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UTEP’s Charles Corner to Receive Postgraduate Scholarship

IRVING  – NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship participant Charles Corner has been named one of 14 recipients of the Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship Award, as announced by Conference USA officials on Wednesday.

This is the 10th year the award has been named for Dr. Castañeda, who served Rice University for 46 years as an educator, coach and Faculty Athletics Representative before he passed away in November 2008. The conference annually awards the $4,000 Postgraduate Scholarship to graduates as selected by the C-USA Faculty Athletics Representatives and approved by the Board of Directors.

Corner was voted the 2018 MVP for UTEP men’s golf after captaining the Miners during his senior season, and was named to the Men’s Golf All-Conference USA second team. The Canada native graduated with a 3.6 in finance and garnered C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll honors four times and was twice named a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American Scholar.

Corner is planning on attending UTEP for his MBA in business and financial analysis in August.

The UTEP standout finished with a share of third place out of 75 competitors in the NCAA Pacific Region to advance to the NCAA Championships. Corner was the first UTEP golfer to secure a spot in the national championships since Chris Baryla accomplished the feat in 2004.

Retiring UTEP Professor ‘Seduced’ by Speech, Debate

Mary Trejo’s introduction to forensics in high school was crushing and volatile.

With little preparation, the petite teenager – then known as Mary Corn – who was raised on a small farm on the foothills of southern Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, was asked to offer a rebuttal to her opponent’s argument at her first meet.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I do not know the meaning of the word rebuttal,” recalled Trejo, Ph.D., longtime faculty member at The University of Texas at El Paso’s departments of English and Communication, and forensics director for 34 years. “And then I sat down.”

The next week, Trejo’s “somewhat ruthless” forensics teacher drove the team to Kansas City, Missouri, to participate in one of the state’s premier speech and debate tournaments. Her team’s first round opponent included the previous year’s state debate champion.

“We were slaughtered,” Trejo said, adding that she got sick to her stomach afterwards.

Those emotional bruises served to make her a more compassionate person and a better teacher, said Trejo, who officially retired at the end of the spring 2018 semester after 49 years of service to the University.

Her immediate “retirement” plans include supervising The Talk of Texas 2018 Speech and Debate Camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 25-29 at UTEP. The popular annual camp costs $100 and is open to students enrolled in college, high school and middle school. Click here to register.

Although stung by her introduction to forensics, the study and practice of public speaking and debate, Trejo said the skills needed to succeed in that arena – research, organization, creativity, critical thinking, expression of thought, and above all, ethics – “seduced” her.

Forensics is not often equated to “tall, dark and handsome,” but Trejo described her academic affection for literature, language and communication, so it is easy to see how she made a love connection with speech and debate.

“I believe forensics teaches people to communicate clearly and effectively, and to think critically,” Trejo said during an interview in her first-floor office in UTEP’s Cotton Memorial Building. The office’s walls and shelves are decorated with numerous forensic trophies earned by generations of Miner teams. Sealed cases in the adjacent hallway are filled with similar awards of different colors, shapes and sizes. “Those with a good forensic education are the epitome of the ideal university product. I learned skills of thought and organization that made me an effective classroom teacher.”

Westward, Ho!

Trejo, who refers to her native state as “Missour-ah,” was raised by her widowed mother and her maternal grandparents. Her father was a soldier who was killed in action during World War II. Her mother and grandmother, a former school teacher, were nurturing, independent thinkers and voracious readers. They impressed a love of books on young Mary, who often read by the light of kerosene lamps.

After a successful high school career, she enrolled in college as a ward of the Veterans Administration because of her father. Trejo earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Southwest Missouri State University in 1964 and the University of Missouri, Columbia, three years later. She had limited contact with forensics during those years. She instead dabbled in theater and creative writing.

She sent resumes throughout the country after she earned her graduate degree. She hoped to find a job that incorporated travel and adventure. UTEP answered and she was intrigued in part because of its location on the U.S.-Mexico border. She arrived in 1967 as a tenure-track instructor with the Department of English and thought she would move on after a year or so, but she fell in love with the culture and decided to stay.

Trejo earned her doctorate in modern letters from the University of Tulsa in 1983. The next year, UTEP’s Forensics Program needed a new director. The person selected bowed out due to illness, but she recommended Trejo because of her background. She has been in charge ever since. Throughout the years, Trejo’s teams have won multiple national competitions. Trejo transferred to UTEP’s Department of Communication in 1994 to better align her academic and forensic duties.

Stacey Sowards, Ph.D., chair of the communication department, said Trejo has mentored countless students and faculty in academics and forensics. Those students have gone on to law school, graduate school, and become successful professionals, to include a handful of UTEP faculty members. A debater as an undergraduate at Colorado College, Sowards took graduate courses and was the teaching assistant for the forensics team with Trejo from 1995 to 1997.

“Mary Trejo has worked tirelessly throughout her career to support student success and high-impact learning experiences,” Sowards said.

During her time at UTEP, Trejo earned top educator honors at the University and state levels, received the Degree of Highest Distinction in the Order of Instruction from Pi Kappa Delta, the national forensics honor society, in 1993, and has served on the regional and national boards of the American Forensics Association – National Individual Event Tournament. Among her proudest accomplishments was introducing and helping to pass legislation that benefited student participants.

While Trejo appreciated the oratorical elements of forensics, she admits to never caring for the misinterpretations of the intent of debate as practiced sometimes, especially at the high school level where she said competitors often are too aggressive and cross the line into meanness. With a straight face she likened those participants to wolverines. She also frowned on those who put competition before learning.

“I believe in being fair, honorable and ethical,” she said. “There is nothing more important than being ethical. If you’re all about winning trophies, you’re not about education. Competition at all costs is not the way to go. Ethics at all costs is the most important.”

Even-Keeled Charm

UTEP students and graduates who have known Trejo through the years describe her as warm, caring, selfless, dedicated, and more than anything, a lady.

“Her heart is as big as Texas,” said Norma Jean Gradsky, a former student who earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts in 1975 and her master’s degree in communication in 2007. “I owe everything to Dr. Trejo.”

