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Texas A&M-San Antonio announces delayed athletics launch, first coaching hires


Though the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of Texas A&M-San Antonio’s first athletic season until spring 2021, the program continued to move forward Wednesday, announcing its first three coaching hires and an associate athletic director.

A&M-San Antonio originally aimed to start competition in softball, men’s golf and men’s and women’s soccer in the fall but said the Red River Athletic Conference approved the one-semester delay.

“In making the decision to begin our first competitive season in spring 2021 rather than fall, we considered the impact of COVID-19 and our focus on meeting the standards of excellence we are striving for in this young program,” athletic director Darnell Smith said in a statement.

San Antonio native Christi Cano, a former All-American at Oklahoma State who played in the LPGA, will coach the men’s golf team.

Texas A&M University San Antonio president Cynthia Teniente-Matson and athletic director Darnell Smith pose for a photo after Smith’s introductory news conference on campus Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Texas A&M University San Antonio president Cynthia Teniente-Matson and athletic director Darnell Smith pose for a photo after Smith’s introductory news conference on campus Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Photo: San Antonio Express-News /

Photo: San Antonio Express-News /

Texas A&M University San Antonio president Cynthia Teniente-Matson and athletic director Darnell Smith pose for a photo after Smith’s introductory news conference on campus Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Texas A&M University San Antonio president Cynthia Teniente-Matson and athletic director Darnell Smith pose for a photo after Smith’s introductory news conference on campus Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Photo: San Antonio Express-News /

Texas A&M-San Antonio announces delayed athletics launch, first coaching hires

Leslie Pierce, who played in the Women’s Premier League in London and has coached at the high school, college and club level, was hired to lead the women’s soccer team.

The A&M-S.A. softball program will be led by Nicole Dufour, a graduate of Southside High with high school and college coaching experience.

Stephen Sherman, who most recently was the associate athletics director at Our Lady of the Lake, was hired for the same position with A&M-S.A.

greg.luca@express-news.net