Monday , December 11 2017
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UTEP Lab Pioneers Electromagnetics and Photonics

Ask anyone in Raymond Rumpf’s EM Lab what they do and they’ll tell you they are doing what most would consider impossible. Failure is common in their work in electromagnetics and photonics, but it is revolutionizing engineering and science as we know it.

Rumpf, Ph.D., Schellenger Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the EM Lab at The University of Texas at El Paso, is a pioneer in 3-D printing of high-frequency circuits and electromagnetic devices. His mission at UTEP is to develop revolutionary technologies that are enabled by 3-D printing.

He founded the EM Lab in 2011 and his team has already delivered an array of significant breakthroughs, including inventing at least two new electromagnetic phenomena. Other accomplishments include creating the world’s highest power frequency selective surface, the world’s most broadband all-dielectric filter, the world’s tightest bend of an unguided optical beam, the world’s thinnest all-dielectric antenna, and spatially variant anisotropic metamaterials (SVAMs).

Most recently, the team’s work has resulted in a new patent for anisotropic metamaterials for electromagnetic compatibility, and a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

“In one area, we’ve invented a new electromagnetic phenomenon that lets us change the shape of the electromagnetic fields around devices,” Rumpf said.

The discovery related to the patent allows the researchers to sculpt electromagnetic fields like clay. One of the applications of their invention could be used in cell phones. The team is presently working with cell phone antennae.

“There’s a lot of stuff crammed really close, creating a terrible electromagnetic environment inside cell phones,” Rumpf explained. “It’s not so much that the antenna is terrible, it’s that it is so close to other metal things, close to other antennae, that it just can’t work very efficiently. Typical antennas in mobile phones are 50 percent efficient or less, so more than half of the energy from your battery is going to heat and being wasted.”

The research toward the patent awarded this fall took years.

“We think we have a rather powerful technology that will help us pack electrical components more closely and sort out the electromagnetic mess this causes,” Rumpf said. “However, there are also new device concepts that this will let us explore.”

Doctoral candidate in electrical engineering Edgar Bustamante is involved in the research.

“The most rewarding part about my research is knowing that it could help mobile devices work dramatically better, and everyone who uses a cell phone can benefit from this,” Bustamante said.

The breakthrough also will give circuits new functionality, Rumpf said. Next, the team will work on proving their discovery in settings other than their 3-D printed model mobile phone.

“I think if we are successful it will revolutionize electromagnetics for sure and that is pretty exciting,” Rumpf added. “It’s a high-risk technology. There is a real chance that something will go wrong. That is a consequence of working on the edge.”

Rumpf’s research team is comprised of highly ambitious engineers. They are all doctoral candidates fueled by the opportunity to explore the unknown and do the impossible.

“Our work is ground breaking and never conceived before,” said Ubaldo Robles, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical and computer engineering. “We are right at the edge of theoretical physics and applied science and sometimes we even drift past that. Most of our concepts haven’t been imagined by scientists before. My role in the EM Lab has made me one of only a handful of people who can design, develop, manufacture and test 3-D-printed electronics in the world.”

Noel Pedro Martinez, another doctoral candidate in electrical engineering, echoes the incredible experience the students are getting by working in the EM Lab.

“The work the EM Lab does is very important for both the students and the university,” he said. “Obviously, for students it provides us with the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and acquire some degree of fame and notoriety in our fields of study. Not only do we conduct research that could change the world, but the EM Lab also has all of the capabilities and resources necessary to see the research through from start to finish. Students get training to use high-end machines and industry standard software. For the University, it helps further UTEP’s mission of becoming a top research institution and develop a reputation for producing research that exceeds that of the bigger universities.”

Martinez joined the EM Lab three years ago. His current work involves a new concept called “photon funnels.”

Collecting and concentrating light is an essential process in any system utilizing light. Conventional lenses collect light and concentrate it to a spot, but the concentration spot moves as light rays strike the lens at different angles or different positions. As a result, sensors and detectors lose energy as the light changes.

“Photon funnels are nanoscale 3-D lattices that direct the flow of light using a new optical phenomenon recently invented by the EM Lab,” Martinez explained. “We design the photon funnels using a novel algorithm developed here at the EM Lab that can bend, twist and otherwise spatially vary our lattices without degrading their magical properties. Imagine having to abruptly bend the pattern of a checkerboard, but without changing the size and shape of the squares. Seems impossible, right? But we figured out how to do it and we are the only ones in the world who can.”

The group received a grant for $174,000 from the National Science Foundation during the summer for the research on photon funnels. Rumpf and his EM Lab team are working with Stephen Kuebler, Ph. D., associate professor of chemistry at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and his lab.

“What’s neat about this is that almost all optical devices are limited by refraction, where the angle of the transmitted light depends on the angle of incident light,” Rumpf said. “Our lattices are able to break Snell’s law that describes refraction, allowing us to beat the performance of lenses for collecting light. This seems to violate fundamental physics, but we at the EM Lab do not let fundamental physics get in the way of good ideas. Inside our lattices there is no refraction, it ceases to exist, so we can circumvent the conventional laws of optics that are limiting everybody.”

Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines theory, simulation, fabrication and optical testing, the team will develop fundamental knowledge to enable scientists and engineers to design photon funnels for a myriad of applications.

UTEP is responsible for the design and theory and the UCF team will conduct the fabrication and testing. The benefits to society of the three-year project will include new technologies for imaging, optical detection and sensing, telecommunications, energy harvesting, and relaxed alignment tolerances in photonic systems.

“The most rewarding part about research is the excitement and satisfaction that comes with achieving a new breakthrough,” said electrical engineering doctoral student Cesar Luis Valle. “Much of our time is spent being hopelessly stuck on a problem for what can be long periods of time. Finally being able to solve a problem and reaching that ‘Eureka!’ moment is exhilarating.”

Valle is working on another aspect of the EM Lab’s work that has to do with metamaterials, photonic crystals and 3-D printing.

“I am involved on a patent that contains new photonic crystal technologies and methods,” Valle explained. “Photonic crystals are periodic structures that allow us to manipulate electromagnetic radiation in new ways and are also one of the technologies our group has become famous for. Another aspect of my research involves the use of our nScrypt 3Dn Tabletop hybrid 3-D printer capable of printing multiple types of materials (plastics and conductors) at the same time and engineering new processes that are only achievable with the use of this hybrid 3-D printing technology.”

Gilbert Carranza, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, was highly drawn to the 3-D printing and unconventional technologies the EM Lab regularly explores. Though he has only been a part of the group for a couple of years, his research has already broken barriers. His prior research for the EM Lab involved developing a tool to design truly three-dimensional electronic circuits. 3-D circuits are smaller, lighter, more power efficient, and can be made into shapes not possible with traditional circuit technology.

“I found the first completed version of the 3-D CAD circuit tool I developed to be very rewarding,” Carranza said. “We now have ideas of what three-dimensional circuits might look like in the future. The fact that I am seeing what no one else has ever seen before is amazing to me. It will be even more rewarding when the tool is refined and optimized to produce even more complicated and intricate models and designs.”

