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Quotes: Head Coach Sean Kugler at 2017 C-USA Football Media Kickoff

UTEP Miners football Head Coach Sean Kugler spoke to the press Wednesday about his team and the upcoming 2017 Conference USA season.

Coach Kugler enters his fifth season at the helm of the Miners.

Why are Will [Hernandez] and Alvin [Jones] so important to the program?

“Will Hernandez is probably the most physical players on our program. He’s been our starting [left] guard for three years and he’s on the Outland Trophy Watch list. Will is one of the hardest working players I’ve ever been around. He brings a work ethic that we are looking for in our program. Will is probably one of the strongest players I’ve been around. He’s very humble and just a hardworking kid.

“Alvin Jones is the twin brother of Aaron Jones, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers this past year. And Alvin again has been equally productive. He’s been our leading tackler the last three years, our leading sacker two out of the three years and our leader in tackles for losses.

“Both those guys are very productive. They’re both productive in the classroom and going to graduate on time. [Will and Alvin] are both quality kids with great work ethic. So, they deserve to be [at media day] and they deserve to be Conference USA Preseason candidates.”

How much improvement are you expecting from the defense after playing a year as a 3-4 defense?

“We’re expecting drastic improvement. We saw it in the Spring; just from a communication standpoint and guys getting lined up in the right places. Last year – to a fault of my own – that was a little more than what we expected, completely making a drastic change switching from the 4-2-5 to a 3-4. Number one, just the time to learn it, I felt the defense drastically improved as the year went on. But from a personnel standpoint, we had to go and get linebackers and we’ve got 20 linebackers on our roster now, which is drastically improved. Having that many linebackers will also help the special teams with all those big bodies running around.”

What do you have to do to generate more of a pass rush?

“We have to generate more sacks and we’ve addressed that by signing some linebackers. We could have a whole new linebacking crew out on the field for the exception of Alvin and Dante [Lovilotte]. Lovilotte’s a returning linebacker who had an outstanding season. We signed Julian Jackson, who’s a graduate transfer from Wake Forest. We also have some young, up-and-coming players who we were impressed with during the Spring – guys like Dylan Parsee and Lawrence Montegut and those type guys. But we have to generate more sacks and that is what the 3-4 defense is built on and that’s what we expect.”

How does having a returning starting quarterback [Ryan Metz] help to improve the offense? Does it take weight off you as a coaching staff?

“[Ryan Metz] is a quality kid. He’s a leader and a competitor. He was probably out [on the field] too early in his career. He just wasn’t quite ready yet, but no fault of his, he just had to be ready. Now he’s ready. It’s his time, he’s put in the work and he’s very productive when he’s played. Our offense, when he was inserted in last year, averaged over 30 points per game from the time he was the quarterback till the end of the season. The team rallies around him and he’s got a great demeanor. We’re excited about Ryan Metz and what he can do for the program this season.”

What did you learn playing under Andy Reid?

“I learned a lot, [Andy Reid] was really my mentor – a father figure to me. I always knew I wanted to be a coach. But after spending three years playing for Andy Reed, I knew I wanted to be the best coach. He’s probably the best coach in the NFL, even though I’m being biased about that. As far as a line coach, he’s the best line coach I’ve ever been around.”

UTEP’s Ryan Metz Announced as Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Candidate

BALTIMORE, Md. – UTEP’s Ryan Metz was one of 47 standout quarterbacks from different divisions and conferences across the nation to be named as a 2017 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award candidate on Tuesday.

The Golden Arm Award is presented at the end of each football season and the winner is selected based on his accomplishments both on and off the field.

The junior signal caller played in 11 contests, starting seven during the 2016 campaign. Metz completed 64.7 (130-201) percent of his passes, which ranked third in Conference USA and is the program’s second-best single-season performance. Metz tossed 14 touchdowns, only four interceptions and 1,375 yards. His 141.14 passing efficiency rating was the program’s fifth-best single-season outing.

