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.
Senior Derron Gatewood was named to Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, the selection committee announced Wednesday.
The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I College Football.
Gatewood garnered All-Conference USA honorable mention recognition last season. The two-year starter, made 10 starts at center last season. As a junior, Gatewood started in all 12 games playing both center and right guard. He played on an offensive line that paved the way for Aaron Jones to rush for a single-season program-record 1,773 yards.
As a freshman, Gatewood played in five contests at the center and right guard position.
This preseason, centers were nominated from every conference, with 57 total nominees and 27 past nominees. The selection committee comprised its list by accepting nominations from programs across the country that submitted their current starting centers for consideration.
The Rimington Trophy committee uses the following all-american teams to determine its winner: the Walter Camp Foundation (WCF), the Sporting News (SN) and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy committee.
The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, January 12, 2019
Former Miner Logan Tuley-Tillman was invited to the San Francisco 49ers rookie minicamp on Sunday.
Tuley-Tillman played one season for the Miners and started in all 12 games at the left tackle position during the 2017 season.
The Miners offensive line allowed zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.
With Tuley-Tillman’s invite to the 49ers minicamp, he joins newly-signed Miners Alvin Jones (Ravens) and Will Hernandez (Giants) who were selected earlier this week, in beginning their journey to the NFL player ranks.
In a month, UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel and the rest of the coaching staff will be hosting the 2018 UTEP Youth Football Camp. The camp is offered to children in grades K-8 without any extra requirements.
Participants may sign up for the May 19 camp as either an individual or a team with an enrollment fee of $26.50 per player.
This camp is an opportunity for players to learn fundamentals and advanced skills from high level coaches. Campers will get to compete in both offensive and defensive positions to experience every aspect of the game.
The Youth Football Camp will take place on Saturday, May 19 at the Sun Bowl Stadium, giving participants a true Division I College Football experience. Campers are asked to bring tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt, and socks.
Football cleats and mouthpieces are encouraged but optional.
Enrollment will close May 18 at 11:30 PM. Registration for the camp is now open online.
With UTEP’s first Spring Game of the Dana Dimel Era set for Friday, UTEP Athletics announced Tuesday the availability of discounted 2018 season tickets through the end of April.
On Friday, Sun Bowl gates will be open to the public starting at 6 p.m., admission is free and concessions will be available to fans including $2 sodas, $1 hot dogs and $1 popcorn. There will also be concourse activities available upon entry.
Orange will battle Blue head-to-head. The first half will feature 15-minute quarters. Halftime is 10 minutes. The duration of the second half will be determined by the coaching staff.
Special in-game videos will pit the players against the coaches in a variety of grueling activities. After the game, the seniors and head coach Dana Dimel will sign free complimentary spring game posters.
Ahead of the game, fans can purchase discounted 2018 UTEP football season tickets between now and the end of April.
The Miners will open the campaign at home against Northern Arizona (Sept. 1), and will also host arch-rival NM State in non-league play (Sept. 22).
The Conference USA slate features matchups with four bowl teams from last season — North Texas (Oct. 6), UAB (Oct. 27), Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10) and Southern Miss (Nov. 24).
As for the tickets, for the remainder of the month only, the full six-game docket is available for the price of five games. The lowest season ticket price through April 30 is $55. Beginning May 1, prices will start at $66.
The discounted tickets are available by visiting the UTEP Season Ticket Office, located in the Brumbelow Bulding, or by calling (915) 747-6150.
For all UTEP Football season ticket prices, please visit the UTEP Athletics Website.
The Socorro Independent School District is proud to have the University of Texas at El Paso football team at the SISD Student Activities Complex on March 23 for a scrimmage game and a town hall meeting.
“We are eager for the Miners to come to our home stadium,” said Erika Lucero, SISD marketing and sales coordinator. “This is something that has never been done before and it’s a great way for UTEP to reach our students and community.”
Jim Senter, UTEP athletic director, also is excited to reach out to Miner fans on the East Side.