Gradsky, who was involved in speech and debate at Coronado High School in El Paso, responded to a forensics flyer at UTEP and quickly became one of Trejo’s teaching assistants while a graduate student. The hours were long, but she recalled how Trejo always seemed to have great energy and enthusiasm. Upon receiving her master’s degree, she served as Montwood High School’s forensics coach for 10 years. She returned to UTEP as a communication lecturer and assists Trejo with the summer speech camp.

“I loved observing how she taught and how she dealt with students,” Gradsky said. “She had a lady-like, even-keeled charm, which was a great way to teach.”

Shawn Mena, principal at Franklin High School in West El Paso, is one of Trejo’s former forensic students. She earned her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and public address in 1986 and her master’s degree in communication four years later.

Mena, a former state speech champion in 1978, served as forensics coach at Bel Air and Eastwood high schools for 25 years and at UTEP for 10 years. The first-generation college student said she struggled with academics until she met Trejo, who became her mentor. She became the University’s top trophy winner during her years of eligibility. More importantly, she became confident enough to pursue a graduate degree.

She remembered Trejo as someone who taught students the tools they needed to be successful, but also to be of high moral character.

“She was a great example of a scholar with high ethics and a heart for students and coaches,” Mena said. “She used her personal touch to help others succeed. I am a reflection of her.”

Trejo said she could not point to a single best memory from her time at UTEP but gave examples of when she assisted students to achieve more than they dreamed possible academically and professionally.

“The special times were when I could help a student to do well and blossom, to nurture their intellect and creativity,” Trejo said. “That’s the thrill.”

What’s Next

Trejo said she will remain with the forensics program at least through the end of August 2018. Her initial interests will be to pursue her love of creative writing and to travel. Initially, she wants to visit points of geographic interest within the continental United States with her husband of 37 years, Tony Trejo, who works for an engineering firm. Eventually, after he retires, the couple would like to vacation in Hawaii and countries throughout Europe.

Regardless of where she goes, Trejo’s thoughts are never far from a sentiment that her mother shared with her in an autograph book she kept as a child. It read, “Dear Mary, It is necessary to do right. It is not necessary to be happy. Love, Mother.”

Necessary or not, Mary Trejo was able to do both and continues to teach others that they can do the same.

Author:  Daniel Perez – UTEP Communications

UTEP Softball Announces Alex Jones to Coaching Staff

UTEP softball head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk announced the addition of Alex Jones to the coaching staff on Friday. Jones previously served as a volunteer assistant coach at Oklahoma State in 2018, while she was a standout performer at Kansas from 2010 to 2014.

Jones will assist in all aspects of the program, with the emphasis on the pitching staff.

“We are extremely excited to add Alex Jones to our staff,” sixth-year UTEP head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “She is a well-rounded coach who brings a ton of energy and passion to the program. She has the ability to help our student-athletes grow and develop.”

While coaching in 2018, the Cowgirls finished the 2018 campaign with a 39-22 overall record and 12-6 mark in Big 12 action. OSU advanced to the NCAA Regionals and chalked up a victory against DePaul, 6-0, on May 19. The Cowgirls hit .314 as a team, while posting a 2.64 ERA this past season.

Jones’s primary focus this past season was working with the Cowgirls’ outfielders and slappers. She was one of the main arms throwing full pitches during batting practice, while also expanding her coaching experience in the bullpen under OSU pitching coach, Jeff Cottrill, who led and oversaw the progress of the staff during the season.

While at Kansas, Jones started in 199 of 201 total contests in the outfield, while starting in 41 games in the circle. She hit .303 (207-684) during her career, while tallying 28 RBI, nine doubles, three triples, and 129 runs scored. Jones snagged 48 stolen bases and drew 42 walks.

Jones set career highs in batting average (.324), hits (56) and runs (43) in 2013. Jones also registered a career bests in RBI (11), doubles (six), stole a career-high 15 bags in 2011. She finished her career third all-time in at-bats (684) and runs (129). In the circle, Jones won 21 contests and tossed 13 complete games. She fashioned a 2.99 ERA, while striking out 159 batters in 196.2 innings of work. She also only walked 87 batters during her four seasons. Jones threw a career-high 92.2 frames during her freshman season in 2010, winning seven contests. Her best season came in 2013 when she went 7-2 with a 1.94 ERA in 43.1 innings, while striking out 51 and walking only 15.

“I feel unbelievably blessed to have the opportunity to continue coaching at UTEP.” Jones said. “After meeting coach Echo-Hawk in Arizona at a tournament back in February with my fiancé, Remington (Rebstock), who was already coaching for UTEP football, I remember thinking how perfect it would be if we could both coach in areas we loved at the same university. When the assistant coaching position became available at the end of season, it was a no-brainer that I was going to go for it. After visiting campus and spending time with the staff and a few of the players, I realized it was an even better situation than I had even imagined. What I thought was just a dream a several months ago is now a reality, and I can’t wait to get started.”

A few facts about Jones are she was teammates with former Miner softball player, Colleen Hohman, at Kansas during the 2012 season and her fiancé, Remington Rebstock, is the cornerbacks coach for the UTEP football team.  Also, Jones is a native of Enid, Okla., which was the home of legendary Hall of Fame UTEP basketball coach Don Haskins.

Saruni Named C-USA Male Track Athlete of the Year

UTEP track and field claimed the Conference USA Male Track Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year with sophomore Michael Saruni being named this year’s award winner, it was announced by the league on Thursday morning.

Saruni was crowned the NCAA Champion in the 800m at the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships, where he ran the No. 2 time in collegiate history at 1:45.15. His time ranks just behind his coach Paul Ereng (1:44.84, 1989). The Kenya native set a world best time in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate stopping the clock at 1:14.79.

During the outdoor season, Saruni garnered a bronze-medal finish at the 2018 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships with a time of 1:45.31 and earned his fourth-career All-American honor. ]

He etched his name into NCAA track and field history when he clocked the NCAA record in the 800m at the Desert Heat Classic halting the clock at 1:43.25. His time broke the two-year streak held by Donovan Brazier (1:43.55, Texas A&M).

Saruni holds both indoor and outdoor records in the 800m at UTEP. He was also voted as a semi-finalist in The Bowerman watchlist.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live results and breaking news.