The native of El Paso was highlighted as one of eight Manning Award Stars of the Week after tying his career high with a trio of touchdown passes during a 52-49 5OT victory at UTSA on Oct. 22. Metz also concluded his sophomore season with a pair of touchdown passes, including a career-long 72-yard score during a dominant victory over North Texas.

The graduate of Andress High School is known for his on-field achievements and has also made an impact off the field. Metz completed 25 hours of community service hours last season, while the signal caller is known for volunteering his time to children in the community.

Metz volunteered over 15 hours at children’s camps, where he assisted with football drills and activities for the future gridiron greats. Metz was also a member of Project MOVE, where he played with children in the community in various activities like kickball, football and soccer. Metz is active in assisting with the football team’s weekly dinner with the Child Crisis Center.

Metz, along with his teammates, spend time with the children in the Crisis Center, playing, working on homework and eating dinner together. His classroom achievements were recognized as Metz has been named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll the past three years.

Metz was also selected as one of 45 national collegiate quarterbacks, and the first UTEP quarterback, to be invited to the 2017 Manning Passing Academy supervised by the Manning Family (Archie, Cooper, Eli & Peyton). The camp was a four-day event that started June 22 at Nicholls State University in which over 125 prep, college and professional coaches, counselors and staff members were involved.

UTEP opens the 2017 season at Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT). The home opener will also be the C-USA lid lifter as the Miners will host Rice on Sept. 9 and will follow with another home game against Arizona on Friday, Sept. 15 (8:15 p.m.).

For season tickets call 915.747.6150 or email seasontickets@utep.edu.

Miners’ Metz Named to Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

The Wuerffel Trophy announced on Tuesday that UTEP quarterback Ryan Metz is one of 108 nominees from Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to make the watch list.

The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida.

Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

The El Paso native is known for his on-field achievements and has also made an impact off the field. The junior completed 25 hours of community service hours last season, while the signal caller is known for volunteering his time to children in the community. Metz volunteered over 15 hours at children’s camps, where he assisted with football drills and activities for the future gridiron greats.

Metz was also a member of Project MOVE, where he played with children in the community in various activities like kickball, football and soccer. Metz is active in assisting with the football team’s weekly dinner with the Child Crisis Center. Metz, along with his teammates, spend time with the children in the Crisis Center, playing, working on homework and eating dinner together.

Metz is one of eight Conference USA student-athletes on the list.

Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a National Selection Committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients.

Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 2 and finalists will be announced on November 22.

UTEP Seeking National Anthem Singers

UTEP is looking for national anthem singers for the 2017-18 athletic year.

“If you believe you have what it takes, you’re invited to try out at the UTEP Athletics National Anthem Showcase on Saturday (July 22) from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Memorial Gym room 120,”  UTEP officials say.

All vocalists and musicians are welcome to audition.  Parking passes are available upon registration.

Those interested need to register by Thursday, July 20, by contacting Andrea Urbina in the UTEP Marketing Department, (915) 747-6065 or via e-mail amurbina@miners.utep.edu.

Miners Receive Preseason C-USA Recognition

Seniors Will Hernandez and Alvin Jones were named to the 2017 Preseason Conference USA Football team, the league announced on Monday.

For Hernandez this is the seventh preseason honor of the season (Outland Trophy, Athlon Sports’ All-American, Athlon Sports All-C-USA, Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Team, Phil Steele’s All-American and Phil Steele’s All-C-USA).

The All-American has started all 37 games at the left guard position during his career, while he’s part of an offensive line unit that has surrendered only 47 sacks in 37 contests (1.3 sacks allowed per game). The Miners ranked tied third in sacks allowed (22.0) and ranked fourth in sacks allowed per game (1.83).

Overall in the country, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview ranks the Miners’ offensive unit no. 40 in his top 56. UTEP is one of five schools not from a Power Five conference to make the top 40.

