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Home | Tag Archives: utep miners (page 3)

Tag Archives: utep miners

UTEP’s Arellano earns Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship

UTEP Volleyball’s Briana Arellano was named a 2020 Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, it was announced by Conference USA on Thursday.

The senior is one of 14 student-athletes to receive this honor. The 12th annual award is named in honor of Dr. Jim Castañeda who served Rice for 46 years as an educator, coach and Faculty Athletics Representative before he passed away in 2008.

Every season, C-USA grants the $4,000 scholarship to distinguished graduates selected by the league’s Faculty Athletics Representatives and approved by the Board of Directors.

Arellano is a four-time C-USA Honor Roll selection and has been awarded the Commissioner’s Academic Medal three times in her time with the Miners. The El Paso native earned her undergraduate degree in biology this past December and is now planning to pursue a career in occupational therapy.

Over the course of her four-year career with the Miners, Arellano played in 105 matches, while starting 65 of those contests for UTEP. She saw action in 339 sets in four seasons and was named a team captain as a junior in 2018.

On the court, she recorded 422 kills and tallied 630 digs in her UTEP career, while Arellano also led the Miners with 28 aces during her sophomore campaign in 2017.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics.

UTEP Senior Running Back Quardraiz Wadley checks in for this week’s “Picks Up Podcast”

UTEP Senior Running Back Quardraiz Wadley is the guest on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast” with “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher.

Wadley  rushed for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns for the Miners over three seasons from 2016-18.  In 2018, he put together a career year, gaining 627 yards on 123 carries with seven scores.  He also once rushed for 156 yards at Army and 111 yards versus I-10 rival NM State.

Then, his senior season, originally scheduled to take place in 2019, was washed away due to a toe injury that he suffered in offseason workouts last July.

Now, Teicher talks with Wadley about the upcoming season, his recovery and much more.

The “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else, with special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni

The “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else and airs weekly on

To go directly to the podcast landing page, click here.

UTEP Athletics announces student-athlete re-entry plan; Phased voluntary workouts begin June 15

UTEP student-athletes will return to campus for voluntary workouts in phases beginning on June 15, Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced on Thursday.

“It is important for us to bring student-athletes back to campus in a thoughtful and deliberate fashion, one that ensures we are following best practices and meeting CDC guidelines for the sake of everyone’s health and safety,” Senter said.  “We know that until a vaccine is developed, we will have to live with the virus and must learn to mitigate the risk of catching it.  Bringing Miner student-athletes back to campus is a huge step toward achieving some sense of normalcy.”

The first group of student-athletes returning to campus for voluntary workouts on June 15 will represent football and will number approximately 45.

The football numbers will gradually increase during the months of June and July.

Limited numbers of student-athletes from cross country, soccer and volleyball will be integrated for voluntary workouts beginning the week of June 22.  Limited numbers of student-athletes from men’s and women’s basketball and track and field will be integrated for voluntary workouts beginning the week of June 29.

Student-athletes from all other sports will be eligible to return to campus for voluntary workouts starting the week of July 6.

Prior to returning to campus, all student-athletes will need to complete an online questionnaire asking if they have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms over the last three months.  All student-athletes will also need to undergo a physical on campus before beginning voluntary workouts.

The Athletics Executive Team has been working with head coaches, Sports Medicine Staff and Strength and Conditioning Staff to perform an analysis of all facilities and determine organization of voluntary workouts including student-athlete ingress/egress, maximum capacity per area to ensure that social distancing is being practiced, and other safety protocols.

All student-athletes will undergo a daily wellness screening prior to entering athletics facilities, at which time their temperature will be taken and they will be asked recommended medical questions.

Student-athletes who pass the screening will receive a different colored bracelet each day that they will need to wear to gain access to the facility.

Student-athletes will be split into groups to ensure that social distancing is being practiced at all times.  Student-athletes will be required to wear a face mask when inside all athletics facilities.  Student-athletes will not need to wear a face mask for outdoor workouts provided social distancing is being practiced.

All facilities will be marked with signage to specify COVID-19 symptoms, how to guard against contracting the virus, social distancing protocols, entrance and exit points.  Access to the training room and coaches’ offices will be by appointment only and locker room access will be limited to small groups for short periods of time.

Social distancing will be practiced in all areas, including the weight room.

While in the weight room, student-athletes will be required to bring their own water bottle and will not share with others.  All strength and conditioning voluntary workouts will limit the sharing of equipment, and all equipment will be sanitized following each use.

