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Home | Tag Archives: utep athletics

Tag Archives: utep athletics

Thirty-Three UTEP Student Athletes set to graduate

Thirty-three current and former student-athletes will graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso this weekend.

The Miner football program leads the way with seven graduates, followed by softball and women’s track & field (six each), and soccer, men’s track & field and volleyball (three each).  The men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, rifle and tennis programs have one graduate apiece.

The graduation list includes representatives from Alaska (Alan Busey & Kacey Duffield), The Bahamas (Dreshanae Rolle), Barbados (Kyle Farrell), Canada (Niki Cebak, Ashley Grzebeniak, Payton Ross & Julia Wright), Kenya (Linda Cheruiyot & Winny Koech), Mexico (Aaron Terrazas), The Netherlands (Yvette van Oijen), Nigeria (Rebecca Oshinbanjo) and the United Kingdom (Lily Downs).

Also graduating are El Paso natives Briana Arellano, Markos Lujan, Isaiah Rhyanes and David Rivera.

Cheruiyot and Koech are past recipients of the Conference USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year Award.  Duffield was a first team All-Conference USA honoree for UTEP Softball.  Downs and Terrazas are two of the most decorated performers in UTEP women’s and men’s golf history, respectively.  Soccer’s Alyssa Palacios and Ross are school record-holders.

Twenty-six of the 33 graduates have earned placement on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll (minimum 3.0 grade point average) during their college careers.

Thirteen have been recipients of C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals (minimum 3.75 GPA) including softball’s Mariah Ellis, soccer’s Kori Lewis and track & field’s Austin Ondijo, who have each been awarded three academic medals during their time at UTEP.

December 2019 UTEP Student-Athlete Graduates

Briana Arellano (Volleyball) – El Paso, Texas

Recorded 418 kills and 619 digs in her career … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … was awarded the C-USA Spirit of Service Award for her efforts in the El Paso community … Biology major.

Alan Busey (Football) – Anchorage, Alaska

Played in 23 games for the Miners … had 23 catches for 298 yards and a touchdown …  one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Niki Cebak (Volleyball) – Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

Recorded 449 digs and 39 service aces in her career … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

Cierra Chenault (Track & Field) – Alamogordo, N.M.

Placed fourth in the hammer throw and fifth in the high jump at the 2019 Springtime meet … tossed a season-high 12.42m in the shot put at the 2019 C-USA Championships … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Political Science major.

Linda Cheruiyot (Track & Field) – Metkei, Kenya

Named the 2018 Conference USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year … appointed to the 2018 All-C-USA first team … claimed the individual title at the 2018 C-USA Cross Country Championships … part of the Miners’ 2018 C-USA Championship team … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Kinesiology major.

 

Camryn Curtis-Dozier (Football) – Houston, Texas

Played two seasons at Benedictine Junior College before bolstering the depth in the Miners’ receiving corps … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Mechanical Engineering major.

Lily Downs (Women’s Golf) –Kirklevington, Yarm, United Kingdom

Three-time MVP for the Miner women’s golf team … third team All-Conference USA as a senior … posted 18 top-10 finishes in her career with a championship at the Lady Red Wolf Classic her sophomore year … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Entrepreneurship major.

Kacey Duffield (Softball) – Fairbanks, Alaska

Registered the fifth best slugging percentage in a career at UTEP, and the third-highest fielding percentage in a season during her senior year … named first team All-Conference USA as a senior … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Mariah Ellis (Softball) – Los Angeles, Calif.

Recorded 22 hits and 19 RBI in her two seasons with UTEP Softball … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Digital Media Production major.

Kyle Farrell (Track & Field) – Bridgetown, Barbados

Finished in second place in the 200m at the Texas A&M Triangular … member of the 4x100m relay that took third at the Don Kirby Tailwind … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Madison Gibson (Track & Field) – Pflugerville, Texas

Posted a pair of first-place finishes at the Don Kirby Tailwind in the 400m and 4×100 relay … captured gold in the 4×100 relay at the 2017 C-USA Championships … member of the Miners’ first C-USA Outdoor Championship team in 2017 … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biology major.

 

Ashley Grzebeniak (Volleyball) – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Amassed over 290 kills and 480 digs in her career … produced 60 blocks and 22 service aces … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Kinesiology major.

Ruben Guerra (Football) – Bakersfield, Calif.