This is Jones’ fourth preseason award (Athlon Sports’ All-C-USA, Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Team, Phil Steele’s All-C-USA). The linebacker played in 10 contests, making eight starts and missing two games due to injury last season.

He earned All-C-USA second team honors after leading team in tackles with 93 (44 solo). Jones led team with 72 tackles on rushing plays and registered double-digit tackles in four contests. The El Paso native has 241 career tackles (seventh most at UTEP since the 2000 season) and has 10.5 career sacks, needing 1.5 to crack the all-time top 10 list.

The Miners open the new campaign at Oklahoma on Sept. 2, followed by the C-USA opener against Rice in the Sun Bowl on Sept. 9. For season tickets, call 915-747-6150.

UTEP’s Will Hernandez Announced to Outland Trophy Watch List

DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America announced UTEP’s Will Hernandez to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List on Thursday.

The senior left guard in one of 81 standout interior linemen and one of 16 offensive guards to be named to the prestigious list.

The 2016 AP All-American as started all 37 games at the left guard position during his career, while he’s part of an offensive line unit that has surrendered only 47 sacks in 37 contests (1.3 sacks allowed per game).

The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner.

Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.

The list will be trimmed to six or seven semifinalists on Nov. 15Six days later, three Outland Trophy finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner of the 72nd Outland Trophy – named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century, will be announced live on ESPN at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 7. For the third straight year, the show will air from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 10, 2018 in Omaha, Neb. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the same banquet.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.

The Miners open the 2017 campaign at Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT), followed with their first home contest and Conference USA opener against Rice on Sept. 9 (6 p.m.).

Phil Steele’s College Football Preview: UTEP’s O-Line Ranked No. 1 in C-USA

In the latest edition of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, the respected publication recognized seven Miners to the Preseason Conference USA team and ranked UTEP’s offensive line as no. 1 in C-USA and no. 40 nationally.

Will Hernandez (guard), Greg Long (tackle) and Alvin Jones (linebacker) were honored as 2017 Preseason C-USA first team selections. Terry Juniel (punt returner) garnered a third team selection, while freshman Joshua Fields (running back), Jayson VanHook (linebacker) and Alan Luna (punter) received fourth team selections.

Steele also rates UTEP’s linebackers as the fifth-best in C-USA.

As far as UTEP’s offensive line, Steele rated it as no. 1 in C-USA heading into the 2017 campaign. The Miners ranked tied third in sacks allowed (22.0) and ranked fourth in sacks allowed per game (1.83). Overall in the country, the Miners’ offensive line unit is ranked no. 40 by Steele in his top 56. UTEP is one of five schools not from a Power Five conference to make the top 40.

Hernandez is ranked no. 6 as one of the top 61 guards in the Top Draft Eligible Players. Hernandez was also named second team All-American on Steele’s 2017 Preseason All-American team.

UTEP opens the 2017 campaign at national power Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT). Then the Miners rev up C-USA action in the Sun Bowl on Sept. 9 against Rice (6 p.m.).

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to Athlon Sports Preseason All-American Team

Offensive lineman Will Hernandez was named to the 2017 Athlon Sports Preseason All-American third team on Tuesday.

The senior comes back after a stellar season where he garnered AP All-American second team, FOX Sports’ All-American second team, All-Conference USA first team and Pro Football Focus Best Pass Protector honors. The lineman has started all 37 games in his career for the Miners at the left guard position.

He led the offensive line that paved the way for Aaron Jones to rush for a single-season program-record 1,773 yards, while Jones also became UTEP’s all-time leading rusher last season. The Miners averaged 185.5 rushing yards per game and scored 20 touchdowns on the ground.

Hernandez is one of two student-athletes from C-USA that makes an appearance on the Athlon Sports All-American team. The Las Vegas, Nev., native also was named to the Athlon Sports Preseason All-C-USA first team.