“We want to listen to their thoughts on how we can serve them better, and give them an exclusive opportunity to check out this year’s team,” Senter said in a UTEP athletics press release. “This is just the first step in engaging our tremendous UTEP supporters on the East Side of town.”
The Miners, under the direction of new head coach Dana Dimel, will hold the practice scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. at the SAC located at 1300 Joe Battle Blvd. A UTEP Athletics Town Hall meeting will be conducted before the game from 5:30-7 p.m.
Fans will get to see segments of the UTEP offense working against the defense to move the football, as well as goal-line situations.
“We can’t wait to showcase this year’s squad to our East Side fans.” Dimel said in the release. “We want to give all Miner fans an opportunity to see the team in action.”
Admission is free, and complimentary UTEP spring football posters will be given away. Food trucks will be available, as well.
The UTEP football team is in the middle of spring drills that will end with the annual Orange & Blue game on April 13 in the Sun Bowl.
Where: SISD Student Activities Center, 1300 Joe Battle Blvd.
When: Town Hall from 5:30-7 p.m., practice and scrimmage at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free for all events.
Tailgating: Tailgating is not permitted to ensure availability of parking.
Restricted Items: Coolers, bags, backpacks, glass containers, alcohol, smoking/tobacco products, pets, balloons, umbrellas, lawn chairs and confetti are not permitted in the facility.
Field access: Restricted to UTEP Athletics personnel and working media only. Media can gain field entry through the South tunnel gate by displaying their UTEP Athletics credential.
Post-practice autograph session: Select UTEP players and head coach Dana Dimel will sign complimentary schedule posters on the field after the practice.
The UTEP football team will be making its way to the East side of El Paso for the very first time on Friday, March 23.
The Miners, under the direction of new head coach Dana Dimel, will conduct a practice and scrimmage at the Socorro Athletic Complex (1300 Joe Battle Blvd.) at 7:30 p.m. The scrimmage will be preceded by a UTEP Athletics Town Hall meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. at the complex.
“We have received consistent feedback from our early Town Hall meetings that there needs to be more of a UTEP Athletics presence on the East side of El Paso,” Miner Director of Athletic Jim Senter said. “We’re excited to reach out to Miner fans on the East side, listen to their thoughts on how we can serve them better, and give them an exclusive opportunity to check out this year’s team. This is just the first step in engaging our tremendous UTEP supporters on the East side of town.”
“The Miner football program is looking forward to coming to the East side of El Paso,” Dimel said. “We want to give all Miner fans an opportunity to see the team in action.
“The scrimmage will be live, and fans will get to see segments of our offense working against the defense to move the football, as well as goal-line situations. The Miners will be flying around the field making plays. We can’t wait to showcase this year’s squad to our East side fans.”
Admission to all activities at the Socorro Athletic Complex is free, and complimentary UTEP spring football posters will be given away.
The UTEP football team is in the midst of spring drills that will conclude with the annual Orange & Blue game on April 13 in the Sun Bowl.
The UTEP football team will kick off its spring practice slate on March 5 starting at 7:50 a.m. at Glory Field.
The Miners will practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday from March 5-April 11. The team will have a week off from March 12-18 for spring break. The team will conclude the spring season with the annual spring game on April 13 at 7 p.m. at the Sun Bowl.
The Miners will enter the 2018 season returning 51 letterwinners and 15 starters (7 offense/6 defense/2 special teams).
Leading the way for UTEP’s defense are cornerbacks Nik Needham and Kalon Beverly. Needham is a three-year starter for the Miners and earned All-Conference USA honorable mention last season. The senior has recorded 24 pass breakups during his career, which rates him tied for second on the program’s all-time list.
Beverly is a three-year starter who recorded a career-high 44 tackles last season. Beverly added eight pass breakups, 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
On offense, center Derron Gatewood will pave the way for the Miners. The senior is a two-year starter and is joined by returning starter Ruben Guerra. Guerra played in 11 contests and made eight starts at the right tackle position.