Equipment managers will wash face masks daily following voluntary workouts.  Each student-athlete will receive two face masks, one for the day’s workout and the other for the next day’s workout.  All facilities will be cleaned/sanitized following the departure of each group of student-athletes.

Any student-athlete who is ill and/or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 is required to refrain from entering athletics facilities and contact Sports Medicine personnel immediately for testing.

All student-athletes or staff who test positive for COVID-19, along with those they have come into immediate contact with, will be subject to mandatory quarantine based on CDC guidelines.

Per NCAA rules, only strength and conditioning coaches and Sports Medicine personnel (athletic trainers) are permitted to observe voluntary workouts.  It is impermissible for sports coaches and staff, as well as media members, to attend voluntary workouts.

UTEP Tennis Coach Ivan Fernandez guests on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast”

UTEP Tennis Coach Ivan Fernandez is the guest on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast” with “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher.

Fernandez, who served as head coach at NM State for seven years and led the Aggies to four consecutive berths in the Western Athletic Conference championship match, was named women’s tennis head coach at UTEP on June 5, 2017.

In three seasons in the Sun City, Fernandez has provided stability to the program while also laying the foundation for long-term success. He has compiled 17 wins in the time frame, including forging a combined mark of 13-11 at home.

The Miners posted back-to-back winning seasons (2018 & 2019) at home before having their chances at a third straight such effort be denied with the 2020 dual season being cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else.

The podcast airs weekly, with special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni. To go directly to the podcast landing page, click here.


UTEP Basketball Season Ticket renewals and requests begin

Officials with UTEP Athletics announced Thursday morning that season ticket renewals for the 2020-21 UTEP men’s and women’s basketball campaigns are now live, and fans can also request season tickets now.

The UTEP men are coming off a 17-win season, chalking up nine more victories from the 2018-19 campaign. It was the largest win improvement of any program in C-USA.

The Miners produced their first winning season since 2015-16, more than doubled their conference wins from the season prior, and compiled 13 victories in the energetic Haskins Center. UTEP also made a return to the C-USA Tournament after winning its last four regular-season games to advance to postseason play.

“We are so excited for the 2020-21 Season! Our student-athletes and staff are working hard every day to display a tough and exciting brand of basketball for our community,” third-year UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry said. “We return successful student-athletes combined with talented newcomers, and hope El Paso can rally behind these young men! We have a challenging schedule with games against multiple 2019-20 Conference Champions. Nowhere else has the tradition and history of UTEP Basketball – We need your support to make the Don Haskins Center the Hardest Place to play in C-USA!”

The Miners return five letter winners for the 2020-21 campaign. Bryson Williams, who was selected first team All-Conference USA and NABC District 11, was the only player to rank in the top five in C-USA in both scoring and rebounding. Williams, who started all 32 games, ranked third in the league in scoring average (17.8) and fifth in rebounds per contest (7.2).

Williams added three C-USA Player of Week honors to his resume, recorded a trio of 30-plus-point performances, and secured five double-doubles. Souley Boum returns after ranking first in C-USA in free-throw percentage (87.8) with the second-best clip in program history. Boum played in all 32 games, making 22 starts.

Efe Odigie (6.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg) played in 27 contests with three starts, Tydus Verhoeven (1.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg) saw action in 30 games with 12 starts, and Eric Vila (3.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) started in 14 of 26 games played.

Xavier transfer and former four-star recruit Keonte Kennedy, a 6-5 guard, will be eligible after sitting out last season per NCAA transfer rules.

Men’s season tickets start at just $170 for upper reserved seats. Other prices are $345 (Copper Reserved), $565 (Bronze Reserved), $675 (Silver Reserved), $795 (Gold Reserved) and $1,625 (Floor).

The UTEP women are coming off their second winning season in three years under head coach Kevin Baker. The Miners finished 16-14 in 2019-20, capping the campaign with a 95-67 victory over Florida Atlantic in the opening round of the C-USA Championships.

UTEP set school conference tournament records for margin of victory (28), points (95) and three-pointers made (11) against the Owls, while tying the mark for field goals made (33), three-point percentage (50) and overall field-goal percentage (55). The effort advanced the Orange and Blue to the C-USA Tourney quarterfinals for the third consecutive year under Baker, continuing the longest such streak to start a career at the school. The tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ending UTEP’s aspirations for a postseason bid.

The Miners look to build on their resurgence in 2020-21, with three starters and nine letter winners returning to the fold. Highlighting the returnees is El Paso native and 2020 All C-USA Freshman team honoree Katia Gallegos. She enjoyed a banner first season at UTEP, setting a program freshman record for assists (154) while also scoring 9.6 ppg and recording a team-best 1.7 steals per contest.