Saw action in 25 games for the Miners on the offensive line, while making 20 starts over a four-year span … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Management major.

Bijan Hosseini (Football) – Upland, Calif.

Saw action in 18 games for the Miners on the offensive line, while making six starts over the course of three seasons … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Brandon Jones (Football) – Bakersfield, Calif.

Battled through injuries to play in 12 games in his two seasons as a Miner, while starting six games at quarterback … was 89-of-172 passing with 1,301 yards and six touchdowns … also had three rushing touchdowns in his career … led the Miners to a season-opening victory over Houston Baptist in 2019 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Winny Koech (Track & Field) – Iten, Kenya

Member of UTEP’s 2018 C-USA Cross Country Championship team … named a 2017 first team All-American … honored as the 2016 C-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year … three-time All-C-USA first team honoree … 2016 C-USA Cross Country individual champion … 2016 C-USA Cross Country Freshman of the Meet … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

Kori Lewis (Soccer) – Avondale, Ariz.

Four-year starter on defense … played in 67 career games, including 64 starts, and helped the team qualify for the 2019 C-USA Championships … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Accounting major.

Markos Lujan (Football) – El Paso, Texas

Played in 21 games on the offensive line over the course of his UTEP career … made a total of 12 starts, including 11 games during the 2018 season … Kinesiology major.

Kira McKechnie (Softball) – Sacramento, Calif.

Held opponents to the second-lowest batting average (.239) in UTEP history in 2019 … contributed to UTEP Softball’s sixth no-hitter in 2018 … amassed over 180 strikeouts in the circle … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Austin Ondijo (Track & Field) – Mansfield, Texas

Earned a fifth-place finish in the high jump at the 2019 New Mexico Classic indoors … claimed second place in the high jump at the 2019 UTEP Springtime … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Forensic Science major.

 

Rebecca Oshinbanjo (Track & Field) – Lagos, Nigeria

Named third-team All-C-USA in the 60m hurdles in 2017 … finished fifth in the 60m hurdles at the 2019 C-USA Indoor Championships … member of the Miners’ 2017 Outdoor C-USA Championship team, the first in program history .. four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Economics major.

Alyssa Palacios (Soccer) – Carrollton, Texas

Four-year starter who set the school record for career shutouts (21) while ranking second in save percentage (.825) and total saves (406) and third in GK wins (37) … All-Conference honoree in 2016 … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Isaiah Rhyanes (Men’s Basketball) – El Paso, Texas

Fan favorite who threw down a thunderous dunk for his first collegiate points against Eastern New Mexico on Nov. 15 … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

David Rivera (Track & Field) – El Paso, Texas

Registered a personal-best time (1:00.62) in the 400m hurdles at the 2019 Texas A&M Invitational … competed at four events in the 110m hurdles during the 2019 outdoor season … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Biology major.

 

Dreshanae Rolle (Track & Field) – Nassau, Bahamas

Member of the Miners’ first Outdoor C-USA Championship team in 2017 … named second team All-C-USA in the 400m outdoors in 2018 … opened the 2018 outdoor season by winning the 4x400m relay at the UTEP Springtime meet … posted a personal best in the 400m hurdles at the 2019 NCAA West Preliminaries … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Payton Ross (Soccer) – Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

Four-year starter on defense who set the school record for career minutes played (7425) by a Miner field player … started every game (80) of her playing career … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Kinesiology major.

Mara Rouse (Rifle) – Oak Harbor, Wash.

Averaging an 1140 aggregate, with career highs of 579 in smallbore and 591 in air rifle … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Psychology major.

 

Cortney Smith (Softball) – Moreno Valley, Calif.

Hit the fourth-most homers in program history with 31, including 14 during her senior season … had the second-most assists in a career by a Miner, and fielded the third-most double plays in UTEP history … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Health Promotion major.

Jamar Smith (Football) – Lyons, Ga.

