The UTEP Miners were selected to finish fourth in the West Division in the 2016 Conference USA Preseason Media Football Poll the league announced on Thursday.
The Miners fell short last season of being bowl eligible finishing 5-7 overall. The squad had to overcome multiple injuries last season with 15 players having to sit out with season-ending injuries.
This season UTEP returns 47 letterwinners and 17 starters (8 offense/6 defense/3 special teams). After his third season as the head football coach, Sean Kugler made some changes to the coaching staff with the addition of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brent Pease, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Tom Mason, wide receivers coach Theron Aych, cornerbacks coach Derrius Bell and assistant special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and safeties coach Don Yanowsky.
The Miners will be led by the return of Aaron Jones, who suffered an ankle injury last season. Jones currently ranks eighth on the program’s all-time rushing list and has accounted for 20 touchdowns in 23 games.
- Middle Tennessee
- Florida Atlantic
- Old Dominion
- Southern Miss
- Louisiana Tech
- North Texas