The list of accomplishments and ongoing research also includes work on a multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) antenna configuration to improve communication devices, and exploring concepts to build and test proof-of-concept asymmetric electromagnetic devices to assess asymmetric behavior that exists at interfaces for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Three other patents are pending related to the work at the EM Lab.

“In the beginning, it was just a bunch of insane ideas that people were shaking their heads at,” Rumpf said. “Over the years, we’ve managed to prove our concepts to a point where people are convinced and are seeing all of the ways the concepts can be used.”

To find out more about the EM Lab, visit it online.

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to AP All-America Team

Senior Will Hernandez was named to the AP All-America second team for the second consecutive year on Monday.

The left guard is the first UTEP student-athlete to receive back-to-back AP All-America honors. The Las Vegas, Nev., native is one of six Miners to earn AP All-America honors (Ed Bunn ‘92, first team, Baron Wortham ‘93, second team, Brian Natkin ‘00, first team, Johnnie Lee Higgins ‘06, second team, Aaron Jones ‘16, third team).

Hernandez is also one of two Conference USA student-athletes to be named to the AP All-America teams (Devin Singletary, FAU).

The captain previously was named to the 2017 Pro Football Focus All-American first team and All-C-USA first team. The All-American started in all 49 games played during his career at the left guard position. Hernandez also just accepted his invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Hernandez protected the blindside allowing zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.

Miners’ Zec Sinks Career-High 22 Points, UTEP Upended At NM State 76-68

Katarina Zec poured in a career-high 22 points while matching the program record for 3-pointers with seven, but homestanding NM State downed UTEP 76-68, inside the Pan-American Center Sunday afternoon.

The Miners (5-3) led by one (34-33) at the half before the Aggies (3-5) used a huge third quarter (25-13) to surge into the lead. The margin swelled to as many as 15 (67-52) before UTEP eventually struck back with a 7-0 run to cut it to seven (69-62) but it was too little too late.

Both squads shot well from the floor (UTEP 44.8 percent, NM State 45.3 percent) while also nailing 12 three pointers each, but NM State converted 21 UTEP turnovers into 23 points to create some separation. Conversely NM State’s 11 giveaways led to seven UTEP points. The Miners tried to make up for it by winning the boards (40-31) for the eighth time in as many games, which resulted in a 12-4 cushion in second chance points, but it wasn’t enough.

Tamara Seda joined Zec in double figures with 12 points while junior Jordan Alexander flirted with a double-double (eight points, 11 rebounds). Najala Howell and Roeshonda Patterson each finished with nine in the game.

NM State was led by Brooke Salas, who exploded for 29 points and six rebounds. Gia Pack (15 points) and Zaire Williams (14 points) also reached double figures in scoring for the Aggies.

“We looked young and played young today,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We came out of the locker room not really ready to play. Every time we showed the resilience that our kids have to get back in the game in we did something crazy to put ourselves away from the game. We never did quit. We have to play better and take care of the ball more. We are going to keep battling and hopefully figure out a way to get better.”

NM State jumped out to an 11-5 lead midway through the opening frame before back-to-back triples by Zec and Patterson pulled the Miners even (11-11) with 3:41 to play in the period. After the two sides traded scores, NM State put together a 5-0 run to take a 19-14 advantage through 10 minutes of action.

The deficit swelled to as many as eight in the second quarter before UTEP started to get things going. Faith Cook started the push with a triple. The Miners then got a stop and Cook found Howell all alone in the corner for a 3-pointer to make it 31-31 with 2:11 to play in the half. After NM State briefly regained the lead, Jordan Alexander sunk a pull-up jumper to afford UTEP a one-point cushion (34-33) at the half.

The Aggies came out firing to start the third quarter, making their first six shots of the frame to fuel a 14-3 run over the first three-and-a half minutes of the frame. The surge put UTEP down 10 (47-37) and forced Baker to call a timeout for his troops to regroup. Out of the break Puc used a strong post move to halt the 8-0 NM State run. UTEP then got a stop and a jumper by Alexander to make it a six-point contest (47-41). The Miners managed to get within four (50-46) but NM State closed the quarter on an 8-1 run to take an 11-point advantage (58-47) to the fourth quarter.

NM State slowly but surely extended its cushion in the fourth quarter, at one point leading by as many as 15 (67-52). The deficit was 14 (69-55) with 5:47 to play in regulation before UTEP peeled off seven straight points to narrow the gap to seven (69-62) with 2:40 left. NM State’s Salas connected on a triple to reinstate a double-digit lead for the home side and UTEP was unable to get close than seven the rest of the way.

UTEP will be idle for a week due to finals before returning to action against former Conference USA foe East Carolina at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at 11:30 a.m. MST/1:30 p.m. EST on Dec. 17.

The game will be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso.

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Miners Down Washington State 76-69

For the first 20 minutes on Saturday night, Washington State pounded UTEP on the glass, made seven three-pointers and built a three-point halftime lead. 

In the second half the Miners turned the tables on the Cougars, owning the boards 21-12 and holding them to 5-for-16 shooting from beyond the arc.  It all added up to a 37-27 UTEP advantage in the second stanza and a 76-69 victory before 6,341 enthusiastic fans in the Don Haskins Center.
 
It was a quality win for the Miners (3-6), who appear to be rounding into form following a sluggish start to the season.
 
“You think about [Washington State’s] season so far up to this point, beating Saint Mary’s and San Diego State, they are really difficult to guard because they have so many three-point shooters on the floor at all times,” UTEP Interim Coach Phil Johnson said.  “A lot of times five, and most of the night four.  They just lit us up in the first half and we couldn’t rebound it, we couldn’t stop them.  And everything changed in the second half.  We guarded better.” 
 
UTEP opened the second half with a 10-3 run to go ahead 49-45.  The game was tied up for the last time at 55-all when the Cougars’ Milan Acquaah scored a jumper with 11:30 to play.  The Miners took the lead for good, 57-55, on a rebound and tip-in by Matt Willms with 10:53 remaining.
 
Washington State (6-3) hung around and only trailed by one (66-65) after Kwinton Hinson sank a three-pointer with 3:43 left.  The Miners buckled down and held the Cougars to only four points the rest of the way, as they salted it away at the line.  UTEP finished 14-for-14 from the charity stripe in the second half and 21-for-22 for the game.  The .955 percentage is second-best in school history for a game with a minimum 20 free throws made.  The Miners shot 96.3 percent (26-for-27) from the stripe versus Fresno State on Feb. 10, 2005.     
 
Keith Frazier led the Miners with 21 points and eight rebounds.  He shot 5-for-11 from beyond the arc.
 
“We’ve got to make Keith a complete player,” Johnson said.  “We obviously know he can shoot it and score.  He’s learning.  He’s getting better defensively and just passing and understanding the score and time and all those things.  We gave him player of the game, not just because of his scoring, but you look at the stats and he’s our leading rebounder.  For him to do that as a 6-4 two-guard was huge.”
 
Omega Harris scored 18 points.  He and Evan Gilyard (10 points) both went 8-for-8 from the line.  Paul Thomas added 11 points and five rebounds.  Willms, making his return from a broken hand after missing three weeks and four games, tallied eight points and seven rebounds and was a big factor on the glass in the second half.
 