Saw action in every game at linebacker during his two seasons as a Miner, while also making 11 starts on defense … recorded 114 tackles (59 solo), 7.5 tackles for losses (17 yards) and a pair of forced fumbles … added a fumble recovery, two passes defended and an interception … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Lindsey Sokoloski (Softball) – Magnolia, Texas

Ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2017 as the toughest player to strike out, fanning just once in 136 at bats … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Aaron Terrazas (Men’s Golf) – Mexico City, Mexico

2017 All-Conference USA First Team selection … 2019 All-Conference USA Second Team choice … played in 30 tournaments for the Miners in three seasons … posted a 72.1 scoring average over 88 rounds, including a career-low 65 as a senior … shot a career-best 15-under-par with a three-round total of 201 in his final season … achieved nine top-10 finishes overall … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Yvette van Oijen (Tennis) – Nijmegen, Netherlands

Recorded a combined 20 victories, including clinching UTEP’s first C-USA win in three years versus UTSA during the 2019 season … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Graduating with a Masters in Communication.

Julia Wright (Softball) – Langley, British Columbia, Canada

The fifth-winningest pitcher in UTEP history with 18 victories, while ranking second in saves with five … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

UTEP Athletics to participate in C-USA “Green Out Games” in support of Mental Wellness

Nine UTEP Athletics teams will take part in the Conference USA “Green Out Games” initiative.  Miner student-athletes will wear green shoe laces at the athletic contests listed below to support mental wellness.

“Green Out games are important to spread awareness and we want people to understand that mental health is an important issue,” said UTEP SAAC President and football student-athlete Deaumonjae (D.J.) Banks.  “It’s a struggle that people tend to keep to themselves and we want them to know that they’re not alone.  We want everyone to feel comfortable talking about what’s going on no matter the situation, and we want them to know that there are people out there who care.”

Millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness each year.  One in five U.S. adults experience mental illness each year.  One in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year.  One in six U.S. youth ages 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.  Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10-34.

The “Green Out Games” initiative is a collaboration between Conference USA and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at each school.

UTEP Athletics 2019-20 “Green Out Games” Schedule

Soccer – Nov. 1 vs. UTSA

Volleyball – Nov. 8 vs. Middle Tennessee

Football – Nov. 30 vs. Rice

Women’s Basketball – Jan. 4 vs. Florida Atlantic

Men’s Basketball – Jan. 11 vs. LA Tech

Rifle – Jan. 31 vs. Jacksonville State

Tennis – Feb. 2 vs. New Mexico

Track & Field – April 4 Springtime Meet

Softball – April 10 vs. UTSA

GECU inks exclusive partnership with UTEP Athletics

On Thursday, officials with UTEP Athletics announced that GECU reached an agreement with Van Wagner to serve as the exclusive credit union for UTEP Athletics.

The sponsorship package is the largest in the history of the UTEP athletic program.

“We are delighted to have GECU as our official credit union,” said Jim Senter, UTEP Director of Athletics.  “We are most appreciative of their collaboration and support.  They have made a huge impact in El Paso and we feel like our two organizations will continue to forge a win/win relationship that benefits UTEP and this community for years to come.”

Under the new agreement, the PickAxe Rewards credit card will continue to be available to GECU members.

“GECU is proud to announce that we are the official credit union of UTEP Athletics! This is an outstanding opportunity to continue our long-standing relationship with UTEP and we are thrilled to bring innovative ideas to create an unforgettable experience for our community. Our collaboration with UTEP has been ongoing for many years and we are passionate about the future of UTEP athletics,” said Crystal Long, President and CEO of GECU.

GECU will also continue to be a pillar partner for all Miner Athletics meaning their support of the program puts them amongst the most significant in all of UTEP.

“GECU has been an unbelievable sponsor of UTEP over the years,” said Ben Burke, Vice President for Van Wagner.  “The entire team at Van Wagner is thrilled that we got to be a part of growing this relationship to new heights.  Crystal Long and her team have been outstanding and we look forward to many years with our new Official Credit Union.”

In April of 2018, GECU collaborated with UTEP Athletics on a vision for the future of the Sun Bowl Stadium.  Construction is currently underway, with the GECU Terrace scheduled to open its doors in time for the 2020 football season.

Located directly beneath the press box, the GECU Terrace will feature club seats, loge boxes and outdoor cantinas.

GECU Terrace will be a collaborative place for families to gather year-round to support UTEP, and will also impact the lives of community members through GECU’s financial education and free tax preparation initiatives.

UTEP Athletics, UTEP Alumni Association partner for Pickaxe Tailgate Parties

UTEP Athletics and the UTEP Alumni Association have renewed their partnership to bring back a re-branded and re-imagined tailgate experience for Miner fans prior to every 2019 UTEP football home game.