Jim Senter Provides UTEP Athletics Updates at #EPMAD News Conference

Director of Athletics Jim Senter briefed the media on numerous UTEP Athletics initiatives at the Every Person Makes a Difference (#EPMAD) Press Conference on Wednesday at Albertsons, 3100 North Mesa Street.

 “Since arriving in El Paso and assuming my new duties, our fans have continuously told me that they want more from our department,” Senter said.  “More engagement, more options, more fun and more winning.   I feel confident that the winning is going to happen!  What we feel strongly about is that we need everyone to be more involved and committed to the process of what it takes to win.  The truth is we believe that ‘Every Person Makes A Difference’ #EPMAD and today’s announcements are just a few examples of how we have been engaging our fans and will continue to look for new and creative ways to involve everyone so they can be a positive difference maker for UTEP Athletics.” 

#EPMAD Campaign

As a corporate sponsor for UTEP Athletics, Albertsons will be selling exclusive limited edition “Difference Maker” t-shirts. 

“Albertsons is proud to support UTEP as a Difference Maker,” said Lori Raya, President of Albertsons.  “UTEP makes a difference in the lives of its students each day.  It’s an honor to be the exclusive retail partner for UTEP’s Difference Maker t-shirts.”

Town Hall Meetings

Athletics officials compiled a “Top-10 List” of items most frequently brought up by fans at the series of Town Hall meetings across El Paso.  These items are (1) Fix tailgating, (2) Get UTEP students more involved in Athletics, (3) Make games more fun, (4) Add baseball and men’s soccer, (5) Go to the Mountain West Conference, (6) Better marketing, (7) Develop and create traditions, (8) Engage the East Side, (9) Build community spirit and (10) Build a Spanish-speaking fan base.

Fan Council

The 30-member UTEP Fan Council has been launched and had its first meeting on June 4 at the Foster Stevens Basketball Center.  Items on the “Top-10” list from the Town Halls were discussed.  UTEP Athletics officials also gave presentations on the budget, the conference situation, and the marketing plan for 2018-19. 

The Fan Council will gather quarterly with the next meeting scheduled for September 4.

Fan Fest

The 2018 UTEP football gameday experience will be enhanced with the addition of the Fan Fest.  Located in the Memorial Gym parking lot facing Glory Road and Randolph Drive, the Fan Fest will be free to the public and suitable for all ages with food, music, entertainment and kid-friendly games. 

The Fan Fest will be open from 2-5 p.m. for the Miners’ season opener versus Northern Arizona.  More details will be announced later this summer. 

FirstLight Federal Credit Union Miner Kid’s Club

The Miner Kid’s Club now features a free membership option courtesy of FirstLight Federal Credit Union.  Packets include free admission to all Olympic sporting events (soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball) and access to all free athletic events (Football Fan Day, Orange & White basketball scrimmage, Kid’s Club Days, etc.) with special on-field and on-court experiences at all sporting events.

Packets will be distributed throughout the summer at various events across El Paso, and are also available through UTEP Athletics.  To activate the membership, parents can enroll their child online at to receive their free membership card and sign up for Pete’s Birthday Club.

A Gameday Membership upgrade is also available for $30.  This includes all benefits of the free membership, plus free admission to all football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball regular season games (free youth ticket with accompanying adult ticket at any level/ticket must be purchased at the University Ticket Center or venue location on gameday only). 

Other benefits of the GameDay Membership are an official gameday t-shirt, official gameday premiums and the chance to be the “Kid’s Club CEO” at a football, men’s or women’s basketball game or other UTEP athletic event.    

Kids can open their Miner Kid’s Savings Account with FirstLight Federal Credit Union to earn more perks and prizes.  Visit for more details.

“FirstLight Federal Credit Union is delighted to partner with UTEP Athletics since 2014,” said Natalia Flores, Marketing Manager for FLFCU.  “It’s our mission to support the communities that we serve, and this year, we are extremely proud to sponsor the Miner Kid’s Club and offer a new Miner Kid’s Savings Account to help them achieve their dreams.”

Miner Savings Magazine/Football Schedule Card

The new Miner Savings Magazine is free to all UTEP fans and provides special savings and rewards from local restaurants and businesses.  The UTEP football schedule card features a yearlong BOGO Church’s Chicken meal deal.  Fans can present their schedule card at participating Miner Savings locations for deals (for the full list of establishments taking part in the program, visit this website).  Fans can also register online at oline to receive weekly deals, free food and prizes.        

Miners Got Talent

The “Miners Got Talent” competition is new for 2018 and is open to all ages, individuals and groups.  Tryouts are scheduled for June 16 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Memorial Gym, with fans voting for their favorite performers.  The lucky winners will be selected to perform at halftime of UTEP men’s and women’s basketball home games, with the top-three finalists receiving cash prizes.  Signup is available online

UTEP Softball’s Clayton Receives C-USA Spirit of Service Award

IRVING, Tx – On Wednesday, UTEP softball’s Courtney Clayton was honored with the Spring Conference USA Spirit of Service Award.

Clayton amassed 84.5 hours of community service during the 2017-18 athletic season. The Cornelius, Or., native used much of her free time at the Animal Rescue League of El Paso, while also donating her attention to the Special Olympics of El Paso and Texas.

Clayton also donated her efforts to multiple UTEP events.

In the classroom, Clayton graduated with a 3.87 GPA with a degree in health promotion and a minor in nutrition. Clayton was named to the C-USA All-Academic team for the third straight season, while also making the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years and being honored as a C-USA Academic Medalist.

On the field, Clayton led C-USA with a .413 batting average – the first Miner to do so since 2012. Clayton racked up 71 hits, ranking third in the league, while her 35 knocks in league only games ranked first in C-USA.

Clayton concluded her career starting in all 210 games during her four-year career.

The award is given to the student-athlete who donate their time in the community, have a high academic standing and excel in their respective sports.

UTEP Athletics to Host “Miners Got Talent” Saturday

UTEP Athletics is seeking performers for men’s and women’s basketball halftime shows this season and doing it in the most unique way.

Officials with UTEP announced Tuesday the first-ever, ‘Miners Got Talent’ competition. 

Via a news release, officials shared, “If you believe that you’ve got what it takes, you’re invited to show your skills at “Miners Got Talent,” UTEP Athletics’ first-ever talent competition on Saturday, June 16, at Memorial Gym.”