Evan Gilyard, I don’t even know if he had a basket,” Johnson said.  “He made some free throws.  He had one basket and he was 0-for-4 from three.  But the job that he did on [Malachi] Flynn was tremendous.  I thought Jake Flaggert‘s job … Jake doesn’t score.  I told our guys, you don’t have to score to impact winning.  And there’s proof with Evan Gilyard and Jake.  But obviously we got some good offense from Keith and Omega again.  I’m glad to see Omega play well.  And having Matt back was tremendous down the stretch going and rebounding it.”
 
Flynn, averaging 16.8 points entering the game, finished with three.  He was 1-for-8 from the field and 1-for-6 from outside.  Viont’e Daniels led Washington State with 18 points and six three-pointers.
 
It was an entertaining, well-paced game on “Star Wars Night” with a crowd that was at its best.
 
“I want to thank everybody that came out given the circumstances, which are unique and I get that,” Johnson said.  “But to come out and support these kids and the team, I’ve always made it clear it’s not about me whatsoever.  Not at all.  It’s about these players and team and just trying to have a year and get better.  And they’re enjoying themselves right now.  But the crowd helped us.  I mean, when they went crazy for a defensive play by Flaggert to take a charge and get on the floor for a loose ball, it’s the most knowledgeable crowd in the country.  And I thought it gave us a big, big lift in the last five minutes.”
 
The Miners will take a 10-day break between games during finals week before hosting Incarnate Word on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Miners Set to Battle Washington State Saturday on “Star Wars” Night

Coming off a week-long break between games, the UTEP men’s basketball team will shoot for a second consecutive victory on Saturday when much-improved Washington State invades the Haskins Center.

Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. on “Star Wars Night,” with special in-game elements and character appearances from a galaxy far, far away. Plus fans will have a chance to win tickets to the next installment in the saga, “The Last Jedi,” which opens on Dec. 15.

The Miners (2-6) got a jolt of confidence from an 88-76 victory over long-time rival New Mexico in the Don last Saturday.

“It was a drastic change from the New Mexico State game [on Nov. 30], where we looked awful,” Interim Head Coach Phil Johnson said. “But you know, we tried to throw in some things in 48 hours that really didn’t fit our team to go play that game. We made some adjustments and the guys played great. They played with a lot of confidence. Obviously Omega [Harris] had his best game of the season and probably his career. But the real key for me was Kobe Magee’s points and his decision-making against all that pressure. But I think they feel pretty good about themselves right now.”

Harris scored a career-high 28 points against the Lobos, making 9-of-11 shots, all four of his three-point attempts and all six of his free throw tries. Magee had his breakout game as a Miner with 16 points.

“Kobe came off the bench and played really flawless, had a great floor game and made the right decisions,” Johnson said. “That was a game where you had to make the right decision once you beat the press. I thought he did. He’ll probably get the start [on Saturday].”

The Miners are still short-handed in the frontcourt with Matt Willms out, but he is nearing a return from a broken hand.

“My guess is probably not on Saturday, but he’ll be ready for the following game,” Johnson said.

A year removed from finishing 13-18 overall, and 6-12 in the Pac-12 Conference (tied for ninth place), Washington State has opened the season by winning six of its first eight games. The Cougars have dropped consecutive contests, however, to UC Davis at home on Dec. 2 (81-67) and Idaho on the road on Dec. 6 (91-64). The Cougars’ top two scorers – junior forward Robert Franks (19.9 ppg) and sophomore guard Malachi Flynn (16.8 ppg) – have both made tremendous strides from a year ago. Franks averaged 6.3 points in 2016-17, and Flynn collected 9.7 ppg. Sophomore guard Carter Skaggs (Chipola College) has been an impact transfer, averaging 8.0 points while shooting 50 percent (17-for-34) from three-point range and 100 percent (9-for-9) from the line. As a team, Washington State shoots 39.3 percent from beyond the arc and 71.9 percent from the charity stripe.

“We have been watching [them] quite a bit,” Johnson said. “The thing that’s really interesting about them, you know they were 6-0 and they had beaten San Diego State, and they had beaten Saint Mary’s who is rated in the top-20. Those are really impressive wins. They are scoring a lot of points. But what’s amazing, they had been down three times 20+ points and came back and won. So they’re never out of a game, and you’re never out of a game if you’re down to them because they shoot so quickly and long bombs. So we’ve got to get out to the three-point line and guard them. That will be the message.”

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WATCH: UTEP Introduces New Football Head Coach Dana Dimel

( Video courtesy UTEP Athletics) UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter officially announced Dana Dimel as the 26th head coach in UTEP football history.

Quotes from New Head Football Coach Dana Dimel

“Thanks guys, I’m obviously very pleased to be here and want to thank Dr. [Diana] Natalicio and Jim [Senter] and Chris [Park] and Richard [Adauto III], as they all put the search together. I got spend time with Dr. Natalicio and I can tell she’s got a lot of passion and compassion for the people of El Paso and also for her job, so that was a very nice conversation that we had. I’m really proud of Jim, him and I are coming into this thing together and we’re ready to work hard, but that goes without saying – we don’t even need to say that, that’s just what happens. I’ve heard so many good things about [Jim Senter] as a leader and I’m so excited to work with him and move this program in the right direction. In visiting with Chris and Richard, those are two other guys who have a really firm grasp on what’s going on at the University of Texas at El Paso and they’re going to be a big, big help to me. I appreciate everybody from that sense. And then I want introduce my wife Julie here. Julie, I think she likes football more than me, possibly. If I know anybody who has a great passion for the game of football, it’s Julie. She wakes up every Saturday morning and watches ESPN Game Day and every Sunday, she’s glued to the set watching Roby G [Rob Gronkowski] of the Patriots. She’s a pretty loyal Patriots fan. You guys will love spending time around her and enjoy her and enjoy how she’s got a great passion for the game of football and all it brings to us.

 