“With football season right around the corner, we are thrilled to once again partner with UTEP Athletics for the UTEP Alumni/Athletics Tailgates,” said Maribel Villalva, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations.

“These tailgates, newly rebranded as the ‘Pickaxe Tailgate Parties,’ continue to grow every year and are easily the biggest UTEP tailgates in El Paso. We love that we can host Miner fans, families, students and our proud alumni on Kidd Field, just steps away from Sun Bowl Stadium. Our tailgates are a great way to engage the UTEP community and celebrate the Miner Spirit that unites us. We invite everyone to begin their football game experience with us on Kidd Field. We’ll provide the food and the entertainment. You just need to bring the Miner Pride.”

The relaunched “Pickaxe Tailgate Parties” will be held three and a half hours prior to kickoff (2:30 p.m.) on Kidd Field for the 6 p.m. home games, beginning on Aug. 31 before the Miners take the field to battle Houston Baptist in their season opener.

The “Pickaxe Tailgate Parties” will take place three hours prior to kickoff (10 a.m.) on Kidd Field for the Miners’ 1 p.m. November home games.

“We’re excited about collaborating with the UTEP Alumni Association this fall to provide a premier tailgating experience for all Miner fans,” said Director of Athletics Jim Senter. “The ‘Pickaxe Tailgate Parties’ provide the perfect opportunity to have a great time with your friends and family while getting fired up for every UTEP home game!”

Fans can enjoy a hearty catered meal, soft drinks, two beers, entertainment and a pep rally. Beer is available for patrons 21 years of age and older, and wine will be sold separately.

The “Pickaxe Tailgate Parties” offer enjoyment for the whole family, including a Mini-Miners play area for youth and a cash bar for adults.

Tailgate packages are on sale online through Aug. 28 and in-person through Aug. 31. Season prices are $70 for students/youth (5-20 years old), $80 for UTEP Alumni Association/Miner Athletic Club members, and $90 for the general public.

Fans who purchase the season package will receive a 2019 tailgate t-shirt. Single-game tailgate tickets are $20. Pre-purchased tickets are highly encouraged.

On-site tickets are not guaranteed and will be limited to the first 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for the Homecoming tailgate (Oct. 5) will not be available on-site.

Football game tickets are not included, but are available for purchase by calling (915) 747-6150. For more information on the Pickaxe Tailgate Parties, please call (915) 747-8600, email tailgate@utep.edu or visit the tailgate website.

UTEP Athletics Launches “Plant Your Pick” Campaign

UTEP Athletics and the Miner Athletic Club announced a new fundraising campaign on Tuesday focused on growing the number of donors as well as a way to increase current giving.

The “Plant Your Pick” initiative will aid in the Department’s goal of having the most donors in Conference USA. It will also help to grow revenue, drive fan engagement and allow UTEP supporters the opportunity to show their Miner Pride.

“UTEP Athletics is on a mission to become the preeminent program in Conference USA.  Every Person Makes A Difference #EPMAD, and the Miners need the support of all fans to achieve this goal,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.

Fans can participate in the “Plant Your Pick” campaign by making a minimum contribution of $50 to the Miner Athletic Club. As a thank you for their donation, each fan will receive a custom 3’ x 5’ flag, perfect for display at their house or tailgate party.

The flag proudly displays the iconic UTEP “pickaxe” on a Miner Orange background. Donors who have already made a gift of $50 or more during 2018 will automatically receive a flag. Should current donors wish to receive a second flag, they can do so by making an additional donation of at least $50.

Now, more than ever, Miner fans are being asked to step forward and be a difference-maker for UTEP Athletics. By participating in the “Plant Your Pick” campaign, fans are helping to support over 300 UTEP student-athletes. Also, every contribution helps to offset scholarship costs which allows UTEP Athletics to reinvest in and enhance its 16 sports programs.

Senter added, “Donating to the Miner Athletic Club is a great way to make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes and now, with the introduction of the ‘Plant Your Pick’ campaign, you can show that you’re on board for an exciting new era of UTEP Athletics.”

As an added benefit for taking part in the “Plant Your Pick” campaign, fans earn Miner Priority Points – two points for every $50 donated.

Fans who take part in “Plant Your Pick” are also encouraged to show their Miner Pride on social media. By taking a picture or video with their flag, and then posting to Twitter or Facebook, they will be entered into weekly prize drawings. When posting to social media, fans should use the hashtag #PlantYourPick, as well as tag the Miner Athletic Club – either @UTEP_MAC on Twitter or @MinerAthleticClub on Facebook.