UTEP season tickets are available now by clicking here. For more information please call (915) 747-6150.
Season tickets for the 2018 UTEP football campaign can be purchased starting Thursday, February 15.
“We can’t wait to get started and we’re excited about putting a product on the field that Miner fans can be proud of,” said first-year UTEP head coach Dana Dimel. “We’ve got a great home schedule with I-10 rival NM State coming here, plus four C-USA bowl teams from a year ago in North Texas, UAB, Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss. Every person makes a difference! We hope you’ll help us fill up the Sun Bowl and get the stadium rocking again.”
Purchasing or renewing tickets has never been more convenient. Season tickets can be purchased online at utepathletics.com, by calling the UTEP Season Ticket Office at (915) 747-6150 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fans that secure their season tickets before April 30 will be able to see six Miner games for the price of five. Season tickets that are purchased prior to April 30 are available for as little as $55.
Five-month payment plans are available.
Fans who had season tickets last year will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to renew online. Fans who choose not to renew online will receive a hard copy invoice by mail in May. Fans are also welcome to come into the season ticket office to purchase their seats.
The Miners will host Northern Arizona (Sept. 1), NM State (Sept. 22), North Texas (Oct. 6), UAB (Oct. 27), Middle Tennessee (Nov. 10) and Southern Miss (Nov. 24) in 2018.
UTEP season tickets are available by clicking here. For more information please call (915) 747-6150.
The Sun City, out west in the great state of Texas is making some noise in C-USA. With probably the most disappointing season behind them. The Miners went 0-12 in 2017. They saw their Coach Sean Kugler step down, and not even the almighty Mike Price could bring them back from the dead. UTEP ranked #130 out of 130 FBS Division-1 schools.
With that being said, why is El Paso so excited for the 2018 season? There hasn’t been such big hype like this for Miner football in a long time,
At the beginning of last season, it was clear that the QB battle was between Zack Greenlee and Ryan Metz. That battle quickly gassed out throughout the season when Greenlee posted 47.7% completion rate compared to Metz 48.9% completion rate in 2017. Yard comparison wasn’t much better with Zack racking up a total of 818 and Ryan with 652. The numbers were not good, and the miners record showed it.
RB Joshua Fields a freshmen from Americas High School in El Paso Texas. Younger brother of Boise States RB Jack Fields. Joshua had an interesting season, with not alot of touches at RB but clearly the first option, Fields ended up with 359 yards on 88 attempts with only 2 rushing TDs. If Joshua wants to continue being the star running back, he has some big shoes to fill.
Compared to Aaron Jones freshmen season stats of 811 yards on 155 attempts and 4 touchdowns. Fields has some improvements to make, but some help is on the way for UTEP regarding the offensive line. This can make Joshua Fields very happy. Look for Fields to have a huge 2018 season
The Miners made alot of noise this off-season when – surprisingly – Kai Locksley, JUCO QB from Iowa Western committed to UTEP. Kai numbers at Iowa Western were great. Passing yards: 2,238 with a average of 186.5 per game. Also adding 705 rushing yards in the season, and a total of 40 touchdowns. He was a former ESPN top 300 QB in the class of 2015 and had big dogs like Florida State, Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Ole miss, Clemson and more knocking at his door.
After committing to Florida State, he switched over to Texas, were his lack of playing time and disagreement when moved over to WR reached it’s limit, he didn’t even see a snap on the field. He decided JUCO was the best choice, committed to Arizona Western were again didn’t see much playing time and transferred over to Iowa Western were he found his grove in 2017, being named the Offensive MVP in the Graphics Edge Bowl win over #5 Northwest Mississippi, posting 274 yards and adding 34 rushing and a TD. He gives UTEP something to look forward at QB, were they need a lot of improvement.