Teammate Alvin Jones also garnered Athlon Sports All-C-USA first team recognition, while Devin Cockrell and Terry Juniel received second team honors. Jones was appointed to the 2016 All-C-USA second team after leading team in tackles 93 (44 solo). He ranked fourth in the league in tackles per game (9.3) and added 6.0 tackles for loss (28 yards), 2.5 sacks (22 yards) and a pass breakup.

Cockrell started all 12 games last season and ranked fourth on defense, while leading all defensive backs with 58 tackles (31 solo). He added 3.0 tackles for loss, a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery. The senior led team with 10 special team’s tackles (seven punt return tackles)

Juniel returns to the Miners special teams unit as the starting punt returner. The specialist was the team’s leading punt returner, tallying 203 yards on 22 returns (9.2 avg.), with a pair of long returns of 43 yards. Juniel led C-USA in punt returns and return yards. The junior returned nine kickoffs for 164 yards (18.2 avg.) with a long of 26 yards.

UTEP’s center Derron Gatewood and punter Alan Luna also received recognition on the All-C-USA Preseason fourth team.

UTEP Athletics Introduces 2017-18 Marketing Theme

For over 100 years, UTEP has been El Paso’s university and the Miners have been El Paso’s team.  And while the student-athletes and coaches have driven the success on the field, the support of the community and a passionate fanbase have made the game day experience in the Sun Bowl and Don Haskins Center truly unique.

This year, UTEP Athletics celebrates not only its rich history, but the people who are proud to call themselves Miners!  “We Are Miners” is UTEP’s athletics marketing theme for 2017-18.

WeAreMinersThe “We Are Miners” theme will be prevalent across town and branded in everything produced by UTEP Athletics, including social media content, posters and schedule cards.  “We Are Miners” merchandise will be available at the UTEP Bookstore.  Game day will be enhanced for 2017-18, with more interactive fan experiences.

UTEP’s food service, Sodexo, will introduce new premium burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and nachos in the Sun Bowl this fall.

Fans will also be allowed on the field after all five football home games.

UTEP’s annual “Fan Day” at the Larry K. Durham Center on Aug. 26 will be family-oriented with activities for kids, meet and greets with the coaches and players and an autograph session.  Fans will also have the opportunity to interact with the coaches and players, as well as tour the Miners’ Larry K. Durham Center, at the brand-new season ticket pickup event on Aug. 4.

Keeping up with the “We Are Miners” theme, each of UTEP’s football home games will celebrate a different faction of the El Paso community.  The Rice game (Sept. 9) is “Hometown Heroes Night,” Arizona (Sept. 15) is “Military Night,” WKU (Oct. 7) is “Youth Football Night,” UTSA (Oct. 28) is “Spirit Night” and LA Tech (Nov. 18) is “Teacher Education Night.”

The Homecoming game is on Oct. 7 versus WKU.

Additional UTEP Football game day details will be announced later this summer.  UTEP Football Season Tickets, starting at just $55, are available now by calling (915) 747-6150.  Family packs are just $190 for two adults and two youth.

UTEP’s home schedule features a visit by Arizona from the Pac-12 Conference for the first time since 1977, as well as matchups with both 2016 Conference USA division champions in WKU and LA Tech.

2017 UTEP Football Home Schedule

Sept. 9            Rice*                        6 p.m.

Sept. 15            Arizona                        8:15 p.m.

Oct. 7            WKU* (Homecoming)                        6 p.m.

Oct. 28            UTSA*                        6 p.m.

Nov. 18            LA Tech*                        TBA

News conference video: Part One | Part Two

UTEP Updates 2017 Football Schedule

With the release of Conference USA’s TV schedule on Wednesday, UTEP’s 2017 football slate has been updated.

The Miners will appear on television six times over the course of the season, including five road games – at Oklahoma (Sept. 2, FOX), at Army (Sept. 30, CBS Sports Network), at Southern Miss (Oct. 14, STADIUM), at Middle Tennessee (Nov. 4, beIN Sports) and at North Texas (Nov. 11, ESPN3).  STADIUM is formerly ASN and Campus Insiders.