For more information on the “Plant Your Pick” campaign, please visit www.PlantYourPick.com, or contact the Miner Athletic Club by phone (915-747-8759) or email (mac@utep.edu).

UTEP Wants You! Application Period Now Open for Inaugural Fan Council

Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced that the application process has begun for UTEP Athletics’ inaugural Fan Council.

“During our Town Hall meetings this spring, we have gotten tremendous feedback on how we can make our fan experience better,” Senter said. 

“The primary purpose of the Fan Council will be to continue evaluating game day for all sports, make recommendations, and work alongside our department to implement these suggestions.  We’re excited to hear from our most ardent supporters and give them a voice in the future of UTEP Athletics, because Every Person Makes a Difference!  #EPMAD”

Applications will be accepted from now through May 18 online.  The council will be composed of 30 individuals, representing different constituents and perspectives, on one, two and three-year terms. 

Council members will be selected in late May, with meetings to be held quarterly starting in June.

UTEP Athletics Announces Dates of Upcoming Town Halls

Officials with the University of Texas at El Paso announced the dates for the initial series of UTEP Athletics Town Hall meetings.

“We’re excited to hear from El Pasoans on ways that we can make their UTEP Athletics experiences better,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said. “Every person makes a difference!”

The first public Town Hall will be this Friday (Feb. 16) from 4-7 p.m., in conjunction with Sportstalk on ESPN 600. Host Steve Kaplowitz will do his show live from Tortuga Sports Lounge, located at 126 Shadow Mountain Drive. Fans are invited to attend, or call in (915-880-5763) during the show to share feedback with UTEP Athletics officials.

“600 ESPN El Paso is excited about hosting the first public UTEP Town Hall meeting at Tortuga Sports Lounge this Friday,” said Kaplowitz. “This event will give Miner fans a chance to have their opinions heard, and their input can help shape the future of UTEP Athletics.”

On Saturday, Feb. 24, UTEP Athletics will hold a Town Hall meeting from the Starbucks inside Albertson’s at 3100 North Mesa Street (near the UTEP campus). This meeting will take place from 9-10 a.m. Those in attendance can receive $1 off any purchase made at Starbucks during the Town Hall.

“We look forward to hosting this Town Hall meeting with Jim Senter and celebrating our partnership with UTEP and continued support of UTEP Athletics,” said store director Christi LeClaire.

On Tuesday, March 20, UTEP Athletics will partner with KFOX 14 for a Town Hall at the KFOX Studios, located at 200 South Alto Mesa Street. This Town Hall is set from 6-7 p.m. It will air live on KFOX 14 and be streamed on the KFOX website and Facebook page. Sister station CBS4 will re-air the Town Hall on Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m. or immediately following the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.

“We are happy to facilitate the dialogue between UTEP and our viewers in a meaningful way,” said KFOX 14 General Manager Matt Kaplowitz.

All three Town Hall meetings are open to the public; dates of additional Town Hall meetings will be announced in the near future.

UTEP Athletics Announces 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Class

Antonio Davis, Seth Joyner, Blessing Okagbare, Cynthia Ruelas-Macias and Paul Stankowski form the 15th induction class into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame.

They will be honored at the induction banquet on Friday, Oct. 27 at the Larry K. Durham Sports Center, as well as at the UTEP football team’s Oct. 28 home game versus UTSA.

Davis was a part of four NCAA Tournament teams and 95 victories as a member of the Miner men’s basketball squad from 1986-90.  He appeared in 122 games, scoring 1,117 points with 744 rebounds, 104 blocks and a .539 field goal percentage.  He was a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference honoree.

After leaving UTEP, Davis spent 13 seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Toronto, Chicago and New York, combining to play in 903 games with 9,041 points, 6,755 rebounds and 889 blocks.  He was a 2001 NBA All-Star and, a year later, played for Team USA at the FIBA World Championships.  He is currently an NBA analyst with ESPN.  Davis is also a member of UTEP’s Basketball Centennial Team.

Joyner played football at UTEP from 1982-85.  He arrived on campus as an undersized walk-on before hours in the weight room transformed him into a college standout and, ultimately, one of the NFL’s top linebackers.  His Miner career produced 325 tackles before he was picked by Philadelphia in the 1986 NFL Draft.