Somebody that’s gonna be protecting Kai is JUCO standout from Tyler, Texas. His name is Tres Barboza. Offensive tackle standing at 6’5″ 295 lbs, I had a chance to speak with him and ask him some questions:
1)Utep is coming off one of its worst seasons, yet Coach Canales and Coach Dimel have been able to get the fans intrigued and excited about recruits like yourself. What are your expectations for the 2018 season?
Tres: “Coach Dimel and the new staff all came from great programs and they bring an energy that UTEP fans have been waiting for and I know with a QB like Kai and the rest of the recruits. UTEP fans are in for a surprise!“
2)Utep is a beautiful campus, what was your favorite part?
Tres: My favorite thing about UTEP is the way the Buildings are designed brings out a Mexican culture vibe and myself being from that culture that was something I noticed off the top.
3) Fans and Miner insiders are predicting huge attendance numbers for the opening game of 2018, what do you think is a major key to get fans back into the SunBowl on a regular basis?
Tres: Win Games.
Win games, that’s all it takes. Tres Barboza will be a good addition to the offensive line in 2018, with Will Hernandez leaving for the NFL Draft.
Will Hernandez, most have him as the top Guard prospect just behind Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame. Hernandez is a monster standing at 6’3″ and 330 lbs. His power and strength overshine the competition. Will is on all 32 teams draft boards according to NFL draft insiders, but the team that has been making the most noise, and who Hernandez recently spoke with is the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have an opening coming up in 2018 at left guard with Jonathan Cooper headed for free agency. Will was asked what it would mean to play for the Cowboys in a recent interview after a Senior Bowl practice, his response:
“I’d love to. I’d be 100 percent in, loyal to the bone. It’d mean everything to me. It’d be a complete honor. I look up to those guys [on the Cowboys’ offensive line]. Those guys are awesome to watch. I know I’d learn so much from them and become a better player just by playing next to them.”
UTEP has had some of there graduates have some success at the NFL level, most recently RB Aaron Jones, who got a chance as a starter after the injuries to the Packers starting RB. One of his most memorable start for him was against his home state team, the Dallas Cowboys were he ran for 125 yards and 1 TD. The most exciting TD for him came in week 13 against Tampa Bay which was a game winning 20 yard touchdown. Aaron Jones can make his case to be the started in 2018 with a strong off-season and a hot preseason start
There are good things happening at UTEP, recent years of losing records won’t show that on paper, but the people of El Paso, Texas are excited for the 2018 season, rooting for the hometown boys is a tradition, but with attendance down the last recent years, let’s see if they can pack a Sun Bowl stadium that seats 50,000 plus. Conference USA, look out for the Miners.
Former UTEP All-American left guard Will Hernandez has impressed scouts following the 2017 season as he received an invite to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. The combine is set for March 2-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Center Township, Indiana.
Prospective offensive linemen will get the opportunity to show off their skills on the first day, Friday, March 2. Fans can watch the action on the NFL Network.
The 6-foot-3, 330-pound lineman, who just recently showcased his talents at the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl, has been on multiple NFL franchises’ draft radar.
The Las Vegas, Nev., native will also hope to enhance his resume as he’ll compete at the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge on Feb. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
According to CBS Sports Network, Hernandez is the 39th best pro prospect, while he’s ranked the second best offensive guard.
The NFL Draft is April 26-28 and will be held at AT&T Stadium. Hernandez has been projected as being a first-round draft pick.
Hernandez, who was supposed to play on the defensive line at UTEP prior to his 2013 redshirt season, earned multiple accolades on the offensive side of the ball. He started all 49 games during his four-year career (2014-17), protecting the blind side for UTEP quarterbacks.
Hernandez earned All-American honors in back-to-back seasons (2016, 2017) and was also named All-Conference USA first team during those years. Hernandez was named to the 2014 All-C-USA freshman team following UTEP’s winning season and New Mexico Bowl appearance.
Tuesday morning, Conference USA officials released UTEP’s 2018 Football schedule, featuring six home games.