Auditions will be accepted from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  There is a time limit of five minutes per contestant.  Bands must provide their own equipment. 

Music for dance performances must be on a USB drive.  A microphone and speakers will be provided for musical acts.

The top talents will compete during basketball halftime shows and advance by an audience vote.  A grand prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the first place winner.

All contestants must RSVP by phone (747-6229), email ( or online (

State Bandmaster Honor Goes to UTEP’s Capshaw

The Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA) named UTEP’s Kenneth Capshaw as its 2018 Bandmaster of the Year for outstanding commitment to music education.

Capshaw is the assistant director of bands at The University of Texas at El Paso and has been a borderland music educator for more than 40 years. He holds the assistant principal trumpet position with the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, is a member of the TBA and the Texas Music Educators Association, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame in 2013.

The native of Silver City, New Mexico, will be recognized during the association’s 71st annual convention/clinic at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, July 26, in the Lila Cockrell Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.

Capshaw said he was “extremely honored” to receive the award and used it as an opportunity to reflect on his work, his colleagues, and the dedicated students who have come into his life during the past 40 years.

“I am very blessed and grateful for this amazing experience,” he said.

Steve Wilson, DMA, chair of UTEP’s Department of Music, said the department is proud of Capshaw’s latest honor and shares the pride the association has in his work.

“Throughout his entire career, Mr. Capshaw has demonstrated himself to be a caring, dedicated teacher who has always been willing to go the extra mile for his students,” Wilson said. “This honor is much-deserved and we congratulate Mr. Capshaw on this significant accomplishment.”

The TBA is made up of retired and active-duty music education professionals who promote or promoted the important role instrumental music plays in our social, cultural and intellectual lives.

The organization will present him with his award later this summer.

Miners Garner Two All-American Honors at the NCAA Championships

Eugene, Or. – UTEP’s sophomore Michael Saruni and junior Jonah Koech earned All-American honors in the 800m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday night.

“Sometimes your best is not enough and today was one of those days for Saruni,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “He is young and unbelievably talented so he will learn from this. Jonah ran his best 800m and gained plenty of confidence from today’s race. We are so proud of these guys.”

Having to fight against tough weather conditions, both Miners kept pace with the pack of runners throughout the first lap. Heading into the final 200m, Saruni opened a gap before being passed by Isaiah Harris (Penn St.) in the final 15m. The sophomore crossed the finish line at 1:43.31, earning a bronze-medal finish. Koech stopped the clock at 1:46.23 to finish sixth overall.

Saruni and Koech combined to score nine points for the Miners and earn All-American Honors.

Saruni finished his season with a number of accolades, which include posting the NCAA 800m record 1:43.25 at the Desert Heat Classic, clocking a world-best 1:14.79 in the 600m, claiming the NCAA indoor title in the 800m, set the No. 2 NCAA indoor time in the 800m (1:45.15) and posting two school records in the 800m (indoor and outdoor).

Koech finished the 2018 campaign with two Conference USA outdoor titles in the 1,500m and 800m and an indoor conference title in the mile.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.

UTEP’s Rodney Terry Appointed to NABC Division I Congress

UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rodney Terry has been tabbed the congressman for Conference USA on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I Congress. 

Terry takes the spot previously occupied by Florida Atlantic head coach Michael Curry.

“I’m deeply honored and very excited to represent Conference USA on the NABC Congress,” Terry said.  “I was fortunate to serve in this role at Fresno State, and look forward to doing so again at UTEP.  The Congress plays such a critical role, working with the NCAA and its committees to better the lives of our student-athletes while continuing to elevate our great game.”

The NABC Division I Congress conducts a conference call monthly, in addition to an annual in-person meeting during the NABC Convention.

Terry led Fresno State to four 20-win seasons and three postseason tournaments in the last five years, including the 2016 NCAA Tournament after the Bulldogs captured the Mountain West Conference championship.  He took the reins of the UTEP program on March 12. 

Terry coached 15 All-Conference players in seven seasons at Fresno State, including the 2016 MWC Player of the Year Marvelle Harris.  He previously was an assistant coach at Texas for nine seasons, during a stretch where the Longhorns racked up 232 victories, nine NCAA Tournament bids, a Final Four berth in 2003 and trips to the Elite Eight in 2006 and 2008. 

While at Texas, he helped recruit 10 McDonald’s All-Americans including current NBA standouts LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant and Tristan Thompson.

Video+Story: Raise the Pick – Aaron Terrazas

After playing one season of golf at the University of Oklahoma, Aaron Terrazas wanted a mulligan.

“I just decided I needed to get more playing time because I wasn’t accomplishing what I wanted to accomplish by my first year-and-a-half,” said Terrazas, who just completed his junior season at The University of Texas at El Paso.

As Terrazas mulled his options following his decision to leave Norman, Oklahoma, he remembered the recruitment offers from UTEP while attending high school at Heritage Academy. Eventually, Terrazas chose to come to El Paso and has been very happy with that decision. He is studying communication, but has not settled on a concentration.

“I’ve loved El Paso since the first day I was here on my recruiting visit,” he said. “It felt like home coming from a culture that’s pretty similar to El Paso’s. The people around here are great. I didn’t have to go through an adaption process and that was huge for me because then I could just get to work in school and on the team.”

Growing up in Veracruz and Mexico City, soccer was a big part of Terrazas’ life because his father was a professional soccer player. Terrazas played soccer and golf until he was 14 and his family said he needed to concentrate on one sport.

“I picked golf because I just fell in love with the process of getting better individually and not having to depend on a team,” Terrazas said. “I think it’s just the fact (that) you can keep working at getting better and better, and that was something I really enjoyed about golf.”

He said he always will be grateful for earning a Division I scholarship to play at UTEP.

“The degree means a lot to me and as soon as I get that degree I’m going to be … I won’t have the words to describe how thankful I will be to UTEP,” Terrazas said. “Ultimately, all of the athletes want to accomplish that goal and the scholarship gave me a path to follow in my future.”

Off the course, Terrazas enjoys talking to anybody older than he is to pick their brains about life.

“I’ve been to plenty of tournaments where the host family just opens their houses to me and have a barbecue. I’ve talked to people 50 years old to 75 years old and they open themselves to me,” he said. “I love asking them how they were when they were younger and in college. They also recommend books to me that I read all the time when I get the chance.”