Fellow starters Avery Crouse (8.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and Sabine Lipe (4.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg) are back as well. Six newcomers will bolster the lineup, including two-time junior-college All-American Destiny Thurman.

“We are very excited about the upcoming season,” Baker said.  “We finished this past year on an extremely high note and built a strong foundation for the future. We also signed some terrific new additions to the Miner family. There is a strong buzz surrounding our basketball program and with good reason. We will have another high tempo, fast scoring offense, and a stubborn defense. We want everyone to come out and watch this talented team compete for a Conference USA championship!”

Women’s season tickets start at $65 for adults and $40 for youth (ages 3-12). Fans can also purchase reserved Floor seating for $125.

Current season ticket holders can renew their seats  by calling (915) 747-UTEP, emailing at, or by visiting the UTEP Miners ticket page.

Fans who did not have season tickets last year but are interested in signing up for the upcoming season can also call, email and visit the UTEP Athletics ticket webpage to fill out an electronic request form, and a member of the ticket staff or Miner Athletic Club will follow up with them. A four-month payment plan option will also be offered.

UTEP Volleyball Year in Review

The 2019 UTEP Volleyball campaign began with a first-year coaching staff looking to spark a turnaround that Miners fans quickly learned would occur much faster than expected.

Head coach Ben Wallis and Co. put together the best turnaround by a first-year staff in program history by taking the Miners from a five-win season in 2018 to a win total of 13 matches in 2019.

The Orange and Blue experienced a season unlike any in quite some time. The Miners made the conference tournament for the first time in three seasons, and had their highest finish in the conference standings since the 2012 campaign.

“In a number of ways, I feel like our city, our administration, university, support staff, families and people who were around the program that knew what we were facing have been unbelievably supportive,” Wallis said. “When I look at our season, I am very pleased and proud of what we did with this group, considering the state of the program when we took over. To get to 13 wins against the schedule that we had is a success from where our program started.

“I am proud of what we put out there and the way we reshaped our program. We turned this team in to a team that expects to win and not just keep it close. At one point against Rice in the conference tournament, I looked at my players in a timeout and I saw a look in their eyes that they knew they could win.”

Additionally, UTEP also made a monster leap in the national RPI rankings. It was ranked 249 at the end of last season out of over 330 teams. The 2019 season saw a jump of more than 100 spots into the top 150.

The Miners won seven matches in non-conference play, which was one more than the last two seasons combined. This marked the first time the program posted a non-conference record above .500 since 2011.

Wallis and the Miners also boasted a winning record at home with a 6-3 mark in historic Memorial Gym. The 6-3 record on their home floor was the first winning record in the Sun City since 2013 when UTEP posted an identical .667 home winning percentage.

“Our home attendance was something I was most proud of this season,” Wallis noted. “Our home attendance moved us into third in the conference in average attendance. That makes me extremely proud to know that in the better part of six months we were able to get the city of El Paso excited about our team. Having everyone there also helped us win some games. We went 6-3 at home and gave people major issues when they played here. We beat two Top 100 teams on our home floor with a roster of kids with very little experience in those games. I am hopeful that this will continue to be a tough place for teams to play in the future.”

Individually, Cheyenne Jones made significant improvements to her game under Wallis. The junior became just the fifth player in UTEP history to earn second team All-Conference USA accolades. Over the course of the 2019 season, Jones posted career highs in kills (259), hitting percentage (.242), total blocks (74) and points (303).

UTEP’s Mallory Yost also enjoyed a career season, posting personal bests in kills (198) and total blocks (90), while the junior also increased her hitting percentage by hitting .324 for the year.

The Miners also made history with the number of weekly awards handed out by the conference office. Irbe Lazda became the first player in program history to be named C-USA Freshman of the Week, while Serena Patterson was the first C-USA Offensive Player of the Week from UTEP since 2013.

“To be able to get Cheyenne on the all-conference team, and to have Serena and Irbe win conference player of the week was great,” Wallis stated. “We had several all-tournament team participants, and getting into seventh place in the conference after being 12th last year shows a significant amount of improvement.”

During the conference tournament, the Miners took a set off the No. 21 team in the nation in the Rice Owls. It marked the first set victory over a ranked opponent since 2001.

Looking ahead to the 2020 campaign, Wallis and the Miners will enter the season with a more experienced roster as UTEP returns 12 players who saw action on the floor a season ago, including Jones, Lazda and Patterson.