“Our staff and players are really looking forward to the challenge ahead with our 2018 schedule,” said head coach Dana Dimel. “Eight teams on our schedule were bowl-eligible last season as well as a Northern Arizona team that qualified for the FCS playoffs.”
The Miners, coming off their 0-12 record, kick off the Dana Dimel era with a home game against Northern Arizona, then hit the road to Vegas to take on UNLV.
Things heat up by week 3, as the Miners will be taking on another one of college football’s perennial powerhouses – Tennessee – before settling in to take on long-time rival and Arizona Bowl victors New Mexico State in the Sun Bowl.
The rest of the regular season for UTEP features CUSA match-ups, with a bye week on October 13th.
The full schedule is below
Sept. 1 NORTHERN ARIZONA
Sept. 8 at UNLV
Sept. 15 at Tennessee
Sept. 22 NEW MEXICO STATE
Sept. 29 at UTSA
Oct. 6 NORTH TEXAS
Oct. 13 Bye
Oct. 20 at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 27 UAB
Nov. 3 at Rice
Nov. 10 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Nov. 17 at Western Kentucky
Nov. 24 SOUTHERN MISS
**Home games in BOLD
***note from UTEP: It is important to take under consideration that all game are subject to date changes and some dates are expected to move in the coming weeks in order to accommodate national television.
“This is a tremendous schedule for our fans. We have two home games each month,” said Dimel. “I really think our fans will enjoy watching our team compete from start to finish, whether we’re hosting Northern Arizona in the season-opener, playing in Knoxville against Tennessee, or battling down the stretch in November against an exciting C-USA slate that ends with Southern Miss in the Sun Bowl.”
According to the CUSA Website, the 2018 alignment will feature seven teams in the East Division and seven teams in the West Division. Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion and WKU comprise the East Division, while Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP and UTSA make up the West Division.
Each school will play every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Each team will reverse the location of its 2017 conference opponents, both inter-division opponents and intra-division foes.
The conference is in the second year of a rotation between cross-division opponents that will rotate every two years until 2024, when each school has played every opponent in the opposite division once home and away.
UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel announced the addition of running backs coach Reggie Mitchell, inside wide receivers coach Jake Waters, defensive line/defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo and cornerbacks coach Remington Rebstock to the staff on Wednesday.
Mitchell brings over 30 years of coaching experience, he previously spent two seasons as Arkansas’ running backs coach. Over his career, Mitchell has coached/recruited 33 players who have been selected in the NFL Draft, including six first round picks.
Prior to Arkansas, Mitchell spent six seasons (2010-15) at Kansas where he was the running backs coach and recruiting coordinator. Mitchell also made three Big Ten stops at Illinois serving as a assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and running backs coach (2005-09), Michigan State as the wide receivers, running backs and recruiting coordinator coach (2000-19) and running backs coach at Minnesota (1997-98).
“Reggie [Mitchell] brings a wealth of experience and recruiting savvy to our program,” Dimel said. “He’s well versed and well recognized as an outstanding recruiter here in the state of Texas. He’s well known as an excellent coach and developer of running back talent at the highest level of college football.”
Waters comes to UTEP from Iowa State where he served as a graduate assistant for the offense.
The Cyclones finished 7-5 during the regular season, while they averaged 29.9 points per game and 389.3 yards of total offense per contest. Prior to Iowa State Waters spent two seasons as a volunteer quarterbacks coach at Iowa Western CC. Waters played quarterback at Kansas State and was a two-year starter (2013-14) under Dimel.
“Jake [Waters] will bring high energy to our recruiting efforts and has a well-recognized name across the country from the things he’s accomplished as a player in our system,” Dimel said. “He’ll be a great mentor to the players in our program.”
Tuiasosopo brings 20 years of division I football coaching experience to UTEP, he previously served as the special teams quality control assistant at USC which claimed the Pac-12 Conference title for the first time in nine years. Before serving as the special teams quality control assistant, Tuiasosopo served as an offensive consultant for USC in 2016. Prior he was a volunteer football analyst for the Trojans for one season.