“Let me talk little bit now just the things about this job that I want to accomplish. I think that there’s so much that can be done here and I see the great potential in everything that we want to do is going to be in a positive method and positive manner. I think that’s so important when you’re dealing with young people like we are with college athletes, is that you have to be positive and you have to have a great positive attitude, and a consistent positive attitude, so that what I want to bring to the table. We’re going to make this a great place to play college football and we’re going to have a good time doing it with our players. They’re going to represent everybody in the university very, very well. That’s going to be one of my greatest sealing points to parents as we go out and recruit. I want them to know that the players in our program will care about academics, they’re going to go to class, they’re going to care about doing things off the field the right way, they’re going to respect people in the community. And then when other kids come in to play, they’re going to know all those things are important to them and that our players represent that. And the parents will feel really comfortable about that. And that’s an important part of recruiting is that the parents will send their young men to play college football and the one thing they want to know is what kind of people are they going to be around. So, the quality of character that’s in our program is why we’re going to win. We’re going to win because of character. The recruiting process will start with, number one, character, and that’s going to be the most driving factor that we have. Obviously, we’re going to look for great talent and have a background in state of Texas. I recruited the state of Texas for the first time as a graduate assistant, which normally you don’t get to go out and recruit as a graduate assistant, but we had some typical turnover that you would have at Kansas State and I’ll get to that kind of a background of Kansas State and the turnaround there. When I was out recruiting as a graduate assistant in 1987, as a very young coach, the first place I recruited was in San Antonio, Texas, and I have never stopped recruiting Texas since. I’ve been in Texas at every stop that I’ve been with, I’ve been a head coach, which we had a lot of success in Texas. Obviously, with my stay at Houston, we had the top recruiting classes in Conference USA my last two years there and left that program in great standing. When we left there for Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin, Tony Levine and Tom Herman to take over and have great success. We laid a tremendous foundation there through recruiting in the state of Texas, and we did it well at Wyoming and when I left to go on to Arizona and worked for Mike Stoops at Arizona, we also recruited in Texas very well. So, my relationship, one of the strengths that we bring to the table, is my relationship with high school Texas coaches. It’s been one that’s been impeccable through the years. I’ve tried to make sure that I haven’t burned any bridges with the coaches and I think all of them are excited that I’m back in Texas as a head coach and they’re’ very much forward looking to help our program move in the right direction. That’s going to be very important to have high school coaches in Texas behind us. I’ll continue to cultivate the relationship and make sure that those guys understand what we’re doing and how we’re going to do it the right way.

 

“Going back to the history – I don’t want to call this a turnaround, because it’s not a turnaround – we’re going to build a program and we’re going to build it from the ground up and when I get asked about ‘time and concepts’, about ‘how long it’s going to take?’, ‘how you’re going to be?’. Take the 1-0 concept and that’s the concept we’re going to be as good as we can be today and we’re going to get the most of everyday and if we do that, then tomorrow will take care of itself. And that’s the most important as you turn a program around. So, I’ll kind of relate some of turnaround stories in my background that gives me the experience to be able to come in and build the program. The first, I played at Kansas State, and when I was at Kansas State, we probably won five or six games in my three years that I played there. So, not a lot of success. And then I took over as a GA. my first two years as a GA, I think we were 0-21-1 and the only game that we tied was against Kansas and it was called the ‘Toilet Bowl’. Neither of us knew how to win and so we both decided to tie the game, it would just go away. So, the next year, Bill Snyder comes in and I get moved up to a higher position on the staff and we win one game. We went 1-10 in that first year. And then as time went on, obviously, the story tells itself and we turned that program around, and I was able to go out and get the chance to be a head coach at the University of Wyoming at a young age. At that time, I ended up staying in coaching and took the head coaching job at Wyoming, I stayed on and coached the Cotton Bowl, finished it up, and then went to Wyoming. And then I had the great success there at Wyoming and then moved on from there to the University of Houston. My point is this: what I saw at Kansas State, and how what losing brought to the table and how to turn a program around, and the leadership it takes, the positive leadership and the team unity it takes, and the player leadership just stepping up and knowing how to get a program right and to make each other very accountable. That’s a key work, making everybody accountable on the team and to prepare ourselves to win. I saw that and I saw was so important to make that transition. So, as I move forward as head coach, I implemented those into both programs and both of them took to fruition and both of them had success because of that. I’m very proud of that and that I’m very much qualified to do it again here and I’m just excited about the opportunity because I took the role after I was done at Houston and I went and helped Mike [Stoops] as the associate head coach at Arizona, my role was this, was do the very best job at what you’re doing each and every day. Be the best you can be and don’t worry about anything else, do worry about another offensive coordinator position, don’t worry about getting another head coaching position, just be the best offensive coordinator you can be each and every day and be a good mentor to your players. And I even never tried to get another head coaching job. This is the first head coaching job that I’ve made an effort to get. It was a time in my life where I knew was a really good fit for me and a place that needed us. I feel so positive on what we’re going to accomplish here, things that we’re going to get done, but with a 1-0 concept with really good quality people in the program. And we’re going to take all the evaluation skills that Jim mentioned, all the skills that we have to evaluate talent and to understand how to develop talent. Because there are two things that we have to do really well here, to evaluate and we’re going to have to develop. That’s going to be the strength of our program. We’re going to bring in guys who have great potential, and then we’re going to be known as one of the best developing programs in the country. And the brand that we’re going to have is the same brand that I’ve had everywhere that I’ve been – that our guys are going to play hard and they’re going to be accountable, and that’s the brand we’ve carried with us everywhere that we’ve been. They’re going to line up and play against a UTEP football team, where you’re going to play against a bunch of disciplined and accountable players. And then Jim talked about our philosophies, we’re going to score a lot of points. I’m one of the winningest, if not the winningest offensive coordinators in country since 2011.

 

“My experience as a head coach has helped me to learn that not trying to build a resume by getting 650 yards, but then your defense is there for 100 plays, you’re trying to be as efficient as you can and score a lot of points and have an exciting brand of football. But the bottom line is, and Jim hit it right in the head, the philosophy for us is to score one more point than the defense gives up and that the defense hold them to one less point than the offense scores. So, that’s going to be our philosophy and along the way we’ve averaged 33.5 points over the last seven years and have probably the most efficient offense in college football. If you look at it, we have been that offense where the things that really matter are points per possession, things like that are underlined things that show how efficient you are – red zone offense and third-down offense, all those things that are efficiency measures, K-State is very well regarded. As far as being a spread team, we use every formation imaginable. But two years in a row we were selected the number one spread team in the nation, because we made the defense make the most solo tackles of any offense in the country two years in a row. We’ve had Heisman Trophy finalists in our offense, our offense has set school passing records and school rushing records. Whatever our talent tells us we have, we have an offense that has the ability to play to that talent. So, we’re going to make our offense fit the personnel that we have and we are going to recruit quality characters, but really, we’re going to recruit guys who are smart and they run well. And they’re going to run well and that’s important. You got to have guys who move. And it doesn’t necessarily mean at every position, speed, but you want speed at your skill. We’re going to have guys on the offensive line, guys on the defensive line and guys at the linebacker position run well, and that’s very important for us. Defensively, we’re going to have to be as sound and disciplined as possible but will be aggressive. We’ll try and create as many turnovers as possible, because obviously, the turnovers are going to change a game. So, there’s going to be a big goal for us is to win the turnover margin in each and every game. Offensively, I think we’re number three in the country in turnovers in the last eight years – the least number of turnovers. Defensively, we want to be able to match that by causing a lot of turnovers and that’s going to help us win football games. So, that’s some of the philosophical things that I wanted to visit about with the program.

 

“I can’t’ wait; we’ve already started. I watched, when I did my interview, I watched a lot of the players on film. I already got a good feel for what kind of talent is here. I made sure I did my homework and have a good feel of what these players bring to the table and I’m not going to dwell on the past at all, that’s not anything with what my job is. I learned that in a turnaround, is that coach don’t come in and say that the players that we have now are ‘this and that’. I’m going to evaluate; the staff is going to evaluate what we have as a football team. I’m sure there’s plenty to work with on this football team and I know from the team meeting, there’s plenty of guys who are excited to play and that’s what I’m going to build on. These are my guys and I’m going to grow with them.”