For complete coverage of UTEP Volleyball, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPVB (Instagram) and @UTEP_VB (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Athletics now accepting Fan Council Applications

Officials with UTEP Athletics announced Tuesday morning that they are seeking 10 new members for its Fan Council, as 10 current members are nearing the end of their one-year terms.

“The Fan Council serves as a conduit through which Miner fans can formally engage the athletic department with ideas, questions and feedback,” UTEP officials shared.

In addition, the Fan Council serves as advocates to Miner fans, helping address the myriad of complex issues facing today’s Division I Athletic Department.

The Fan Council meets quarterly and consists of a total of 30 members on one, two and three-year terms.  Incoming members will serve for a total of three years.

The application process is open now through June 15.  To apply, click here.  Members will be selected in June and will be invited to their first Fan Council meeting in July.

For more on the Fan Council, please visit their webpage.

Legendary Miner Running Back Fred Wendt passes away

All-American running back Fred Wendt, who set UTEP records with 326 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns versus New Mexico State on November 25, 1948, has passed away.

Wendt died on Monday (May 18), just two months shy of his 96th birthday.  He was born on July 15, 1924 in Las Cruces.

He attended school in Lubbock and Amarillo before moving to El Paso in 1938.  He graduated from Austin High School in 1942 before entering Texas College of Mines (now UTEP).  Wendt played for the Miners in 1942 and from 1946-48, sandwiched around a stint in the Army during World War II.  He lettered in track and football at Texas College of Mines.

Wendt’s college football career produced 283 carries for 2,166 yards and 23 touchdowns.  He ranks first in the Miner record book in yards per attempt (7.65), sixth in rushing touchdowns, and 10th in rushing yards.

Wendt rushed for 1,546 yards, the third-top seasonal output in school history, in 1948, while also setting the school standard with 20 rushing scores.  He rushed for 100+ yards eight times in a Miner uniform.

Upon graduation he held the NCAA record for single-season rushing yards, single-season scoring (152 points), single-game rushing (326 vs. NMSU) and single-game scoring (42 vs. NMSU).

He is one of only two Miners to rush for 300 yards in a game, alongside current Green Bay Packers star Aaron Jones, who achieved the feat with 301 yards versus North Texas in 2016.

Wendt’s record-breaking performance versus New Mexico State in 1948 resulted in a 92-7 Miner victory.  UTEP team records for points, touchdowns (14) and rushing yards (645) were established in that game and still stand to this day.

Wendt was also the Miners’ leading punter during the 1946, 1947 and 1948 seasons.

A two-time All-American (1947 and 1948), Wendt was inducted into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.  He is also a member of the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.  In 2008, he was chosen as a member of the 75th Anniversary All Sun Bowl Team.  He rushed for a game-high 92 yards on 15 carries in the 1949 Sun Bowl Game versus West Virginia.

Wendt is survived by his wife of 70 years, Dorris, three daughters, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.​

PGA Tour Professional Roger Sloan checks in on this Week’s “Picks Up Podcast”

Former UTEP golf standout and current PGA Tour professional Roger Sloan is the guest on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast” with “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher.

Sloan, a four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioners Academic Honor Roll (2006 – 2009) also served as President of UTEP’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

During his senior year, Sloan was named second team All-Conference USA, became UTEP’s first NCAA Regionals participant since 2004 and led the Miners in stroke average (72.7), top-10 finishes (five) and top-20 finishes (eight).

Sloan was also a three-time Conference USA Golfer of the Week.

The “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else.  The podcast airs weekly on, with special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni.

To go directly to the podcast landing page, click here.

Gallery+Story: 9 UTEP Cadets earn Army Commission at Ceremony

Nine ROTC cadets from The University of Texas at El Paso raised their right hands and became commissioned officers in the U.S. Army during a ceremony at UTEP’s Centennial Plaza.

UTEP President Heather Wilson was the guest speaker and presided over the swearing-in oath where the cadets of the Fighting Miners Battalion became second lieutenants. In her prepared remarks, she congratulated the five men and four women on their achievements and thanked them for their selflessness.

“Each of you here today has not only met the scholarly requirements of your degrees, you have chosen to be part of that small group of Americans who protect the rest of us in a very unpredictable world,” she said.

President Wilson, a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and 24th Secretary of the Air Force, asked these officers to be lifelong learners, to build partnerships and strengthen alliances, and to trust themselves, their soldiers and the citizens they have sworn to protect.

The small, outudoor ceremony was conducted following social distancing guidelines. All participants wore masks, except during the speaking portions of the event, and the pinning was done by family members who live in the same household as the student.