UTEP’s home matchup with Arizona (Sept. 15) will air on ESPN with an 8:15 p.m. Mountain start time.

Times are set for nine of the 12 games, the exception being the final three games in the month of November, which will be announced at a later date.

UTEP’s home games versus Rice (Sept. 9), WKU (Oct. 7) and UTSA (Oct. 28) will all kick at 6 p.m. Mountain time.  UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now by calling (915) 747-6150.

2017 UTEP Football Schedule

Date            Opponent            Time            Network

Sept. 2            at Oklahoma            1:30 p.m.            FOX

Sept. 9            Rice*            6 p.m.

Sept. 15            Arizona            8:15 p.m.            ESPN

Sept. 23            at NM State            6 p.m.

Sept. 30            at Army            1:30 p.m.            CBS Sports Network

Oct. 7            WKU*            6 p.m.

Oct. 14            at Southern Miss*            5 p.m.            STADIUM

Oct. 28            UTSA*            6 p.m.

Nov. 4            at Middle Tennessee*            5:30 p.m.            beIN Sports

Nov. 11            at North Texas*            TBA            ESPN3

Nov. 18            LA Tech*            TBA

Nov. 25            at UAB*            TBA

 

* Conference USA game

All times Mountain

UTEP Football Season Ticket Deadline Approaching

Fans who purchase or renew UTEP football season tickets by Friday, June 2 will have access to special privileges, including the ability to purchase tickets to the Miners’ season opener at Oklahoma while supplies last.

UTEP will kick off the 2017 campaign versus the perennial national power Sooners on Sept. 2 in Norman.

By meeting the June 2 deadline, fans will also receive two free tickets to UTEP’s home opener against Rice on Sept. 9.  Fans who pay in full by June 2 will also enter a drawing to travel with the Miners to a road game this fall.  Accounts renewed by the deadline will receive the same donor parking from last season.

UTEP season tickets start at just $55 for five home games – Rice, Arizona (Sept. 15), WKU (Oct. 7), UTSA (Oct. 28) and LA Tech (Nov. 18).

To renew or purchase season tickets, please visit www.utepathletics.com/tickets Payment plans are also available.

UTEP Football Scores High Marks in the Classroom

The UTEP football team has recorded the second-best Academic Progress Rate (APR) among all FBS programs in the state of Texas, according to the latest figures released by the NCAA on Wednesday.

“We take great pride in the fact that every single player in our program is on point to get their degree and be successful in life,” UTEP coach Sean Kugler said.

The Miners’ APR for the four-year period ending in 2015-16 is 980.

Rice tops the field with an APR of 984, followed by UTEP, North Texas (979), Texas (978), Baylor (973), UTSA (965), Texas A&M (962), TCU (955), SMU (951), Texas Tech (947), Houston (942) and Texas State (940).

The APR measures eligibility and progress toward graduation for student-athletes.  The average football four-year APR released on Wednesday is 962.

Thirty-Five UTEP Student-Athletes to Graduate on Saturday

Thirty-five past and present UTEP student-athletes will receive their diplomas at spring commencement on Saturday (May 13) in the Don Haskins Center.

The list includes 13 representatives from the football program, five from soccer, three from women’s basketball, three from men’s track and field, two from men’s basketball, two from rifle, two from softball, two from volleyball, and one each from men’s golf, women’s golf and women’s track and field.

Of the 35 graduates, 25 have earned placement on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll (minimum 3.0 grade point average) during their careers, and seven have been recipients of C-USA Academic Medals (minimum 3.75 GPA).