Prior to USC, Tuiasosopo coached at UCLA in 2014 as the outside linebackers and special teams coach. He returned to the Pac-12 after coaching at Colorado (defensive line, 2011-12) and the University of Arizona (defensive tackles/line, 2004-10).
“Mike [Tuiasosopo] is a very experienced coach and has been successful developing defensive line talent at various program,” Dimel said. “He’s also well recognized in the recruiting circles across the country and will bring a lot to our program in recruiting efforts throughout Texas, Arizona and the West Coast.”
Rebstock comes to El Paso from Oklahoma State University, where he assisted coaching the defensive secondary as a graduate assistant. During his tenure at Oklahoma State, the Cowboys accomplished three consecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in school history. Rebstock helped guide the Cowboys to three straight post-season bowl games, including wins in the 2017 Camping World Bowl and Alamo Bowl in 2016.
Prior to his time in Stillwater, Rebstock spent five seasons coaching defense in a variety of roles at Kansas State. These roles include assisting with the defensive ends as a student-assistant in 2010 and 2011, working with the Wildcat defensive backs as graduate assistant in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and co-director of recruiting for the Wildcats.
“Remington [Rebstock] will bring great energy to our recruiting efforts and is already established himself in the coaching world as a very talented and very well-rounded coach,” Dimel said. “He’ll assist our program in many aspects will being a mentor to the players in our program.”
The coaching staff will be on the road recruiting from Jan. 12 – Feb. 3. National signing day is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 7.
It also announced on Wednesday that Dimel will introduce his first UTEP football recruiting class at the Miners’ 2018 Signing Day Luncheon on February 7 in the Larry K. Durham Center Hall of Champions.
Fans can come meet coach Dimel and his staff, while getting an exclusive first look at the future of the UTEP football program.
Doors will open at 11:30 a.m., with the program to follow at noon. Tickets are on sale now. A table of eight is $200, and individual tickets are just $25. Lunch is included. Call (915) 747-6787 to RSVP by January 31.
Twenty-three past and present UTEP student-athletes will walk across the graduation stage on Saturday and receive their diplomas from the university.
The list includes 11 representatives from the football program, four from men’s track & field, three from women’s track & field, two from softball, and one apiece from men’s basketball, soccer and tennis.
Graduating this weekend will be All-Americans Samantha Hall (track & field) and Will Hernandez (football).
Seventeen graduates hail from the United States, while two come from Jamaica, one from American Samoa, one from Australia, one from Kenya and one from Nigeria.
Ten of the graduates (Adebola Akomolafe, Christian Buckingham, David Jackson, Johnny Jones, Alan Luna, Ademiju Oyebanjo-Odofin, Orion Prescott, Israel Ramsay, Matilda Tench, Trey Touchet) earned placement on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Roll during their careers for posting grade point averages of 3.0 or better.
Touchet was a three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal for achieving a GPA of 3.75 or higher.
Adebola Akomolafe (Women’s Track & Field)
Part of the team that won the first indoor and outdoor conference championship in school history … helped the Miners to three consecutive indoor conference titles … registered the eighth-best mark in program history in the hammer throw with 52.22m (171-04) … captain of the women’s team for two seasons … finished her college career with bests of 46.13m (151-4) in the discus, 17.66m (47-11.25) in the weight throw and 52.22m (171-04) in the hammer throw … earned a spot on the 2017 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biological Sciences major.
James Bias (Men’s Track & Field)
Part of the team that won the 2014 Conference USA Indoor Championship … ran the anchor leg on the 4x400m relay that took second at the 2014 C-USA Indoor Championships … part of the 4x400m relay that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championships, clocking in with a time of 3:03.15 which ranks second in school history … finished his career with personal bests in the 60 (6.87), 100 (10.51), 200 (21.06) and the 400m (47.24) … two-year team captain … Computer Science major.