***

Dana Dimel, 55, was previously the head coach at the University of Wyoming and the University of Houston.  He most recently served as the offensive coordinator, running backs coach and tight ends coach at his alma mater, Kansas State University, where he has worked since 2009.  He also spent three seasons on the staff at the University of Arizona.

Dimel is completing his third tour of duty with the Wildcats, including a year (2005) continuing work on his graduate degree.  Working under legendary coach Bill Snyder, he has been a part of 12 bowl teams during 19 seasons in Manhattan.  The Wildcats have posted an 11-win season (2012), two 10-win campaigns (1995, 2011) and five nine-win seasons (1993, 1994, 1996, 2014, 2016) during that span, and have finished in the top-18 of the national poll on three occasions (2011, 2012, 2014).  They won the Big 12 championship in 2012.

Dimel has the most wins of any active offensive coordinator in college football since 2011 (60), and has been a part of eight straight bowl appearances including in 2017. The 2016 Wildcats defeated Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU.

With Dimel calling the plays over the last seven seasons, the Wildcats have averaged 33.4 points per game and 6.2 yards per play.  They have ranked third nationally in fewest turnovers per game behind LSU and Alabama over the last seven years.

During Dimel’s tenure as offensive coordinator, Kansas State has routinely ranked among the nation’s best teams in red zone and third down efficiency.

In 2014, Kansas State led the nation in scoring efficiency (scoring drives/total drives) while shattering the school record for passing yards (3,736) and completion percentage (65.3).

Dimel’s play calling helped wide receiver Tyler Lockett leave K-State with the school’s career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdown records, while quarterback Jake Waters broke the school marks for single-season passing yards (3,501) and total offensive yards (3,985).

In 2012 Dimel coached Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein, who passed for 2,641 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 920 yards and 23 scores.

In 2011, Dimel led a rushing offense that saw Klein set a new Big 12 record and NCAA record by a quarterback with 27 rushing touchdowns while rushing for 1,000+ yards.

Dimel started his career at K-State as a graduate assistant from 1987-88 prior to being elevated to offensive line coach in 1989.  He took over as offensive coordinator in 1995.  Overall Dimel spent 10 seasons in Manhattan (1987-96) prior to accepting the head coaching position at Wyoming.  At the time of his hire, he was the youngest Division I-A head coach in the nation at the age of 34.

Wyoming’s three seasons at Wyoming (1997-99) produced a record of 22-13, with one eight-win season (1998, 8-3) and two seven-win campaigns (1997, 7-6 and 1999, 7-4).  In 1998, Wyoming was 6-2 in the WAC’s Mountain Division (second place).  Dimel coached three Academic All-Americans at Wyoming.

Dimel spent 2000-02 as the head coach at Houston.  Spearheading a major rebuilding effort, he led the Cougars to five wins in 2002 following a 0-11 campaign in 2001.  In Dimel’s final game with the Cougars, Houston upset conference champion Louisville.  Dimel brought in the top-ranked recruiting class in Conference USA in both 2001 and 2002.

He continued work on his graduate degree at Kansas State in 2005 prior to taking over as Arizona’s tight ends coach and, eventually, run game coordinator from 2006-08.  In 2008, he added running backs to his list of responsibilities as he was promoted to Associate Head Coach with the Wildcats.  The 2008 Arizona squad finished 8-5 while posting a bowl victory (Las Vegas Bowl) for the first time in 10 years.  Among Dimel’s protégés at Arizona was Rob Gronkowski, who has emerged as one of the top tight ends in NFL history with the New England Patriots.

During his initial tenure at K-State, Dimel coordinated an offense that established school records for touchdowns, points and yards in 1995. He mentored 11 offensive linemen who went on to sign NFL contracts over those 10 years, as well as three All-Americans.

During his career as a head or assistant coach, Dimel has coached 37 players who have gone on to play in the NFL.

Dimel was a two-year letterman as an offensive lineman at Kansas State.  He was a member of the Wildcats’ All-Decade Team for the 1980’s.  He signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings and attended training camp in 1987.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Kansas State in 1986.

Dimel and his wife, Julie, have a son, Winston and a daughter, Josey.  His son is a junior fullback on the Kansas State football team who has scored 25 touchdowns over the last three seasons.  He is a three-time All-Big 12 player, garnering first team honors in 2015 and 2016.

UTEP Names Dana Dimel Head Football Coach

Dana Dimel was named the 26th head coach in UTEP football history by University President Diana Natalicio and Director of Athletics Jim Senter on Wednesday.

Dimel, 55, was previously the head coach at the University of Wyoming and the University of Houston.  He most recently served as the offensive coordinator, running backs coach and tight ends coach at his alma mater, Kansas State University, where he has worked since 2009.  He also spent three seasons on the staff at the University of Arizona.

UTEP and Coach Dimel are working on a mutually agreeable start date following completion of his coaching responsibilities with Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26 in Phoenix.

 “We welcome coach Dimel, his wife Julie, son Winston and daughter Josey to El Paso,” UTEP President Diana Natalicio said.  “We look forward to an exciting new era of UTEP Football under his leadership.  His prior experience as a head coach at Wyoming and Houston and as offensive coordinator in the turnaround at Kansas State make him a great fit for UTEP and the El Paso community at this time.”

“We are very pleased to find a coach with the talent, expertise and experience of Dana Dimel,” UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.  “He has strong ties to the state of Texas.  He will immediately impact recruiting in the state of Texas and he is a proven winner.”

“I’m greatly looking forward to the opportunity at UTEP to build a program utilizing a ‘1-0’ concept,” Dimel said.  “I would like to thank President Natalicio and Jim Senter for the opportunity.  We will work diligently to elevate UTEP football to the highest level in Conference USA.  Having been a part of a major turnaround at Kansas State and having the success we did at Wyoming, I’m just really excited about the leadership challenge that’s ahead.”

Dimel is completing his third tour of duty with the Wildcats, including a year (2005) continuing work on his graduate degree.  Working under legendary coach Bill Snyder, he has been a part of 12 bowl teams during 19 seasons in Manhattan.  

The Wildcats have posted an 11-win season (2012), two 10-win campaigns (1995, 2011) and five nine-win seasons (1993, 1994, 1996, 2014, 2016) during that span, and have finished in the top-18 of the national poll on three occasions (2011, 2012, 2014).  They won the Big 12 championship in 2012.

Dimel has the most wins of any active offensive coordinator in college football since 2011 (60), and has been a part of eight straight bowl appearances including in 2017. The 2016 Wildcats defeated Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU.  With Dimel calling the plays over the last seven seasons, the Wildcats have averaged 33.4 points per game and 6.2 yards per play. 

They have ranked third nationally in fewest turnovers per game behind LSU and Alabama over the last seven years.   

During Dimel’s tenure as offensive coordinator, Kansas State has routinely ranked among the nation’s best teams in red zone and third down efficiency.

In 2014, Kansas State led the nation in scoring efficiency (scoring drives/total drives) while shattering the school record for passing yards (3,736) and completion percentage (65.3).