Spring 2017 UTEP Graduating Student-Athletes

Brittney Adams (Women’s Track & Field)

Has been a part of two C-USA Indoor Championship teams … member of the distance medley unit that won back-to-back conference titles …  Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Dominic Artis (Men’s Basketball)

Second Team All-Conference USA in 2017 … first player in school history to lead the team in rebounding, assists and steals … one of only four players in Conference USA history to tally 400 points, 150 rebounds, 150 assists and 50 steals in a season … ranks fifth in school history in assists including 187 in 2016-17, third-most in the UTEP record book … member of the 2016 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Alexa Bain (Soccer)

Four-year starter on defense who helped UTEP post a record of 48-25-11 … started 64 of 76 games played, earning more than 5,000 minutes on the pitch … efforts aided the Miners in notching 33 shutouts for her career, including a single-season school-record tying 11 in 2016 … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Marketing major.

 

Bri Barreiro (Soccer)

Recorded 10 goals and 10 assists for 30 points while playing more than 5,000 minutes in her career … started 69 of 76 games played, including all 22 as a senior … helped UTEP post a combined record of 48-25-11 during her four years … two-time C-USA Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team member … four-time recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal and four-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … management major.

 

Tyler Batson (Football)

Three-year letterwinner … saw action in 36 games as a wide receiver … led the team in yards per reception (22.8) in 2016 … during junior season, caught 21 passes for 365 yards with three touchdowns and a team-leading 18.8 yards per catch … posted a career-best 143 yards and a pair of scores, including a career-long 76-yard touchdown, during a win over Florida Atlantic in 2015 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Cosmas Boit (Men’s Track & Field)

Four-time All-Conference USA and 2016 All-Region honoree … member of the 2014 C-USA Indoor Championship team … two-time C-USA Cross Country Championship team member … Member of the 2016 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

 

Cedric Click (Football)

Played in 48 games for the Miners …  tallied a total of 30 tackles, five pass breakups and one fumble recovery … as a sophomore posted 92 yards on five kickoff returns and a career-long return of 30 yards versus San Diego State … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Aleah Davis (Soccer)

Garnered All-League and All-Region accolades in all four years, making her the first Miner to achieve the feat … started every game (82) of her career … ranked tied for third at UTEP for game-winning goals (10) and tied for eighth in assists (17) … compiled more than 100 community service hours in her career … voted to the 2016 NSCAA Senior women’s College Scholar All-America team and the C-USA Women’s Soccer All-Academic team … recipient of the 2017 “Golden Miner Award” … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … kinesiology major.

 

Frederik Dreier (Men’s Golf)

Two-time Conference USA Golfer of the Year (2015-16, 2016-17), only the third player in C-USA history to garner the award in back-to-back years … has played in 46 tournaments for the Miners, compiling a 72.3 scoring average … led the Miners to their first conference title in 32 years this season … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Marketing major.

Derek Elmendorff (Football)

All-Conference USA Freshman Team member in 2014 … has played in 33 games, making 29 starts at right guard … part of an offensive line that led Conference USA in fewest sacks allowed in back-to-back seasons … efforts helped the Miners average 185.5 rushing yards per game and score 20 rushing touchdowns last season … has one year of eligibility remaining in 2017 … Criminal Justice major.

 

Jake Flaggert (Men’s Basketball)

Has played in 93 games for the Miners, making 31 starts last season … led Conference USA in charges drawn for the second straight year in 2016-17 and has 57 in his career … has one year of eligibility remaining in 2017-18 … two-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Marketing major.

 

Taylor Grohmann (Softball)

Won nine games during her career on the mound for UTEP, including a victory on Senior Day May 7 …  registered her first career hit on Senior Day and scored a run … posted a 5-3 record in 2016, helping lead the Miners to the Conference USA Tournament … Kinesiology major.

Amber Herrera (Women’s Golf)

Played in 29 tournaments for the Miners … top finish was a tie for fourth place at the New Mexico dual match in February of 2015 … former president of UTEP’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Interdisciplinary Studies/Education major.

 

Carnell Horn (Men’s Track & Field)

Member of the 2013 C-USA Outdoor Championship team … member of the 4x400m relay that qualified to the 2014 and 2015 NCAA West Regional Preliminary … recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal in 2013 and three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biological Sciences major.

