’t know – from an assistant coach’s perspective,” he said. “Now, being on this side is a totally different deal. The plan that UTRGV has put together has really given us a great opportunity to be successful early.”

Bush, son of Bruce Bush, who was inducted into the RGV Sports Hall of Fame in 2011, said the community support for this new football program is amazing.

“I always knew if they started football here, that it would blow up,” he said.

It already has. In January, the university announced that fans had already placed deposits on the first 1,000 season tickets.

“What a tremendous response to reach such an incredible number just over a month after we first started accepting season ticket deposits,” said Conque in a press release. “It is evident the Valley is excited about Division I football and excited about having Coach Bush at the helm of our program.”

There are things that are visible that help fuel local excitement, such as the facilities that are under construction that are estimated for completion by 2025.

“This is going to be huge for the community; It will be huge for our student athletes,” Bush said. “The plan they have together is to invest into every other sport here and give everybody new stuff at the same time. You’re going to see a lot of construction around campus over the next couple of years. Not just for football, but for every other sport as well.”

To learn more about Travis Bush, visit


Bryan Kirk