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UTEP Athletics Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Class

Orsten Artis, Harrington Jackson, Gerina Mendoza (Piller), Brian Natkin and Mack Saxon compose the 14th induction class into the UTEP Athletic Hall of Fame.

They will be honored at the induction banquet on Friday, Oct. 7at the Larry K. Durham Sports Center, as well as at the UTEP football team’s Oct. 8 home game versus FIU.

Artis, who lettered for the Texas Western College men’s basketball team from 1963-66, posted a double-figure scoring average all three years and was the third-leading scorer on the 1966 national championship team.

In 82 games for the Miners, Artis averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 rebounds, shooting 45 percent from the field and 77.1 percent from the line. He collected 12.6 ppg during the Miners’ history-making 1966 campaign and scored in double figures in all five NCAA Tournament games, including 22 points in the semifinals versus Utah and 15 against Kentucky in the title game.

Artis was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jackson, who ran track at UTEP from 1970-72, set the standard as the school’s first national champion in the sprints.  He took first in the 100-yard dash at the 1971 NCAA Outdoor Meet.

Harrington accomplished this remarkable athletic record after serving the United States with honor on the battlefields of Vietnam.  He was ranked #2 in the IAAF world rankings in the 100 in 1970, and #7 in 1971.  He held the indoor world record in the 60-yard dash with a time of 5.93 seconds in 1971.  He was a six-time WAC champion.

After leaving UTEP, he held indoor world records in the 60 and 70-yard dashes and was rated #3 in the world in the 100.  He is a member of the UTEP Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Mendoza, a UTEP women’s golf standout from 2003-07, was the Conference USA individual champion and Player of the Year her senior year.  She won four tournaments that year and led C-USA with a 73.1 scoring average.

Mendoza’s hard work on the course resulted in her lowering his scoring average every year (81.0 as a freshman, 78.8 as a sophomore, 76.8 as a junior, 73.1 as a senior).  She was a 2007 NCAA Regionals participant.  Mendoza is a currently playing on the LPGA Tour and has about $2.6 million in career earnings.

Natkin, a member of the UTEP football team from 1997-2000, became UTEP’s second consensus All-American and first unanimous All-American as a senior.  He was selected first team All-America eight times that year while leading all tight ends nationally in receptions (64) and yards (787).  He converted 46 receptions (71.4 percent) for first downs as a senior.

Natkin earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1998 after notching 34 catches for 362 yards.  He closed out his career with 172 receptions for 1,934 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Natkin was with two NFL teams (Tennessee and St. Louis) before embarking on a coaching career that ultimately took him back to UTEP.

He is currently the Miners’ tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.  He is a member of UTEP’s Centennial Football Team.

Saxon is the winningest coach in UTEP football history with 66 victories.  He compiled a 66-43-9 mark over 13 seasons (1929-41).  Saxon led Texas College of the Mines to its first bowl bid, the 1937 Sun Bowl.  He coached the school’s first All-Americans in Ken Heineman, Barry Pennington and Owen Price.  Heineman and Price were both first team selections.

The Miners won seven games four times under his direction – in 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1937.  He and Mike Brumbelow are the only coaches in school history to direct the team to four seven-win campaigns.  Overall Saxon compiled eight winning seasons and four seasons with only one loss (1929, 1930, 1931, 1937) while facing teams like Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.

Saxon also served as the Miners’ athletic director, as well as men’s basketball and baseball coach.  He passed away in 1949.

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

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