He also enjoys following most competitive soccer leagues, working out and being a homebody with his family when he visits them in Mexico City.

Before attending college in the United States, Terrazas’ accomplishments included:

  • No. 1 junior golfer in Mexico for three years in high school
  • Placed in the top 10 at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup three times
  • Finished in the top 10 at the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2013.
  • Four-year member of the Mexican National Team.

Terrazas plans to continue playing the sport he loves after college.

“I want to be a professional golfer and I’m willing to fight and give up everything for it,” Terrazas said. “Everything means friends, family, time at home and being in your comfort zone. Some of those things people aren’t willing to give up. I am.”


Raise the Pick: This is part of a series about UTEP student-athletes who share their unique stories and how athletic scholarships have made a difference in their lives. Each of these students reflects on the value of their UTEP experiences and the opportunities they create for the future.

Visit to learn more about the Raise the Pick campaign.


Author:  Leonard Martinez – UTEP Communications

Eleven UTEP Games a Part of C-USA Football Broadcast Schedule

On Thursday, Conference USA rolled out its broadcast schedule for the 2018 football season, with 11 games involving UTEP slated for coverage this fall.

Five UTEP home games will be carried on ESPN networks – versus Northern Arizona (Sept. 1/ESPN3), NM State (Sept. 22/ESPN3), UAB (Oct. 27/ESPN+), Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10/ESPN+) and Southern Miss (Nov. 24/ESPN+).  The Miners’ home matchup with North Texas (Oct. 6) will be shown on beIN SPORTS.

Kickoff for the Northern Arizona, NM State, North Texas and UAB home games will be 5:30 p.m. MT.  Kickoff for the Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss home games will be 1 p.m. MT.

UTEP’s road games at Tennessee (Sept. 15/SEC Network/10 a.m. MT), UTSA (Sept. 29/ESPN+/5 p.m. MT), LA Tech (Oct. 20/ESPN+/1:30 p.m. MT), Rice (Nov. 3/ESPN3/1:30 p.m. MT) and WKU (Nov. 17/beIN SPORTS/5:30 p.m. MT) have also been picked up.

The 2018 C-USA Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 1 will air on CBS Sports Network at a time to be determined.  ESPN is scheduled to carry all six of C-USA’s bowl games in which it has a guaranteed selection.

Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced today a new multi-year contract with ESPN. The agreement triples ESPN’s inventory of C-USA events from the previous deal to include more than 175 events on ESPN+ and ESPN3 for the upcoming 2018-19 season.

More than 100 of those games will air on the newly launched ESPN+ — the first multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer and International Segment in conjunction with ESPN.

As part of the new deal, ESPN will air all remaining football games (approximately 45 in 2018) along with 60 regular-season men’s basketball games and 28 regular-season women’s basketball games.

ESPN also picks up first-round men’s and women’s basketball action at the upcoming 2018 C-USA Basketball Championships in Frisco, Texas.

Rounding out the contract, ESPN will become the primary home of multiple conference championships.

                Men’s Soccer: All six games including the championship finals

                Women’s Soccer: All seven games including the championship finals

                Volleyball: All seven games including the championships finals

                Baseball: All games leading up to the championship game, which will air on CBS Sports

                Softball: All games leading up to the championship game, which will air on CBS Sports

ESPN’s digital platforms will also spotlight additional C-USA championships throughout the year with special highlight shows. The sports expected to be featured include cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field, swimming & diving, golf and tennis.

Saruni and Koech Advance to 800m Final

Eugene, Or. – UTEP’s Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech punched their tickets to the 800m final at the NCAA Championships on Wednesday night.

“This was the best possible outcome for us,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “Both got through from the heat that had by far the most talent in the field. We are very excited about Friday’s final, it will be one to watch.”

Saruni made his second consecutive appearance at the national championship stage in the 800m and cruised his way to a first-place finish in the first heat, clocking a time of 1:46.98. His time ranks as the second-fastest qualifying time among the eight other finalists.

Koech sprinted to a third-place finish in the first heat with a qualifying time of 1:47.28. The junior is making his first career appearance in the 800m final.

Both Miners will compete in Friday’s final at 7:45 p.m. MT. The action will be broadcasted live on ESPN.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live results and breaking news.

Saruni, Koech Prepped for NCAA Outdoor Championships

UTEP’s Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech head to the pacific northwest for the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on June 6 through 9.

This will be the second consecutive appearance Saruni at the NCAA Championships. Last year, the sophomore finished eighth overall after colliding with former teammate Emmanuel Korir. The Kenya native has since then improved over the season, claiming the NCAA Indoor title in the 800m by clocking the No. 2 time in NCAA history at 1:45.15.

His time ranks just behind his coach Paul Ereng (Virginia, 1989) at 1:45.84.

Over the outdoor season, Saruni set the NCAA 800m record at the Desert Heat Classic with a time of 1:43.25. His time broke a two-year stand by Donavan Brazier (Texas A&M, 1:45.55).

Koech will make his second career trip to the national stage in the 800m. During his freshman year he finished ninth overall on the way to earning second team All-American honors. Koech captured the Conference USA indoor title in the mile while placing second in the 800m, tying Saruni with 18 points scored.

The junior notched two conference outdoor titles, doing so in the 1,500m and pulling a surprising upset over Saruni in the 800m, to lead the Miners with 20 points.

Both Miners will compete in the first heat of the semifinals on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. MT. There will be three heats of eight runners; the top-two finishers from each heat will earn an automatic spot in Friday’s final with the next two best times completing the final field of eight runners.

The 800m final will start at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.

UTEP Introduces Members of Inaugural Fan Council

After a few weeks of discussion and selection, UTEP has their first-ever Fan Council, made up of 30 dedicated Miner Fans.

“We’re really excited to form the first UTEP Fan Council,” Senter said.  “The selection committee had a very difficult task getting the number down from 148 to 30.  We have so many passionate fans, and their enthusiasm for the Miners and UTEP Athletics shone through during the application process.  Fortunately we will be bringing on 10 new members to the council every year, so those that were close to being selected this year will get another opportunity to apply in 2019.”