The Military Science program named 2nd Lt. Leo Hapeman Jr., as its 2020 Distinguished Honor Graduate. He will graduate magna cum laude from UTEP with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies and a 3.91 GPA. He will join the Army’s military intelligence branch.

The commissioning ceremony included the pinning of gold lieutenant’s shoulder boards and the traditional “First Salute” where the new officers present a silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier who salutes them.

Each new officer also had the opportunity to make a commissioning speech that often included their gratitude to family, friends, faculty and military mentors for their love and support. Some had served as active-duty soldiers before they decided to pursue their college degrees, and some earned military scholarships. Their branches of service included Military Intelligence and Human Resources in the Army and the Army Reserves.

The event also included celebratory comments from Lt. Col. Jason Albright, chair and professor of UTEP’s Military Science program. He told the new officers that their University education and military training gave them the tools they would need to achieve any goals they set for themselves.

The former cadets learned about first aid, leadership, land navigation, physical fitness, written and oral communications. Army leaders tested the cadets’ knowledge and their adherence to the Army’s seven core values – duty, respect, honor, loyalty, integrity, selfless service and personal courage – during a five-week camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the summer of 2019.

These new second lieutenants are the latest to commission through the UTEP Military Science program that was established in 1948. It has produced more than 1,900 officers throughout the years.

The ceremony took place Friday, May 15, 2020.  Gallery photos courtesy UTEP.

UTEP Spring Commencement rescheduled for September 12th Sun Bowl Ceremony

University of Texas at El Paso officials announced Thursday afternoon that the college will will celebrate its more than 2,300 spring graduates with on  September 12, 2020 in Sun Bowl Stadium.

“This class of graduates has gone through a lot. We thought we should celebrate in a special way, and the Sun Bowl on a September evening will be special,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “We will also set it up to livestream so that extended family and friends can watch, too.”

That Saturday, each graduate will be permitted to bring up to two guests to the outdoor venue, which will kick off at 7 p.m. The September 12 event will be set up to ensure social distancing and public health guidelines are followed for a large outdoor event.

In the meantime, UTEP is encouraging remote activities in honor of the Class of 2020 during what would have been the University’s Commencement weekend.

UTEP has launched a 2020 Spring Commencement website to recognize and celebrate members of the spring Class of 2020. The website includes a message to graduates from UTEP President Heather Wilson and congratulatory video messages from alumni and community members.

It lists the names of the graduation candidates and hosts a social wall for graduates and their supporters to engage and connect.

Graduation candidates are encouraged to participate in the Class of 2020 Photo Celebration Contest. Graduates may submit one photograph or video in any or all of the four categories: Best Decorated Lawn, Best Decorated Door, Most Creative Walk – how you would have walked across the stage – and Most Creative Graduation Cap.

Winning entries are eligible to win prizes including a grand prize. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 18. For contest rules and eligibility, click here.

Community members can join the celebration by wearing orange and walking in their neighborhoods on May 16 and 17 in honor of graduates and candidates who would have walked the stage at the Don Haskins Center throughout Commencement weekend.

Graduation candidates can stay connected through social media using the hashtag #utepgrad to post photos in their regalia, celebrating with household members, decorated caps and decorated lawns or doors.

On campus, the “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s Sun Bowl-University roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange each evening through Sunday, May 17, to commemorate UTEP’s Class of 2020.

In March, UTEP postponed the spring Commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 16 and 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rodney Terry Guests on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast”

UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rodney Terry is the guest on this week’s “Picks Up Podcast” with “Voice of the Miners” Jon Teicher.

In this week’s installment, coach Terry recaps the 2019-20 season, gives recruiting updates, and discusses how his program is adapting to the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Rodney Terry, who was appointed the 19th head coach in UTEP men’s basketball history on March 12, 2018. Is in his third season as UTEP head coach and 10th overall at the helm of a collegiate program.

Terry has chalked up 151 wins  as a head coach, while he’s compiled 73 conference victories.

In Terry’s second season at the helm, UTEP won 17 games, nine more than the previous season, while more than doubling its Conference USA wins. The Miners posted their first winning season in four years, and made a return to the C-USA Tournament during the 2019-20 season.

UTEP finished with a 13-4 record in the Haskins Center, its best home mark and most home victories in four years.

Airing weekly, the “Picks Up Podcast” takes an inside look at UTEP Athletics, offering perspectives and analysis not available anywhere else, thanks to special guests including Miner coaches, staff, student-athletes and alumni.

To go directly to the podcast landing page, click here.

UTEP Women’s Golf recognized by NCAA for Academic Excellence

The UTEP Women’s Golf program earned national recognition by the NCAA on Tuesday for excelling academically in the past year.

