A&M-San Antonio launches esports program - names inaugural coach

By University Communications

Friday, 02 14 2020

The university advances is intercollegiate & recreational sports program

San Antonio —Texas A&M University-San Antonio is joining a growing national trend in launching an intercollegiate esports program. The university, which recently launched an intercollegiate athletics program, appointed Travis Yang as the inaugural esports coach.

Yang, who brings more than a decade of experience in esports as a coach and competitive player, previously served as the assistant esports coach at Ashland University in Ohio’s inaugural 2018-2019 season.

“Esports is a natural fit with A&M-San Antonio’s young intercollegiate and recreational sports program,” said Darnell Smith, the University’s director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports. “Travis brings an impressive expertise as a coach and deep understanding of the dynamics of this competitive sport as well as guiding student-athletes in to be their best academically and competitively.”

A&M-San Antonio is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports. The university’s team will compete in the Collegiate Stargame and TESPA leagues.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Jaguar family and to establish collegiate esports as a positive component of this amazing campus,” said Yang. “When paired with education, esports can help reach individuals who would otherwise not have pursued higher learning or competitive ambitions. My goal is to not only create a winning program, but one that focuses on each student holistically so that they may find success in whatever they pursue,” he said.

A university esports program fosters STEM learning, opens additional scholarships for students outside of traditional competition and brings competitive leadership and success to more students, Yang said.

Yang is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in parks, recreation and tourism. As a player, he competed across multiple esports titles, including StarCraft 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and Hearthstone.

Focusing on the strategic and psychological aspects of competition, Yang will actively work on developing a deep pool of resources for the team to draw upon both in and outside the game, as well as the resources to support the student-athletics in and out of the classroom.

Yang helped lead Ashland University to multiple first-place finishes in the AVGL Collegiate Fortnite Tournament Series. Additionally, Ashland made the playoffs in Tespa Hearthstone, Tespa Overwatch, CSL Fortnite and CSL League of Legends. He completed the season with Ashland finishing second in Hearthstone and third in Overwatch at the Zips Collegiate Esports Invitational. He was general manager for Sloth E-Sports Club LLC, a premier North American team, formerly based in StarCraft 2 & Super Smash Bros. Melee.

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For more information, contact: Shirley Armbruster: (559) 326-6116/sarmbruster@tamusa.edu or Danielle Saldaña: (210) 784-2211/dsaldana@yamusa.edu.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a standalone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, A&M-San Antonio is a Military Embracing™ institution offering more than 40 undergraduate programs and 14 graduate programs to 6,700 students. The university is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. A&M-San Antonio holds the HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution) designation. Military Times ranks the university No. 35 in the nation for Best for Vets: Colleges. Visit tamusa.edu for more information. #onamission