Joyner played for the Eagles for eight seasons, where he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the 1991 Sports Illustrated NFL Player of the Year.  He later played for Arizona, Green Bay and Denver, and was a part of the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship run in his final year as a pro (1998).  Joyner was credited with 52 sacks and 24 interceptions in 195 NFL games.  He is a member of UTEP’s Football Centennial Team.

Okagbare was one of three finalists for The Bowerman Award during her senior year at UTEP – the highest honor given to collegiate track and field student-athletes by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).  Okagbare notched NCAA crowns in the 100 meters and long jump during the 2010 outdoor season, the first athlete in collegiate history to achieve such a feat.  During the 2010 indoor season, she won national titles in the 60 meters and long jump, setting a meet record in the latter event.

Okagbare was an 11-time All-American and a 15-time conference champion at UTEP.  She was a silver medalist in the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Games.  She was a silver medalist in the long jump and a bronze medalist in the 200 meters at the 2013 World Championships.  Okagbare has also captured gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, the All-Africa Games, the African Championships and the IAAF World Relays.

Ruelas-Macias is the initial inductee from the volleyball program into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame.  One of the most dominating middle blockers in school history, she notched 1,181 kills and 636 blocks during her stint with the Miners.  She ranked in the top five nationally in single season blocks in 1997 (fourth) and 1994 (fifth), and ranked in the top 10 in 1993 (ninth) and 1996 (10th).

She is first in school history in blocks, fourth in hitting percentage (.251) and fifth in kills.  Ruelas-Macias left UTEP with 17 separate school records, including every single game, season and career blocking record.

Stankowski becomes the first player from the UTEP men’s golf program to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.  He was on the Miner roster from 1987-91.  Stankowski won two tournaments at UTEP (Red River Classic 1990, WAC Championships 1990).  He is the only UTEP male golfer to win the individual WAC title.  He was a three-time honorable mention All-American with the Miners (1988, 1989, 1991).

He helped UTEP finish second at the NCAA Championships in 1988 and ninth in 1991.  Stankowski played on the Nationwide Tour and the PGA Tour, winning the 1996 Nike Louisiana Open, the 1996 BellSouth Classic and the 1997 United Airlines Hawaiian Open.  His best finish in a major was a tie for fifth place at the 1997 Masters Tournament.

UTEP has been inducting classes into its Athletics Hall of Fame annually since 2002, with the exception of 2014 when the football, men’s and women’s basketball Centennial teams were honored.

Miner ‘Orange Fever Fiesta’ Set For Saturday Night

The primary fundraising event for UTEP Athletics, Orange Fever Fiesta, is just a few days away. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 6 p.m. at Grace Gardens, 6701 Westside Drive.

Presented by Western Refining and hosted by the Miner Athletic Club, Orange Fever Fiesta features dinner, dancing and entertainment, along with a live and silent auction with all monies raised supporting scholarships for UTEP student athletes.

Attendees can also go online to preregister for the event saving time at check in. They can also start building their watch list and bid on great silent auction items already available.

This event is at capacity and fans unable to attend the event can still participate through two ways. Both options are available on the Orange Fever Fiesta event site.

If attendees were able to secure tickets or simply want to participate off site, they can register their information and bid on a variety of fabulous silent auction packages via computer or smart phone. Also available is the option to donate to the Fund-An-Athlete scholarship.

The Miner Athletic Club (MAC) serves as the fund-raising arm of the UTEP Department of Athletics. The MAC’s mission is to annually raise funds to offset the departmental cost of scholarships and sport programs supporting UTEP student-athletes.

Funds are raised by the Miner Athletic Club through special events (such as Orange Fever Fiesta), annual donations, major and planned gifts, and through the donor portions of season ticket sales.

Report: UTEP Athletic Dept Ended ’14-15 Year w/$15.5m Loss; Men’s Basketball Only Revenue-Producing Sport

According to research by the Texas Tribune, UTEP’s Athletic Department ended the 2014-15 season with a $15.5 million loss.  Additionally, the same report shows that the men’s basketball program is the only sport where the University sees a profit.

Of the seven other Texas colleges researched by the Tribune Staff, only two: the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A & M showed an overall profit during the same period of time.  The University of Houston, Texas Tech, Texas State University, University of North Texas and UT San Antonio all  showed a loss.