Dimel’s play calling helped wide receiver Tyler Lockett leave K-State with the school’s career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdown records, while quarterback Jake Waters broke the school marks for single-season passing yards (3,501) and total offensive yards (3,985).

In 2012 Dimel coached Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein, who passed for 2,641 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 920 yards and 23 scores.

In 2011, Dimel led a rushing offense that saw Klein set a new Big 12 record and NCAA record by a quarterback with 27 rushing touchdowns while rushing for 1,000+ yards.

Dimel started his career at K-State as a graduate assistant from 1987-88 prior to being elevated to offensive line coach in 1989.  He took over as offensive coordinator in 1995.  Overall Dimel spent 10 seasons in Manhattan (1987-96) prior to accepting the head coaching position at Wyoming.  At the time of his hire, he was the youngest Division I-A head coach in the nation at the age of 34.

Wyoming’s three seasons at Wyoming (1997-99) produced a record of 22-13, with one eight-win season (1998, 8-3) and two seven-win campaigns (1997, 7-6 and 1999, 7-4).  In 1998, Wyoming was 6-2 in the WAC’s Mountain Division (second place).  Dimel coached three Academic All-Americans at Wyoming.

Dimel spent 2000-02 as the head coach at Houston.  Spearheading a major rebuilding effort, he led the Cougars to five wins in 2002 following a 0-11 campaign in 2001.  In Dimel’s final game with the Cougars, Houston upset conference champion Louisville.  Dimel brought in the top-ranked recruiting class in Conference USA in both 2001 and 2002.

He continued work on his graduate degree at Kansas State in 2005 prior to taking over as Arizona’s tight ends coach and, eventually, run game coordinator from 2006-08.  In 2008, he added running backs to his list of responsibilities as he was promoted to Associate Head Coach with the Wildcats.

The 2008 Arizona squad finished 8-5 while posting a bowl victory (Las Vegas Bowl) for the first time in 10 years.  Among Dimel’s protégés at Arizona was Rob Gronkowski, who has emerged as one of the top tight ends in NFL history with the New England Patriots.

During his initial tenure at K-State, Dimel coordinated an offense that established school records for touchdowns, points and yards in 1995. He mentored 11 offensive linemen who went on to sign NFL contracts over those 10 years, as well as three All-Americans.

During his career as a head or assistant coach, Dimel has coached 37 players who have gone on to play in the NFL.

Dimel was a two-year letterman as an offensive lineman at Kansas State.  He was a member of the Wildcats’ All-Decade Team for the 1980’s.  He signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings and attended training camp in 1987.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Kansas State in 1986.

Dimel and his wife, Julie, have a son, Winston and a daughter, Josey.  His son is a junior fullback on the Kansas State football team who has scored 25 touchdowns over the last three seasons.  He is a three-time All-Big 12 player, garnering first team honors in 2015 and 2016.

UTEP Men’s Golf Adds Marcus Khaw For 2018-19 Season

UTEP men’s golf head coach Scott Lieberwirth announced the addition of Marcus Khaw for the 2018-19 season.

The Burlington, Ontario, Canada native won a regional championship title with a score of 9-under for 27 holes, which included a round of 7-under at Hidden Lake Golf Course in Ontario. He also finished in fifth place at Provincials.

Khaw said his favorite shot is a small cut from 145 yards with a pitching wedge.

“I chose UTEP because Scott [Lieberwirth] and the boys are great people to be around and that is very important to me,” Khaw said. “The campus looks cool with the clay roofs and athletic facilities are sweet.”

UTEP Rally Falls Short at Arkansas State 76-73

JONESBORO, Ar.- Tamara Seda (19 points, 16 rebounds), Najala Howell (17 points) and Roeshonda Patterson (career-high 17 points) all reached double figures in scoring but UTEP was edged at Arkansas State, 76-73, Tuesday evening.

The Red Wolves (4-4) set opponent season highs for points (76) and field-goal percentage (49.2) to help them rally past the Miners (5-2). UTEP led 44-36 at the half but A-State used a huge third quarter (24-11) to surge into the lead and the Miners could never recover. They went down fighting, though, whittling a nine-point deficit (72-63) down to three on a pair of occasions but couldn’t quite complete the comeback.

The Orange and Blue connected on 42.9 percent (27-63) from the floor while also winning the boards (43-27) but couldn’t get enough stops to pull off the win. UTEP’s 73 points establish a season high.

Seda has now recorded five straight double-doubles, the longest such streak by a Miner in non-conference play since at least 1982-83 (prior records incomplete).

“It was a strange game because it felt like we had it under control but they shot the ball incredibly well,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “We had too many turnovers in the first half. In the second half we only had five. They kind of crept back in the game. Once they got the lead we never could get it back.”

UTEP jumped out to a 10-5 lead halfway through the first quarter before the visitors responded to get within one (12-11) with 3:18 to play in the period. Jordan Alexander halted the surge with a steal and score, followed by an old-fashioned three-point play from Howell to make it 17-11 with 1:40 to play in the stanza. The margin remained six (21-15) heading to second quarter, with UTEP’s 21 points marking its highest scoring output in the opening frame this season.

The Miners’ margin hit double figures (27-17) for the first time of the night on a lay-up by Seda with 8:14 left in the half. It was an eight-point game (37-29) with three minutes left in the quarter before Arkansas State tallied seven straight points to cut UTEP’s advantage down to one (37-36, 1:05 2Q).

UTEP took the blow in stride, responding with a half-closing 7-0 run to surge into the locker room up by eight (44-36). Patterson was instrumental in the sequence, scoring the first five points of the run before setting up Howell’s lay-up with five seconds left in the half.

Arkansas State opened up the third quarter on an 8-2 run to cut the Miners’ lead down to two (46-44). UTEP used back-to-back baskets to get some breathing room, and it was up by six (52-46) with 4:49 to play in the quarter.

A-State picked up its play at both ends of the court, allowing it to close the period on a 14-3 push to secure a five-point lead (60-55) heading to the fourth quarter.

The home side extended its lead to nine on two occasions in the fourth quarter, including being up 72-63 with 3:55 to play. The Miners regrouped and scored four straight points-all on free throws by Howell- to inch within five (72-67).

After A-State extended the margin back to seven a Seda free throw and Howell jumper made it a four-point game (74-70) with 51 seconds left.

A-State split a pair of free throws before UTEP used a transition basket from Seda to make it a three-point contest (75-72) with 15 seconds left. The Miners nearly came up with a steal on the inbounds play before fouling.

The Red Wolves missed the first but hit the second to essentially put the game away.

The Miners will be back in action when they play at I-10 rival NM State at 2 p.m. MST Sunday. The game will be broadcast locally in El Paso on 600 ESPN El Paso while also being shown live on Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Arizona PLUS.

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UTEP’s Hernandez Named to C-USA First Team

Senior Will Hernandez was named to the All-Conference USA first team, the league announced on Tuesday.

Hernandez is the first Miner to receive consecutive all-conference first team honors since Quintin Demps (2006 & 2007). The Las Vegas, Nevada, native is also the first UTEP offensive lineman to receive back-to-back first team recognition.