The Fan Council members were picked by a selection committee from an initial pool of 148 applicants.  The Fan Council will meet quarterly, with their first meeting held on Monday, June 4.

“We tasked the selection committee with assembling a council filled with diversity,” Senter said.  “Our youngest member is 18, and our oldest are in their 80’s.  We have long-time season ticket holders, new season ticket holders, students, former student-athletes, parents of student athletes, faculty and staff, military, donors, alumni and non-alumni.  We look forward to hearing from everyone on things that we can do better, while at the same time giving them some insight on the inner workings of collegiate athletics.  Every Person Makes a Difference! #EPMAD”

The 30 members will serve one, two and three-year terms, to be determined in a random drawing at Monday’s meeting.  Senter unveiled the council members on Friday, June 1st

2018-19 UTEP Athletics Fan Council

Jesica Arellano

Jesica Rendon Arellano is the Principal of Gonzalo & Sofia Garcia Elementary School. She has 16 years of experience as an educator and also worked nearly seven years in the private sector as a Facilities/Environmental and Manufacturing Engineer.  She is a graduate of Ysleta High School and earned a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Engineering from UTEP.  She has been a UTEP fan for 35 years after participating in a summer UTEP camp as a middle school student. As a parent of a UTEP student and UTEP student-athlete, she is most excited about collaborating with other fans in the council to execute plans that will expand the passion of all divisions of UTEP Athletics to the “sleeping giant” of the El Paso community and beyond.

Norm Badillo

Norm Badillo has followed UTEP Athletics for as long as he can remember.  His family follows all UTEP sports and they have been men’s basketball season ticket holders for 14 years.  He graduated from UTEP with a degree in Finance in 1993, and is currently employed with Hunt Companies.  He’s looking forward to being a part of the inaugural UTEP Fan Council and is excited about the new era of UTEP Athletics.

Rachael Blair

Rachael Blair graduated from Ysleta High School and continued her education at UTEP, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.  She has been an educator for the Ysleta Independent School District for 18 years and is currently an Assistant Principal at Parkland Elementary.  She ran one year of cross country for the Miners, her husband played football for the Miners and now her daughter proudly represents UTEP as part of the softball team.  She is most excited about assisting in the rise of UTEP athletics.  As Jim Senter said, “every person makes a difference!” and that is exactly what she intends to do as a representative of every UTEP fan and community member.

Jorge Cardenas

Jorge Cardenas graduated from Coronado High School in 1988, graduated from UTEP with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1995 and added his Master of Arts in 2001.  He’s currently finishing up his doctoral program at UTEP in Educational Leadership and Foundations.  He’s been a full-time UTEP employee under the Enrollment Services Department for 16 years.  He’s served in different capacities and been a member of various committees on campus.  What he’s most excited about with the Fan Council is to hopefully be a change agent, to assess, implement, evaluate and produce positive results that will enable UTEP Athletics to be taken to the next level.

Jose Carmona

Jose “Cookie” Carmona is the leading Corporate Account Manager for DmDickason, a Professional Employment Organization Outsourcing Corporation.  He previously worked with the State of Texas to gain employment for individuals with disabilities.  He graduated from Riverside High School, then attended UTEP where he received his bachelor’s degrees in Kinesiology and Psychology. He recently received his Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UTEP.  Cookie is honored to be married to the love of his life, Shauna Ziegler-Carmona.  He and his wife share a deep passion for UTEP Miner Athletics (just ask anyone who knows them) and have had football season tickets for more than 10 years.  He will contribute both his time and effort to help UTEP Athletics achieve the next level of community involvement.

Bryan Cleavenger

Bryan Cleavenger attended Franklin High School.  He is a business graduate of UTEP with a Masters of Business from the University of Phoenix.  He is currently a Human Resources consultant at ADP.  He previously held various staffing/recruiting roles in West Texas and Southern New Mexico.  He is a second-year board director for the El Paso Society for Human Resources Management Chapter and holds certification in the field of human resources.  He is a third generation Miner fan, attending UTEP basketball and football games ever since he was a child.  His favorite hobbies are movies, travel, exercise, concerts, church, and being an uncle.  He is excited to help bring a fresh new perspective to the fan council during this important time of change.

Bob Currey

Bob Currey wasn’t born in El Paso, but, as they say, “I got here as quick as I could” (fourth grade).  He graduated from Burges High School and received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from UTEP in 1969.  He spent 24 years in the Army, picking up a Master’s Degree from USC along the way, before returning to El Paso in 1994.  He started working in the Center for Environmental Resource Management at UTEP that year, and became Assistant Vice President for Research in 2009.  He and his wife Suzie hold season tickets for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball (their absolute favorite sport).  He is excited to be selected for the Fan Council and hopes that it can 1) make a difference, 2) improve the fan experience, 3) fill the seats, and most importantly, 4) support the Miners.

Nathan Duran

Nathan Duran is a lifelong resident of El Paso.  He was a Miner fan even before he was old enough to understand what sports were about.  A 2008 graduate of Coronado High School, he went on to study at El Paso Community College.  He is currently an Assistant Branch Manager for FirstLight Federal Credit Union.  He believes UTEP fans are the best in the nation and is proud to be a part of it all.  He looks forward to working with the UTEP Athletic Department to better the beloved university and Miner sports.

Bob Geske

Bob Geske came to El Paso in 1964 and attended Texas Western College, where he was a member of the baseball and basketball teams.  He graduated in 1970 and added a Masters degree in 1977.  From 1971-87 he served as Director of Intramurals and Recreation at UTEP and helped start the women’s basketball and volleyball programs.  He was a long-time middle and high school English teacher.  Geske officiated high school football, basketball and volleyball games for over 40 years.  Since 1971, he has served as the clock operator and scorekeeper at UTEP basketball home games and was also a clock operator for Miner football games from 1973-2008.  A Miner fan for more than 50 years, Geske is honored to be a part of the Fan Council and is looking forward to giving back to UTEP.

Arturo Gonzalez, Sr.