“I am proud of the team for their hard work in the classroom,” head coach Jere Pelletier said. “Traditionally, we do well as a team in the classroom. We are always striving to have the highest GPA of all the teams. Several years ago, we won the national GPA award for all of women’s golf. Academics are always a priority for us and I am proud of the team for this accomplishment.”

The NCAA recognized nearly 1,400 Division I programs, including UTEP Women’s Golf, from 326 schools for academic excellence after they scored in the top 10 percent of their sports in the most recent Academic Progress Rate results.

The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams.

Recently, UTEP’s entire 2019-20 roster also earned spots on Conference USA’s annual Commissioner’s Honor Roll for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

Additionally, three Miners were named Conference USA Academic Medalists for achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better. Those three student-athletes honored were Abbie Anghelescu, Sophie Delfosse and Valeria Mendizabal.

Teams earning Public Recognition Awards by the NCAA increased to 1,380, up by 52 from the previous academic year, largely due to an increase in squads with perfect scores. APRs for programs in the top 10 percent ranged from 987 to a perfect 1,000. The number of teams posting perfect scores increased to 1,266, an increase of 52 teams from last year.

Of the teams recognized, 499 competed in men’s or mixed sports and 881 competed in women’s sports. Every women’s team earning a Public Recognition Award this year also earned a perfect score.

APR scores for all Division I teams will be released May 19. The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term and provides a clear picture of the academic performance for each team in every sport. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.

27 UTEP Student-Athletes Set to Graduate

Twenty-seven UTEP student-athletes’ academic journey will reach an apex this week, as they will complete their coursework and earn their degrees.

Scheduled to graduate this spring are 15 representatives from the football program, three from women’s basketball, two each from men’s basketball, men’s golf, soccer and softball, and one from tennis.

The spring 2020 graduating student-athletes have excelled academically as well as athletically, as 17 have earned appointments to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Roll (minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average), and five have received C-USA Academic Medals (minimum 3.75 cumulative GPA) during their time in the Sun City.

Bios follow on UTEP’s May 2020 graduating student-athletes.

UTEP Athletics May 2020 Graduating Student-Athletes

 Pamala Baber (Softball)

2020 Strength & Conditioning MVP at the Golden Pick Awards … played four seasons for the Miners, while appearing in 144 games and making 110 starts over that span … posted a .253 career batting average with 72 hits, 15 doubles, nine home runs and 42 RBI  … compiled a .407 slugging percentage over the course of her career … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) … C-USA Academic Medal recipient (2017, 2019, 2020) … C-USA Spirit of Service Award (2019 Spring) … Health Promotion major.


Maria Medina Blanco (Tennis)

Three-year letter winner who racked up a combined 24 wins during her career, including 17 in singles action … Finance major.


Ountae Campbell (Men’s Basketball)

Recipient of the 2020 Dr. Louis Robbins Award for Academic Excellence (top senior grade point average) at the Golden Pick Awards … played two seasons for the Miners … started in 10 games during junior season that included a career-high seven boards against Old Dominion … made a start on Senior Day, draining a three-point bucket to cap his career … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2019, 2020) … C-USA Academic Medal recipient (2019, 2020) … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Danielle Carreon (Soccer)

Four-year letterwinner who played in 66 games, including starting 24 contests … had her best season as a senior with three goals and one assist for seven points to help UTEP qualify for its first C-USA tournament in three years … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2018, 2019, 2020) … Criminal Justice major.


Denzel Chukwukelu (Football)

Appeared in 42 games over four seasons … totaled 93 tackles, including 43 solo stops, with 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery … earned second team All-Conference USA honors as a senior in 2019 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Mitchell Crawford (Football)

Spent two seasons with the Miners, while seeing action in every game over that span as a punter … had 134 punts for 5,324 yards and an average of 39.7 yards per punt … booted a career-long 66-yard punt in his first season as a Miner in 2018 … earned All-Conference USA honorable mention accolades in 2018 … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2019, 2020) … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Lauren Crenshaw (Soccer)

2020 Soccer MVP at the Golden Pick Awards … four-year starter who compiled 16 goals and 10 assists for 42 points during her career … standout defender also helped UTEP tie for the sixth-most shutouts (seven) in a season in 2019 … efforts aided in the Miners qualifying for the C-USA tournament for the first time in three years … All C-USA Team (2017 & 2019) … made the Central-Region Team (2016) … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) … C-USA Academic Medal recipient (2017) … Kinesiology major.