 

Alvin Jones (Football)

Second team All-Conference USA in 2017 … has 241 tackles with a year of eligibility remaining in 2017 … led the team in tackles in back-to-back seasons, notching 93 in both 2015 and 2016 … has 10.5 career sacks and 29.5 career tackles for losses … registered career-high 16 tackles in a pair of games … Communication major.

 

Lawna Kennedy (Women’s Basketball)

Junior college transfer who helped UTEP win the 2016 C-USA regular-season championship and make a run to the quarterfinals of the WNIT … played in 60 career games, including 36 starts, while earning 14.8 minutes/game … scored more than 250 points and grabbed better than 175 rebounds … health promotion major.

 

Jessica Kinder (Rifle)

Four-year team member who had career averages of 555 in smallbore and 582 in air rifle … recorded the second-best air rifle average (586) on the team in 2016-17 … fired a 592 in air rifle to tie for the ninth-best in program history at the 2017 Patriot Rifle League Championships … recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal in 2015 and four-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … kinesiology major.

 

Anthony Kyles (Football)

Played in 20 games, making five starts at right guard … part of offensive line that led Conference USA in fewest sacks allowed for back-to-back seasons … efforts helped the Miners average 185.5 rushing yards per game and score 20 rushing touchdowns last season … Member of the 2015 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Lindsey Larson (Volleyball)

Has played in 118 matches and 434 sets for the Miners … led the team in assists (642) and service aces (24) as a senior while finishing her career with 2,677 assists, 71 service aces and 317 blocks … named second team All-Conference USA in 2016 … four-time recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal and five-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Civil Engineering major.

 

Mack Leftwich (Football)

Was the starting quarterback in 11 games for the Miners … as a sophomore, led UTEP in passing yards (1,228), touchdown passes (nine), completions (105), attempts (192) and passing efficiency (120.8) … threw for 231 yards with a pair of scores during a victory over Rice in 2015 … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Nicole Lindsay (Soccer)

Played in 81 games, including 55 starts, while securing more than 4,700 minutes of playing time … helped the Miners forge a record of 48-25-11 during her four years … played all over the pitch, contributing two goals and seven assists for 13 points … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … marketing major.

 

Sky Logan (Football)

Has played in 22 games, making 12 starts at the defensive end position … registered a total of 63 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, four pass breakups and one forced fumble … has one year of eligibility remaining this fall … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Jay Mattox (Football)

Four-year starter that played in all 49 games for the Miners … finished his collegiate career tied for first in program history with 137 PATs … also rates no. 2 among kickers with 257 points, and no. 3 with 40 field goals made … concluded his senior campaign ranked second on the team in points (54) and finished 39-of-40 on PATs … member of the 2014 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Communication major.

 

Lulu McKinney (Women’s Basketball)

Graduating in just three years and has one season of eligibility remaining … helped UTEP win the 2016 C-USA regular-season championship and advance to the WNIT quarterfinals … has played in 92 games with 45 starts … already ranks sixth all-time at UTEP for three-pointers made (107)… two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Communication major.

 

Sterling Napier (Football)

Has played in 36 games for the Miners … was utilized in multiple blocking schemes last season, helping the team average 185.5 rushing yards with 20 rushing touchdowns … hauled in his first career touchdown last year versus Florida Atlantic … coming back for his senior season in 2017 … member of the 2015 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

 

Hannah Nicholson (Soccer)

Two-year letterwinner for the Miners before her career was derailed by injuries … in 2014 contributed one goal and five assists for seven points … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Mechanical Engineering major.

 

Danielle Pearson (Softball)

Ranks second on UTEP’s all-time wins list … hurled over 490 innings and recorded over 200 strikeouts for the Orange and Blue … also collected over 80 hits during her career, while showing power at the plate with three home runs and 45 RBI … Member of the 2016 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Organizational & Corporate Communication major.