Arturo Gonzalez, Sr. attended Bel Air High School.  He served for four years in the U.S. Navy.  After being discharged in July 1975, he enrolled at El Paso Community College part-time and began working at the Veterans Administration.  He graduated from EPCC with an Associate in Arts in Education.  Afterwards, he began working for the Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Administration at the El Paso Intelligence Center.  After leaving the DEA, he worked for the State of Texas with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for 10 years before retiring in 2017.  He believes the fan council can bring about positive changes to enhance the experience of students, student athletes, fans and the El Paso community in tandem with UTEP’s vision and growth on the national level in both academics and sports.

Simon Hernandez

Simon Hernandez was born and raised in El Paso.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a Masters in Leadership from UTEP.  He served for 13 years in the U.S. Army.  His current position is Admissions and Scholarship Officer for the UTEP ROTC program, where he assists students pursuing a career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Beth Lipson

Beth Lipson moved to El Paso from Amarillo in 1965 to attend Texas Western College.  She graduated in 1969 with a Kinesiology degree.  She has always been a sports enthusiast and found it easy to fall in love with TWC Sports.  After she graduated from UTEP, she married and moved to Austin, Texas for her husband to attend law school.  They returned to El Paso in 1972 and she taught physical education, as they became season ticket holders for football and basketball.   After starting a family, she became a “professional” volunteer for many local civic organizations.  She is excited to have the opportunity to share ideas with likeminded people who wish to return UTEP to its winning traditions in all sports, entertain fans at UTEP’s athletic venues, and continue to bring pride to the University and El Paso.

Leah Lopez

Born and raised in El Paso, Leah Lopez attended Texas Woman’s University and obtained her Bachelor of Social Work degree.  She was the president of the Phi Alpha Honor Society and treasurer of the Child Abuse Prevention Society.  She volunteered with various organizations and has been active in the areas of domestic violence awareness and child welfare.  She was part of the first graduating advanced standing class for the Master of Social Work program at UTEP.  She began working for Ysleta del Sur Pueblo in May of 2012.  She continues to serve this community as the Supervisory Social Worker for the Sacred Connections Department.  Lopez grew up in a UTEP family, attended many football games over the years and, as an adult, has traveled to almost every Texas stadium supporting the team in away games.

Julius Lowenberg

Julius Lowenberg graduated from Texas Western College in 1960.  He started attending Texas Mines games at Kidd Field around 1945, selling cokes and peanuts in the stands.  A long-time high school coach, he was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.  He started the football and track programs at Canutillo High School in 1960 and posted a combined 19 district titles in football, basketball and track & field.  He also won two state cross country championships.  The Canutillo football stadium was named after he and his wife Irene in 2006.  Lowenberg started his own construction company in 1980 and is past president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.  He is excited about helping revive past traditions and starting new ones as a member of the Fan Council.

Oscar Loy, Jr.

Oscar Loy, Jr. is Sun City born and raised and was brought up by his parents as a UTEP fan.  He graduated from UTEP with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting and, since graduating, has become a certified public accountant (CPA).  He works for SBNG, a local CPA firm.  He has been a die-hard UTEP fan and proponent for growth and progress in El Paso for as long as he can remember.  He believes that being a part of the inaugural Fan Council will allow him to be a part of the historic transition at UTEP while giving back to the great university that helped get him to where he is today.

Alexzandra Lozano

Although she was born in California, El Paso has been home to Alexzandra Lozano for 23 years.  She remembers going to UTEP football games with her family when she was young, and attending UTEP basketball camps with her brothers.  She graduated from Franklin High School and received her Bachelors degree in Biology at UTEP.  Her first job out of college was with Enterprise Car Rental Company.  She moved on to become Assistant Program Coordinator for University Medical Center Foundation and El Paso Children’s Hospital Foundation.  She was promoted after one year to Event Program Coordinator.  She loves seeing an event start from scratch and watch it all come together, and feels blessed to have the opportunity to raise money that saves lives.

Roger Maier

Roger Maier has been a resident of El Paso for 30 years and a UTEP fan the entire time. He grew up in suburban Chicago and earned a BS degree in Journalism at the University of Kansas and an MS degree in Communication at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. After a short stint as a reporter/anchor at a small market TV station in Illinois he moved to El Paso to work as a reporter at KVIA-TV before switching careers and joining the ranks of the federal government as a spokesman for U.S. Customs Service/U.S Customs and Border Protection. He is married to a UTEP graduate and has three children. He is excited to have the opportunity to help shape the UTEP fan experience in a way that will create lasting memories for El Paso families, UTEP alumni, and sports fans across the board.

Jaime Medina

Jaime Medina remembers his family gathering around the black and white TV watching the 1966 NCAA Championship as a kid.  He graduated from Austin High School in 1972, received his AASET from EPCC in 1985 and his Bachelor’s degree in Science from UTEP in 1995.  He added a Masters from NM State in 2007.  He did a short stint in the Air Force as an electronic technician and retired from the Navy reserve.  He has worked as a government contractor for more than 30 years.  Presently he is a project engineer for TRAX INTL. and a volunteer on the supervisory committee at First Light Federal Credit Union.  After all these years, he’s very excited to finally give back to his alma mater.

Calvin Merritt

Originally from Harrisburg, Pa., Calvin Merritt first came to El Paso in July, 2000.  He was stationed as a soldier at William Beaumont Army Medical Center from 2000-03.  After he retired from the U.S. Army in 2008, he returned to the United States from Heidelberg, Germany and settled in Northeast El Paso.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from UTEP in 2014.  A 23-year Army veteran, he is also a retired high school girls, professional and AAU basketball coach.  Twenty-four of his high school players went on to play at the collegiate level, and four of his AAU players went on to play professionally in the WNBA and overseas.  Since 2010, he has worked at William Beaumont Army Hospital as a Finance Technician in the Department of Military Human Resources.

Sara Navarro

Sara Navarro was born and raised in El Paso.  She attended Hanks High School (class of 2006) and graduated from UTEP with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2011.  She attended her first UTEP basketball game when she was one week old and has been supporting Miner Athletics ever since.  While attending UTEP, she was part of the Miner Maniacs Student Organization, and later became Chairman of the Miner XIV which oversaw the Miner Maniacs.  She proudly works as the Safety Director in her family’s business, Sun City Electric, which has been in existence for nearly 60 years.  Navarro volunteers with the National Independent Electrical Contractors Association as a member of the Apprenticeship and Training Committee, which is an electrical apprenticeship program that is offered throughout the country.