Mallorie Cross (Softball)

Played in 94 games while making 65 starts in four years as a Miner … posted 39 hits, including six doubles and 21 RBI in 180 at-bats in her career … posted a .292 on base percentage over four years … posted a .257 average in 41 starts as a true freshman … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Benjamin Getman (Men’s Golf)

Saw action in 26 tournaments over the course of his four-year career with the Miners … posted a 75.8 scoring average in 72 rounds of golf in his career … shot a low-round of 69 and a career-low three-round total of 214 as a senior …
was UTEP’s top finisher as a freshman at the Arizona Intercollegiate with a nine-over par 222 … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2016) … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Eduardo Gonzalez (Men’s Golf)

Played in 20 tournaments over four years with the Miners … posted a 74.4 career scoring average in 59 rounds of golf … drained a hole-in-one at the John Burns Intercollegiate as a junior … finished tied for 20th at the 2019 Gene Miranda Invitational after shooting even par with a career-low score of 216 … was UTEP’s top finisher at the Maridoe Intercollegiate after finishing tied for 10th at eight-over par with a three-round total of 224 as a senior … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) … C-USA Academic Medal recipient (2018, 2019) … Finance major.


Kalaii Griffin (Football)

Spent three seasons with the Miners, seeing action in 25 games over that span … registered 43 total tackles in his career, including 18 solo stops … recorded five tackles for losses, two QB hurries and a sack, while also forcing a fumble as a junior for the Miners … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2018, 2019, 2020) … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Jordan Jenkins (Women’s Basketball)

Played two seasons with the Miners before sustaining a serious knee injury … appeared in 47 contests, including 22 starts … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2018, 2019, 2020) … Kinesiology major.


Christian Johnson (Football)

Saw action in 12 games over the past three seasons for the Miners … totaled eight tackles, including six solo stops and two assists … registered 2.5 tackles for losses, while also recording a QB hurry in 2019 … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Kavika Johnson (Football)

Played for the Miners from 2015-19, while appearing in 47 games in a variety of roles over that span … had 115 rushing attempts for 286 yards and a touchdown over his career … also made 38 receptions for 342 receiving yards and a pair of touchdown catches … saw limited action as a passer for the Miners with a career stat line of 40-for-75 for 387 yards and four touchdown tosses … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2016) … Communication Studies major.


Michael Lewis (Football)

Saw action in 46 games over the course of his four-year career with the Miners … registered 230 career tackles, including a career-best 96 tackles as a senior … had 129 solo stops and 101 assists as a Miner … recorded 4.5 career tackles for loss, 11 pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery … earned his first career interception as a senior for the Miners … garnered All-Conference USA honorable mention accolades as a senior in 2019 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Jaime Perales (Football)

Played in 11 games over the last two years as an offensive lineman for the Miners … made his first career appearance on the offensive line against UAB in 2018 … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2020) … Kinesiology major.


Chris Richardson (Football)

Played in 35 games for the Miners over the course of three seasons … registered 80 career tackles, including 22 solo stops and 58 assists … recorded 2.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and three QB hurries in his career … named to the 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman Team … earned All-Conference USA honorable mention accolades as a junior in 2018 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Jade Rochelle (Women’s Basketball)

Two-year letter winner after arriving as a JUCO transfer … high-energy player who competed in 59 total contests … chipped in 3.5 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game in 14.4 minutes per contest … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2019, 2020) … General Business major.


Justin Rogers (Football)

Saw action in 47 games over the course of his four-year career with the Miners … made 182 career tackles, including 120 solo stops, with four tackles for loss and 23 pass breakups … recorded six interceptions in his career, becoming the first Miner to post an interception in four separate seasons since Quintin Demps (2004-07) … also forced three fumbles and had four fumble recoveries in his Miner career … named to the 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman Team … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Anthony Tarke (Men’s Basketball)

Played in 14 games, making two starts for the Miners during the 2019-20 campaign … averaged 2.6 points and four rebounds … scored his season-best nine points with eight rebounds and two blocks versus East Central … also secured eight boards against Boise State and FIU … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2020) … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Tiano Tialavea (Football)

Saw action in 18 games over the last two seasons for the Miners … earned playing time both as a defensive tackle and on special teams … recorded his first career tackle in UTEP’s road contest at North Texas in 2019 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Mark Torrez (Football)

Saw action in eight games for the Miners, including seven games under center in 2017 … had 17 rushing attempts for 38 yards and a touchdown, while also going 14-for-48 passing for 126 yards through the air … scored first collegiate touchdown on a six-yard rush and added season highs in completions (six) and passing yards (59) against Arizona … completed first collegiate pass on a seven-yard toss at No. 7 Oklahoma … rushed for a season-high 31 yards on seven attempts and threw for 38 yards (four completions) at rival NM State … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Sione Tupou (Football)

Played in 22 games, including making 17 starts for the Miners over the last two seasons … registered 113 career tackles, including 46 solo stops and 67 assists … posted 4.5 tackles for a loss of 22 yards and two QB hurries … ranked fifth on the team in tackles in 2018 and fourth in tackles in 2019 … recorded his first career fumble recovery in 2018 … registered two solo sacks for 16 yards … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2020) … Kinesiology major.