Christian Buckingham (Football)
The transfer from El Paso Community College played for the Orange and Blue during the 2017 campaign … defensive lineman saw action in the first four games before suffering a season-ending injury … notched four tackles and one quarterback hurry … member of the 2017 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll …Biology major.
Kristopher Christian (Football)
Member of the Miner football team for three seasons … saw action in eight games during the 2015 season … recorded a tackle on special teams versus UTSA …Criminal Justice major.
Devin Cockrell (Football)
Played and started in 47 games for the Miners … tallied 247 tackles during his career … also totaled 15.5 tackles for loss, 11 pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries, three sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery … led all UTEP defensive backs in tackles during the 2016 and 2017 seasons … was named the 2016 Top Gun Player of the Year, awarded to the best special teams performer … as a true freshman, led the team in tackles with 76 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Zack Greenlee (Football)
Played two seasons for the Miners after transferring from Fresno State … saw action in 17 games, making 11 starts at quarterback … threw for a total of 1,513 yards on 124-of-254 passing with nine touchdowns … during senior campaign, rushed for 114 yards and a pair of scores … threw for over 100 yards in eight contests … opened his UTEP career by throwing for three touchdowns on 15-of-27 passing, with 229 yards and no interceptions during a start and victory over rival NM State … Leadership Studies major.
Miranda Gutierrez (Softball)
Played in 22 games for the Miners … made six starts during her senior season … scored five runs … went 2-for-2 and scored a run during game one against Florida Atlantic … drew a walk and crossed the dish during UTEP’s victory over FAU … scored three runs and connected on three hits against the Owls on Senior Weekend … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Samantha Hall (Women’s Track & Field)
Part of the team that won the first indoor and outdoor conference championship in school history … helped the Miners to three consecutive indoor conference titles … competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2015 and 2017 … won the discus throw at the C-USA Outdoor Championships in 2015 and 2017 … set a school record in the discus throw in 2015 with a mark of 58.50m (191-11) … completed her college career with bests of 14.90m (48-10.5) in the shot put and 34.38m (112-9.5) in the javelin … earned All-C-USA First Team honors for the 2015 season … garnered second team All-American accolades during her final season … Economics major.
Will Hernandez (Football)
Started at left guard in every game played (49) since his freshman season in 2014 …
the first Miner offensive lineman to receive Associated Press, CBS Sports and FOX Sports All-American honors … two-time Pro Football Focus First Team All-American … also the first UTEP offensive lineman since 2009 to earn All-Conference USA first team recognition … one of 11 Miners ever to be invited to the prestigious Senior Bowl … appointed the 2016 Pro Football Focus Pass Protector of the Year … named to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List … Kinesiology major.
David Jackson (Football)
Member of the Miner football team for three seasons … saw action in 10 games on special teams in 2016 … played in the Miners’ last home game versus LA Tech in 2017 … listed on the 2016 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll …Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Johnny Jones (Football)
Played in 22 games for UTEP … saw action on defense and special teams … notched a total of 26 tackles, three tackles for loss and one forced fumble … during junior campaign recorded a season-high four stops against Army … two-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Evans Kiprono (Men’s Track & Field)
Competed in both cross country and track and field for UTEP … part of the team that won the 2014 Conference USA Indoor Championship … helped the Miners capture back-to-back conference cross country titles (2015, 2016) … garnered All- Conference USA third team honors in the 10,000m in 2014 … notched an All-C-USA second team honor in the 10,000m in 2015 … finished his career running a personal best 10,000m time of 31:09.16 … helped the Miners finish 11th in the nation at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships … Biological Sciences major.
Alan Luna (Football)
The former walk-on played in 36 games for the Miners … finished collegiate career ranked third on the program’s all-time list for career punts (206) and punt yards (8,910) … 79 punts in 2017 rank tied for fifth on the program’s single-season list, while his 3,483 yards rank fifth on the school’s single-season list … a two-time member of the Ray Guy Award Watch List … during senior season ranked second in Conference USA and fifth in the FBS in punt yards (3,483) … two-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … International Business major.