 

Erik Ramirez (Football)

Saw the field in the Miners’ 52-24 victory over North Texas last season … also played in two games as a freshman … has one year of eligibility remaining in 2017 … recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal in 2014 and four-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Chemistry major.

 

Kevin Rincon (Men’s Track & Field)

Has ranked among the top-10 in the javelin at the C-USA meets … helped the Miners to a second-place finish at the 2015 C-USA Outdoor Championships …. five-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Kinesiology major.

 

Brendan Royal (Football)

Played one season for the Miners, seeing action in all 12 games in 2016 … recorded 33 tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses, an interception and three pass breakups … opened the campaign with three pass breakups, tied for third-most in a game in program history, during a victory over rival NM State … recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal in 2016 and two-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Monthserrat Serna (Rifle)

Four-year competitor who had a career average of 531 in smallbore and 556 in air rifle … set a career-high in air rifle (569) at the 2016 NCAA Qualifier …three-time recipient of a Conference USA Academic Medal and four-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biological Sciences major.

Sparkle Taylor (Women’s Basketball)

Prolific scorer who finished second all-time at UTEP in field goals made (530) and third in points (1,352) … also tied for sixth in free throws made (272) … 2017 All-Conference USA second team honoree and 2016 C-USA Sixth Player of the Year … helped UTEP win the 2016 C-USA regular-season championship … member of the 2017 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

 

Nick Usher (Football)

A three-year starter who saw the field in 49 games … last season he started all 12 contests and led the team in tackles for losses (8.0), sacks (5.5) and quarterback hurries (five) … rated third on the team with 77 tackles and added two pass breakups and a blocked kick … finished career tied for no. 10 in school history with 12 sacks … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Adrian Ward (Football)

Played two seasons for the Miners, starting in 22 games after transferring from Chabot College … earned 2004 All-WAC first team honors after tallying 59 tackles, 12 pass break-ups and five interceptions … led the Miners to eight wins and the Houston Bowl … registered a total of 98 tackles, 18 deflections and eight picks at UTEP … was chosen in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Naomi Whitehair (Volleyball)

Played in 260 sets over 87 matches in three years as a Miner … tallied 415 digs in her career … notched a career-high 16 digs against South Alabama as a senior … Health Promotion major.

UTEP’s Mattox Heading to 49ers

Kicker Jay Mattox will be heading to the San Francisco 49ers for a minicamp tryout. The Las Vegas, Nv. native is the eighth Miner to receive an invitation to an NFL camp.

Jay Mattox was a four-year starter who played in all 49 games for the Miners. The kicker finished his collegiate career tied no. 1 in program history with 137 career PATs.

Mattox also rates no. 2 in program history with 257 career points (kickers only) and ranked no. 3 with 40 career field goals made. He concluded his senior campaign ranked second on team in points (54) and finished 39-of-40 on PATs. Mattox connected on a career-best 7-for-7 on PATs and tied his career high in points (10).

As a junior, he connected on a career-long 50-yard field goal during a win over Incarnate Word.

During his sophomore season, Mattox took over punting duties and averaged 41.1 yards on 41 punts (1,687 yards), putting nine inside the 20-yard line and booting eight 50-plus yard punts.

UTEP’s Taylor Receives Tryout with 49ers

Former Miner Kent Taylor will be heading to San Francisco, for a mini-camp tryout with the 49ers. Taylor is the seventh Miner to be heading to an NFL camp and the second tight end from UTEP.

Taylor transferred to UTEP from Kansas and played in all 12 contests during the 2016 season. The senior added depth to the tight end core catching eight passes for 50 yards.

Taylor hauled in a season-long 19-yard reception on a 3rd-and-8 play that helped lead the Miners’ first touchdown during a 5OT win at UTSA.

Prior to UTEP, Taylor played in 11 games at Kansas and was the leading tight end with 15 catches for 179 yards and a score.

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