Jayson Van Hook (Football)

Played in 25 games as a linebacker for the Miners over the last three seasons, including making 21 starts over that period … registered 89 career tackles, including 50 solo stops and 39 assists … made 9.5 career tackles for loss for a total of 31 yards … recorded two QB hurries in 2019 … ranked fifth on the team in tackles in 2019 … named to the 2016 Conference USA All-Freshman Team … Multidisciplinary Studies major.


Brady Viles (Football)

Saw action in 15 games for the Miners over his career, including 12 games in his first season in the Orange & Blue in 2017 … made a 53-yard field goal, the first of his Miner career, against Arizona in 2017 … served as a kickoff specialist for UTEP with 40 career kickoffs for 2,385 yards and an average of 59.6 yards per kickoff … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2018, 2019, 2020) … Kinesiology major.


Quardraiz Wadley (Football)

Has played in 26 games over the last four seasons despite battling through a pair of season-ending injuries … made 13 career starts at running back for the Miners … has 228 rushing attempts for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns … also has seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown catch … led UTEP in 2018 in rushing (627 yards), rushing touchdowns (seven), total touchdowns (eight), rushing attempts (123) and yards per attempt (5.1) … produced breakout game at Army as a sophomore, making first collegiate start, after he rushed for a career-high 156 yards on career-most 28 carries (5.6 avg.), while scoring his first career touchdown and registering his first career reception (15 yards) … Criminal Justice major.


Katarina Zec (Women’s Basketball)

2020 Women’s Basketball MVP at the Golden Pick Awards … four-year letter winner who finished her career as a 1,000-point scorer (eighth in school history) and also ranking among the top-10 players in school history for games started (third), minutes played (fifth), three-pointers made (sixth), field goals made (eighth) and games played (ninth) … All C-USA team (2020) and C-USA All-Academic team (2020) … C-USA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020) … C-USA Academic Medal recipient (2017, 2018, 2019) … Biochemistry major.​

UTEP Student-Athletes Collect School-Record 48 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals

DALLAS – UTEP student-athletes garnered a school-record 48 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals, the league office announced Friday.

The effort breaks the previous standard (42) that was set during the 2012-13 scholastic year.

Medals are awarded to those C-USA student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or better.

Below is a list of UTEP’s medal winners by sport.

Men’s Basketball (One)

Ountae Campbell


Women’s Basketball (Four)

Avery Crouse

Arina Khlopkova

Sabine  Lipe

Tatyana Modawar

Men’s Cross Country (One)

Alek Duran


Football (Six)

Camryn Curtis-Dozier

Reynaldo Flores

Jalen Joseph

Elijah Klein

Robert Pufahl

Jacob Trim


Women’s Golf (Three)

Abbie Anghelescu

Sophie Delfosse

Valeria Mendizabal

Rifle (Three)

Isabel Brooks

Amoret  McCartney

Morgahn Warner

Soccer (Six)

Vanessa Cabello

Tessa Carlin

Jackie Miller

Emily Parrott

Nicole Pugsley

Isabel Trevino

Softball (Four)

Pamala Baber

Zaylie Calderon

Pate Cathey

Isabella Kelly

Tennis (Four)

Thassane Abrahim

Eve Daniels

Kathleen Percegona

Vanessa Valdez


Men’s Track & Field (Four)

Arturo Ciriza

Jared Ledesma

Austin Ondijo

Holden Rivera

Women’s Track & Field (Two)

Sah-Jay Stevens

Roosa Ylonen                                       

Volleyball (10)

Briana Arellano

Sophia Chacon

Alianza Darley

Kristen Fritsche

Cheyenne Jones

Irbe Lazda

Anamarija Mikovic

Abigail Padilla

Erika Sianez

Sofia Sifuentes

Spring Training 728
Elizabeth 728
Mountains 728
Covid-19 Fund 728
Emergence June 11 – Sep 11, 2020 728
john overall 728×90
Utep Football Generic 728
Get Shift Done 728