Henry Sanchez

Henry Sanchez has fond memories of going to UTEP games with family and friends and having a great time cheering on the Miners.  He has tried to continue that same tradition with his four boys and daughter, who have been lifelong Miner fans as well.  He attended Ysleta High School and UTEP for three years.  He currently works as a Senior Wireless Manager for Wireless Advocates and has the privilege of working with men and women of the armed forces on Fort Bliss.  His team provides cell phone service for military personnel so they can stay connected with family and friends.  He looks forward to being part of a team that will help bring a renewed excitement to UTEP Athletics.  He feels that bringing the families back to home games will elevate UTEP Athletics back to its glory days.

Paul Sanchez

Paul Sanchez has lived in El Paso his whole life and has been a UTEP fan for the past 10 years.  He received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UTEP in 2016. He attended many sporting events as an undergraduate, always supporting UTEP.  Currently he is working for Villa Verde Inc. Civil Engineers and pursuing his master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering.  He is president of the UTEP Young Alumni Network, which connects recent graduates to the university and other alumni. He is looking forward to working with other fans and supporters to help improve UTEP.

Michael Scott

After graduating from Franklin High School in 2007, Michael Scott joined the UTEP football team as a placekicker and was a part of the squad from 2007-11.  He earned his BBA in Accounting in 2011 and his MBA in Finance in 2013.  After concluding his eligibility at UTEP, he started working at the El Paso Refinery for Andeavor (formerly Western Refining and soon to be Marathon Petroleum), and currently serves as Project Controls Coordinator for the Turnaround Group.  What excites him most about the Fan Council is the opportunity for a cross section of Miner Nation to have a voice, as well as serve as ambassadors on the Miners’ journey to success and excellence in the future.

Analisa Silverstein

A lifelong Miner fan, Analisa Cordova Silverstein is a graduate of Loretto Academy, and attained her B.B.A. in Marketing at UTEP in 2008.  During her years at UTEP, she was an active officer in the SGA, Zeta Tau Alpha, and was President of the Student Alumni Association.  She worked for Texas Senator Eliot Shapleigh and served as his Chief of Staff in 2010. Today she is the Account & Production Manager for her family business, Viva + Impulse Creative Co., a digital marketing agency.  She volunteers with the Junior League of El Paso, Women’s Fund of El Paso and the Hispanic Chamber WBBC.  She and her husband, Brandon, are basketball season ticket holders and sit in the same seats from their very first date.  She is excited to share her experience in marketing, event planning, and community engagement.

Trephya Sumpter

Trephya Sumpter served 26 years as an active duty soldier.  She retired in 2013 as a Chief Warrant Officer Four.  Her work currently supports the soldiers by assisting in the testing of proposed new military systems and equipment.  She met and married her husband in El Paso, and they have two children that were born and raised in the Sun City.  Her daughter is currently a senior at Kansas State University.  She has been an ardent UTEP fan for about 11 years.  When her children reached the age where their friends began attending UTEP, she jumped in with both feet and became one of the university’s biggest fans.  She attended the University of California at Berkeley and earned a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which is composed of college-educated women dedicated to public service.

Miguel Venegas

Miguel Venegas was born and raised in El Paso.  He graduated from Captain John L. Chapin High School in 2014.  He is currently an undergraduate working towards his degree in Mechanical Engineering at UTEP.  He briefly worked as an electrical associate at Lowe’s and is currently pursuing an engineering internship.  His father graduated from UTEP in the early 90’s, and would take Miguel to football and basketball games as a kid.  In doing so he made Miguel into a UTEP sports fan, which later contributed to him opting to pursue his degree at UTEP.  He’s excited about enhancing the UTEP experience by being on the fan council.  As a student, he’s looking forward to addressing as well as fixing the concerns from the student’s perspective on UTEP Athletics.

Pamela Vigo

Pamela Vigo is an art student at UTEP by day, die-hard Miner Maniac at night.  She was born in El Paso, and moved around with her Army family until they finally returned for good in 2001.  Her parents first took her to basketball games as an infant, because good parents take their newborns to the Haskins Center!  Later on, she was introduced to football; there she picked up her infamous trash talking along the opponent sideline.  She’s looking forward to being a voice for her fellow RV tailgaters on the Fan Council.  She has tailgated UTEP football games since 2005.  In fact, her first RV was delivered from the dealership to the Schuster parking lot.  Since then, she has been part of a tradition of themed tailgates with her RV crew. When she’s not at UTEP, she is out at the barn riding her horse, Indy.

Samantha J. Watley

Samantha Watley has lived in El Paso her whole life and is a 2017 graduate of Coronado High School, where she was a member of the marching band.  She is currently enrolled at UTEP, pursuing a dual major in Psychology and Sociology.  Samantha brings a unique perspective to the fan council as not only its youngest member, but someone interested in being more supportive of UTEP’s athletic teams.  She hopes to offer insight on how to make the gameday experience more enjoyable, to the point where people would want to continue going to the games.

George Weidner

A native El Pasoan, George Weidner attended Crockett Elementary, Austin High and graduated from Texas Western (UTEP) with the Class of 1963 after a Marine Corps enlistment.  He retired after a 25-year partnership in the construction machinery industry followed by a 27-year career in real estate sales and appraisal careers.  He has seen basketball games in Holiday Hall, Memorial Gym, El Paso County Coliseum and the Don Haskins Center.  He has had basketball season tickets since the 1964-65 season.  He has also watched football games in Kidd Field and the Sun Bowl.  He is enthusiastic about the direction UTEP is heading in, and energized at the opportunity to be a participant in this new effort to improve and enrich the fan experience.

Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs was born in San Diego, Calif. and her parents, like many El Pasoans, came to the city by way of the military when she was 10 years old.  She didn’t become a Miner fan until she graduated from Burges High School in 1976 and started dating her husband.  They were both students at UTEP.  They got married and had two great sons, who have given her two beautiful grandkids with another on the way.  They were Miner fans as they grew up attending football, basketball and soccer games.  She is a retired Student Activities Manager from Irvin High School and loved teaching her students the importance of upholding school tradition while fusing it with new ideas.  She found the Fan Council an opportunity to spread a renewed Miner zeal throughout this city while still maintaining Miner traditions.