The All-American started in all 49 games played during his career at the left guard position. Hernandez was named to the 2017 AP Midseason All-America team and 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List. He also earned an invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl. The captain was appointed UTEP Offensive Player of the Year voted by the team.

Under his guidance the Miners 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.

Julian Jackson, Alvin Jones, Kalon Beverly, Devin Cockrell, Nik Needham, Alan Luna and Jake Sammut received All-C-USA honorable mentions.

UTEP Professor Awarded Fellowship to Travel to Israel

Eric Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, has been awarded the opportunity to study at the Winter Faculty Fellowship Program in Israel.

For two weeks, Smith will travel throughout Israel to engage in networking opportunities.

“This faculty fellowship to Israel is a wonderful opportunity to interface with a country which is now as competitive as Silicon Valley in terms of tech startups,” Smith said. “The potential to tap into a broader space of opportunities is what led me to apply for this faculty fellowship. With this travel experience to Israel, I will gain friends and connections with leaders in academia, industry and government, as well as knowledge and the understanding of Israeli culture.”

Smith is one of 23 professors from universities and colleges throughout the United States participating in the fellowship, which is fully funded through the Jewish National Fund and Media Watch International.

This opportunity provides a dynamic, academically productive experience by linking university professors with professionals involved in government, industry, education, media and other sectors to understand the many facets of Israel’s evolving national and international policies.

Participants also will gain a deeper knowledge of Israel as a startup nation, its success in water innovation, and how the country addresses regional and global challenges.

By linking scholars from diverse disciplines with their Israeli counterparts at major institutions, the aim of the fellowship is to initiate academic collaborations. It will cover topics including academic exchange, networking and collaboration, science and technology, history and law, and democracy and human rights.

Along with UTEP, other U.S. schools represented during the 2017 trip include Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University and Baylor University.

$1.2M Grant Provides Personalized Approach to Advising at UTEP

The University of Texas at El Paso is among five University of Texas System institutions to receive a share of $8.2 million allocated by the UT System Board of Regents to fund innovative campus-based projects designed to enhance student success.

UTEP was awarded $1.2 million to implement a new holistic, cohort-based advising model. In alignment with the UTEP Edge – the cross-campus culture of student success – grant funds for this initiative will be used to strategically redesign advising campuswide to deliver centralized, cohort-based advising that is:

  • Initiated in the UTEP Academic Advising Center (through a student’s first 45 credit hours)
  • Completed in their discipline-specific college advising center
  • Focused on both academic and financial elements of a student’s career
  • Dedicated to promoting and elevating students’ engagement in high-impact practices

High-impact practices include research and scholarly activity, on-campus student employment, community engagement, capstone experience, creative activity, learning communities, internships, student leadership opportunities, study abroad/study away, and first-year experience.

“UTEP’s advising redesign will provide each student with seamless, personalized support through an integrated approach, from admissions to graduation,” said Heather Smith, associate vice president for academic affairs at UTEP. “This integrated approach is designed to enhance UTEP’s culture of care by bridging students’ academic, financial and social realities, which will increase students’ retention, decrease time to degree, and enhance post-graduation success.”

UTEP will use a structured, individualized framework to shape the academic and co-curricular plan for each student, based on the student’s unique characteristics (interests, aspirations and commitments).

The plans will be developed during students’ first-semester enrollment and will be designed to empower students to cultivate their assets and create pathways to degree completion. Success will be measured by retention during the critical first term and first year.

UTEP advisers will utilize statistical insights and advanced advising tools that have been developed and piloted throughout the last decade.

“The new approach to advising focuses on understanding each student’s situation and providing the right conditions for every student’s individual success,” Smith said. “In doing so, we will be in a position to provide support for all students, especially those from historically underserved populations.This new approach is a fundamental change in how we think about student success and UTEP’s role within this process.”

It has been 30 years since UTEP’s Academic Advising Center was established. The UT System grant provides the opportunity to reimagine its mission and vision, add six positions over the next three years and implement the new holistic advising models to better serve students.

Miners Down UNM 88-76 Saturday Night at the Don

Omega Harris scored a career-high 28 points and missed two shots all night, as UTEP ended a six-game losing streak with an 88-76 victory over long-time rival New Mexico on Saturday in the Haskins Center.

The Miners (2-6), coming off a 1-6 November, got the month off to a great start.  UTEP will be home for all seven games in December, including the first two Conference USA contests versus North Texas (Dec. 28) and Rice (Dec. 30).

“We just got a great effort really from everybody,” Interim Head Coach Phil Johnson said.  “We had a really intense practice yesterday and today.  We had to clean up a lot of things from the New Mexico State game [Thursday], and shot selection and not guarding and not getting back and all those things.  I give our guys a ton of credit for adjusting and putting into the game the things that we worked on yesterday and today in film.  All of the things that we did, it got into the game.  And a lot of times it doesn’t.”

The Miners only trailed once at 2-0.  A 13-2 run extended a 16-15 lead to 29-17.  Kobe Magee, who had the best game of his young UTEP career with 16 points off the bench, scored seven points during the run.

UTEP matched its largest lead of the half when it went to the locker room up 45-31.  The Miners had some problems with the Lobos’ defensive pressure to start the second half and the lead was trimmed to 45-38.  New Mexico (3-5) pulled within five at 61-56 on two free throws by Chris McNeal with 10:15 remaining, capping an 11-2 run.  But the Miners scored the next five points to push the lead back to 10 and were in command the rest of the way.

“Give them credit.  Their intensity picked up in the second half big-time,” Johnson said.  “That’s why we had a little more trouble with the press, just because their athleticism and effort picked up.  But at the end of the day Kobe Magee, man what a floor game he had.  And I told Omega in the locker room, ‘Welcome back.  Welcome back Omega.’  That’s the guy that we recruited four years ago.”

Harris made 9-of-11 shots, all four of his three-point attempts and all six of his free throws.  He moved into 25th place on UTEP’s all-time scoring list and, for the first time this season, looked like himself after dealing with a troublesome back in the early going.

“I didn’t have anything to do with it honestly.  I had zero to do with it,” Johnson said.  “He just played.  You know, I kind of got on him the other day.  I said ‘You know, this isn’t you man.  This isn’t Omega Harris that we’re watching play.’  He has been in a funk and then he broke out tonight.  And his shots were in balance.  He kicks his foot out, he gets a lot of shots off balance.  Tonight everything was in balance except for his turnover in front of our bench with about 1:50 [left] and up by 12.  That’s not a good play.  But other than that, I thought he did a really nice job.  And one turnover in 34 minutes out of Omega is big-time.”

Magee gave the Miners a big-time spark, particularly in the first half when he scored 11 points.

“Listen, he’s a good player,” Johnson said.  “His floor game was really good.  It got a little shakier in the second half with three turnovers, but the first half was really flawless.  It was a real fine line to stay aggressive against the press.  You’ve got to go attack the score.  And then when you don’t have the right look to bring it out and have the poise to know what is the difference, what’s a good shot and not a good shot.  And in the New Mexico State game, we didn’t.  We just cranked it from anywhere, anytime, one pass.  That was really the downfall for us the other night, was turnovers and bad shots and tonight that got better in both areas.”