Brian Madunezim (Football)
Was a two-year football letterwinner, seeing action in 20 games … notched a total of
36 tackles, four quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one tackle for loss and two
assisted sacks … during the 2016 season played in all 12 games, making six starts
and totaling a career-best 32 tackles … registered a career-high eight tackles against
Army … Computer Science major.
Tommy McCoy (Men’s Track & Field)
Captain of the track and field squad for two seasons (2015, 2016) … helped the men
finish second at the 2014 and 2015 C-USA Outdoor Championships … registered six
top-10 finishes during the 2015 outdoor season … finished his college career with
bests of 53.38 in the 400m hurdles and 51.14 in the 400m … History major.
Ademiju Oyebanjo-Odofin (Men’s Track & Field)
Notched 11 top-10 finishes in the 400m hurdles in his career at UTEP … helped the
Miners to a second place finish at the 2015 C-USA Outdoor Championships … clocked
in with a personal-best time in the 400m hurdles at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge
during his final season, with an effort of 55.39 seconds … finished his career with
personal bests in the 200m (22.71), 400m (51.03) and the 600m (1:26.08) … three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Construction Management major.
Kiki Pepi (Softball)
Played in 155 games, making 153 starts in three seasons with the Miners … became
the seventh Miner to reach the 100-RBI mark with 103 … ranks second on the
program’s all-time list with 331 career assists … 134 assists in 2016 set a school
record, while her nine assists at FIU in 2016 is a single-game standard … led the
Miners in RBI her last two seasons … Organizational & Corporate Communication
Orion Prescott (Football)
Saw action in all 12 games during the 2016 season … rushed for 14 yards on three
carries … ran for 11 yards on two attempts with a long rush of 10 yards during a
victory over Houston Baptist … tallied a three-yard run during a season-finale win
versus North Texas … two-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic
Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Israel Ramsay (Women’s Track)
Part of the team that won the first indoor and outdoor conference championship in
school history … helped the Miners to three consecutive indoor conference titles …
team captain for two seasons … competed at the 2015 NCAA West Preliminary
Round in the high jump, long jump and 4x100m relay … competed at the 2017 NCAA
West Preliminary Round in the 4x100m relay … part of the C-USA champion
4x100m relay teams in 2015 and 2017 … finished her college career with bests of
1.76m (5-9.25) in the high jump and 5.95m (19-6.25) in the long jump … earned a
spot on the 2017 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multimedia
Matilda Tench (Tennis)
Appeared in 111 singles and 103 doubles matches for the Miners, tallying 94 wins …
ranks sixth in UTEP’s all-time record book for career singles wins with 46 … had a
career-high 14 singles wins and 15 doubles victories during the 2014-15 season …
two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll …
Bri Thomas (Soccer)
Evolved into one of the top scoring threats in Conference USA while starring for her
hometown Miners … a three-year starter who was used as a defender, midfielder
and forward, she recorded 13 goals and eight assists for 34 points in more than
4,500 minutes of playing time … saved her best for last with eight goals and four
assists for a 20-point senior season in 2016 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Trey Touchet (Men’s Basketball)
Has appeared in 69 games for the Miners, making five starts … has collected 224
points, 84 rebounds, 66 assists and 23 steals … scored in double figures five times
during his sophomore season (2016-17) … three-time recipient of a Conference USA
Commissioner’s Academic Medal … three-time member of the C-USA
Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … on a Presidential Scholarship at UTEP …
Augie Touris (Football)
Played for the Miners for three seasons as a blocking tight end … saw action in 16
games, making five starts … played in all 12 games during the 2017 season, seeing
the field on offense and special teams … recorded his first career catch, a five-yard
snag during the first quarter against WKU … Creative Writing major.