The Herald-Post reached out to UTEP’s Athletic Department for comment on the report shortly after noon Monday, via the department’s Senior Associate Athletic Director Jeff Darby, who stated via email that he passed our request for comment to Athletic Director Bob Stull.

(Editor’s Note: As of publication of this story at 5:20pm, we are still awaiting a response.  Once received, we will include it here.)

The reports, compiled by Tribune writers, come from “reports filed with the NCAA in 2016. They reflect statistics from the 2014-15 school year.”  The data and research have been combined into a user-friendly app, which allows users to compare the major colleges in Texas.

Below is the introduction to the research done by staffers at the Texas Tribune, as part of their Ballpark Figures Special report.

Athletics continues to be a high-dollar enterprise for Texas colleges. The eight public Texas universities that play in the Football Bowl Subdivision — the top level of college football — spent more than $525 million on athletics in the 2014-15 school year.

Football is consistently the top revenue-producing sport, followed by men’s basketball. This app, using data from NCAA financial reports, looks at the finances of those eight universities’ athletic departments. (Private universities also have to file the reports but don’t have to make them public under open records laws.)

Use this app to review where athletics department money is going and how much is being earned back. You can also compare schools to see how one stacks up against another. To learn more about this data, click here.

 To view the report on UTEP in its original form, click HERE. To view the Original NCAA Report submitted by UTEP, click HERE.

This project examines NCAA financial reports for the 2014-15 school year filed by each of the eight public Texas universities that play in the Football Bowl Subdivision. We requested these reports from each of the universities under the Freedom of Information Act.

The reports were returned to us as PDFs, and the data was manually entered.

Our totals for athletic department revenue and individual team revenue do not include money from student fees or direct institutional support. This is because we only report money earned directly by the team or athletic department, not money given by the university or by the students.

Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin don’t collect student fees or provide direct institutional support.

Expenses listed for individual teams are only operational expenses. These figures do not include debt payments for facilities. The debt payments are included in total athletic department figures.

We do not include sections for non-program-specific revenue or expenses, but this data can be found for each of the schools in their financial reports, which are linked on each school’s page in this project.

Texas A&M’s 2014-15 revenue total includes donations received specifically to rebuild the Kyle Field football stadium.

A note on NCAA/Conference distributions:

The figures listed for NCAA and conference distributions do not include TV revenue, which are listed separated in each university’s NCAA report.

If you catch something we’ve missed, or have additional questions about the data, please let us know at ballparkfigures@texastribune.org.

By Annie Daniel, Matthew Watkins, Ben Hasson and Jamie Lovegrove – Texas Tribune

Miner Athletic Club Hosts Luncheon Series

UTEP Athletics and the Miner Athletic Club will be hosting the 2016 Luncheon Series to help kick off this year’s football and basketball seasons. The events will be held at the El Paso Convention Center, located in downtown El Paso, from noon – 1 p.m.

The last two years each event has reached near capacity, so fans are encouraged to reserve their seats today.

The first of the two luncheons will take place on Thursday, Aug. 25 featuring football head coach Sean Kugler. He will share the inside scoop and excitement surrounding the upcoming season, including updates from Camp Ruidoso.

The Hoops Tip-off Luncheon is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 25 featuring men’s head coach Tim Floyd and women’s head coach Keitha Adams.  They will take a look back at the 2015-16 campaign, discuss their highly-regarded recruiting classes and preview the new season.

Tables of 10 ($350) or individual tickets ($35) to each luncheon can be purchased by calling the Miner Athletic Club at (915) 747-8759 or via email at mac@utep.edu. RSVP for both events today or by Monday, Aug. 15 (Football Kick-off Luncheon) and Friday, Oct. 14 (Hoops Tip-off Luncheon).

The Football Signing Day Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 1.  This event will give fans and supporters a first look at the future Miner football players, featuring coach Kugler providing video highlights and detailed descriptions of the new signees. Prices for this event are TBD.

The Miner Athletic Club (MAC) serves as the fund-raising arm of the UTEP Department of Athletics. The MAC’s mission is to annually raise funds to offset the departmental cost of scholarships and sport programs supporting UTEP student-athletes. Funds are raised by the Miner Athletic Club through annual membership, major and planned gifts, the donor portions of season ticket sales and special events.

Football and basketball season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling (915) 747-6150 or by visiting www.utepathletics.com/tickets.

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