The Miners shot 53.7 percent from the field, made nine threes and connected on 21-of-27 free throws.  And they didn’t let New Mexico go berserk from three-point range.  The Lobos finished 11-for-31 from beyond the arc.

“Right from the very start, we wanted to make sure we got to them on the three-point line,” Johnson said.  “You have to help to the drive.  Obviously [Sam] Logwood is a load.  He is one stout guy.  And he can really drive and he’s physical.  So we brought really only one helper to him and tried to stay to their shooters.  That wasn’t perfect either.  But the key was getting out to them and running them off the three-point line ,and we did a pretty solid job of that.”

Keith Frazier (16 points), Isiah Osborne (10) and Paul Thomas (10) joined Harris and Magee in double figures.  The small Miners were competitive on the boards, getting outrebounded 37-33.

“You know, it’s really amazing that we started four guards and really played four guards the entire game, four perimeter players, and then Paul Thomas or Tirus Smith at the five,” Johnson said.  “And we even put Jake [Flaggert] at the five for about eight minutes.  So we had five guards in the game.  It was just effort, really, and gang rebounding, rebound down from the top, don’t stand and watch, go get it no matter what and team rebound.  Just looking at Keith Frazier with seven [rebounds] and Isiah Osborne with eight, is big-time.  Those are two perimeter guys going out and getting 15 rebounds.  That’s awesome.”

Logwood led New Mexico with 22 points.  McNeal, averaging a team-leading 16.6 points per game coming in, was limited to nine points and only one field goal.

The Miners will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 9 against Washington State in the Haskins Center.  Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. MT and tickets are available by calling (915) 747-5234.

Photos by Andres Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post

Miners Rally to Beat HBU 69-62

Senior Tamara Seda recorded her fourth straight double-double (18 points, 16 rebounds) while junior Najala Howell poured in a season-high tying 19 points to help lead UTEP to a 69-62 victory against HBU at the Don Haskins Center Saturday afternoon.

The Huskies (2-4) led 31-26 at the half but the Miners (5-1) came alive after the break to post the come-from-behind win to close out the season-opening six-game homestand in style. The game featured eight ties and seven lead changes, with the final one coming down the stretch when UTEP peeled off nine straight points-all on treys- to turn a one-point deficit (57-56) into their largest lead of the contest (65-57). HBU scored the next five points but the Miners put the game out of reach with a Jordan Alexander jumper with 21 seconds to play.

“Our energy wasn’t very good in the first half and Houston Baptist really punished us for that,” UTEP head coach Kevin Baker said. “They played well and built a lead. We really challenged them hard in the locker room at half time. Our kids really responded to that. I’m really proud of our team. I wish we would have played a little better quarters one through four but I’ll certainly take their energy and activity that they played with in the fourth.”

UTEP set season highs for 3-pointers made (10), attempted (21) and percentage (47.6), including going 6-8 from distance in the final frame to help complete the comeback. The Miners also won the boards (44-32) while holding HBU to 38.1 percent (24-63) from the floor, including 19.0 percent (4-21) from distance.

Sophomore Roeshonda Patterson provided a spark off the bench with a career-high matching 11 points to join Howell and Seda in double figures. Freshman Jordan Jenkins pitched in a personal-best six points to go along with six assists.

HBU was led by Amanda Johnson’s 26 points.

The visitors jumped out to an early 6-3 lead before UTEP responded with a 9-1 run to secure a 12-7 advantage with 4:01 to play in the first quarter. The Huskies quickly cut the deficit to one (12-11) but UTEP finished the period strong and led 17-11 through 10 minutes of action. The Miners connected on 63.6 percent (7-11) from the floor in the frame, with six assists on their seven field goals.

It was a different story in the second quarter, with the visitors turning up the heat defensively while finding some rhythm on offense. The result was a 20-9 frame in favor of HBU, which included a 13-2 surge late in the half to grab a 31-23 advantage. UTEP ended the run with a high-arching 3-pointer from Patterson that made it a 31-26 game at the half.

The deficit remained five (38-33) with 6:19 to play in the third quarter before UTEP started to slowly but surely claw its way back into the game. They did so at the free-throw line, going 10-12 in the quarter on the way to evening the score (45-45) heading to the fourth quarter.

Katarina Zec drilled a long triple at the start of the final frame to give the Miners their first lead (48-45) since the first half. Faith Cook followed that with a pull-up jumper and suddenly the home side led by five (50-45). HBU struck back with a 5-0 run of its own to forge the seventh tie of the tilt.

After the Huskies snuck back into the lead (57-56), UTEP answered with three straight triples to fuel a 9-0 run and vault ahead by a score of 65-57. Jenkins sunk the first one before consecutive treys by Howell.

HBU wasn’t done, though, using a layup by Johnson and a 3-pointer from Britta Daub to make it a one possession game (65-62). The Orange and Blue kept their composure and ran a good set to give Alexander a wide-open look from the wing. She drilled the jumper, affording the Miners some much-needed breathing room (67-62) with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

UTEP got a couple stops down the stretch and a sunk two more free throws to close out the contest in style.

The Miners will return to action at Arkansas State at 4 p.m. MST Tuesday. It is the first road contest of the year for the Orange and Blue and fans may stay informed by following @UTEPWBB on Twitter for timely updates

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UTEP President Honored by Mexican Agency for Promoting Equality

UTEP President Diana Natalicio has been recognized by Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination, or Consejo Nacional para Prevenir La Discriminación (CONAPRED), with the 2017 Reconocimiento por la Igualdad y la No Discriminación, or Recognition for Equality and Non-Discrimination.

This recognition has been awarded since 2006 to people who have worked to further human rights, equality and non-discrimination. The Consultative Assembly of the organization selected President Natalicio as the award recipient in the international category for her efforts to make a college education accessible to Mexican students and for promoting equality and inclusion at UTEP.

“CONAPRED celebrates Dr. Natalicio’s contributions in a prosperous and diverse border community such as Ciudad Juárez and El Paso,” Mónica Lizaola, technical secretary of the consultant assembly, said in Spanish.

The award has four categories: national, international, institutional and posthumous. Past award recipients in the international category include Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and education and women’s rights activist; Sylvia Mendez, a civil rights activist in education inclusion whose family fought to end segregation in California in the 1940s; and Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights and the first female president of Ireland.

“Since our founding, UTEP has enjoyed a dynamic and enduring relationship with Mexico,” President Natalicio said. “We are proud to have consistently enrolled the largest number of Mexican students among all U.S. universities, and we strive to ensure that Mexican students on our campus are encouraged and resourced to reach their full potential. UTEP’s faculty and staff are deeply committed to our access and excellence mission — fostering an inclusive environment and creating high value-added opportunities for all our students, regardless of their backgrounds or financial means. I am deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire UTEP team, and I thank CONAPRED for this recognition of UTEP’s innovative and impactful work.”

CONAPRED is a Mexican federal agency created by the Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination in 2003 with the purpose of preventing discrimination in Mexico.

President Natalicio was honored at a ceremony in Mexico City on November 28.

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