UTEP Men’s Basketball Coach Tim Floyd announced his retirement on Monday following the Miners’ game versus Lamar at the Don Haskins Center.
“I want to say this. I have coached for 42 years, and I love this school,” Floyd said. “My father played here. Nobody wants to win here more than I do. And I have coached at this university for 16 years. And I think it’s time for somebody else to have the opportunity to have the joy that I’ve had, the agony that I’ve had, the acclaim that I have had, and the heartbreak that I’ve had in my career. I want what’s best for this school. I want what’s best as they move forward.”
“This seems like a great time with a new athletic director, for him to evaluate Phil Johnson, Bobby Braswell, this program where it is, and try to make a decision on what he thinks is best for this program as it moves forward. I want to thank Dr. Natalicio for giving me the opportunity to coach here. Richard Adauto, who I consider a friend, has done a great job. He has given us everything we have asked for. I want to thank Bob Stull and Chris Park for believing in me and what we tried to do.
“When we came here seven years ago, we inherited a team with 11 seniors. The following year we had two guys back in Gabe McCulley and John Bohannon. We had to try to rebuild it from scratch and we got to 22 and 23 wins and I can’t even explain what’s happened here in the last three or four years in the new world of college basketball, from some of our signees not showing up to some people that we tried to rely on that might have left early, to injuries, and they have continued to happen.
“I’m always going to pull for this school, I’m always going to pull for these players. This is a great, great, great place. My family has told me that they feel like it’s time. I’ve had some issues of my own here in the last two and a half weeks, three weeks. And I’m going to be fine. But I wanted to coach my last game at this university. And I appreciate the fact that we got an opportunity to do that.”
Floyd closes out his collegiate coaching career with a record of 466-279, and a 138-99 mark at UTEP. He previously was the head coach at Idaho (1986-88), New Orleans (1988-94), Iowa State (1994-98) and USC (2005-09) prior to returning to UTEP as head coach for the 2010-11 season. He was an assistant coach under Don Haskins at UTEP from 1978-86.
Floyd’s teams made eight NCAA Tournament appearances and five trips to the NIT. He was also head coach of the Chicago Bulls (1998-2002) and the New Orleans Hornets (2003-04) in the NBA.
“I’m through, I’ve retired as of today,” Floyd said. “This is my last game as a coach. I’m going to move forward with my life. You know, I heard Bobby Bowden say one time, and I thought it was the most beautiful quote that I’d ever heard, that he didn’t want to retire, that every weekend of his life had been an event. And then after you retire, there’s only one event left, and he wasn’t looking forward to that event. I thought that was a hell of a line. But you know what, I’m going to try to enjoy the next chapter of it, just like I have this.
“I feel like the most blessed guy in the world. I have had the most incredible, incredible opportunities and have worked with some great, great players. And I go back here to Jim Bowden and Don Haskins giving me an opportunity, and I’ll forevermore be grateful for that. It changed my life and I think people outside this part of the world don’t understand what a great, great city this is and what a great basketball job this is.”
The Miners finished 75-43 in Conference USA play under Floyd, with top three finishes on four occasions in seven full seasons (tied for second 2010-11, third 2012-13, tied for second 2014-15, tied for third 2016-17). He ranks second in UTEP history in victories and has coached the second-most games of any UTEP coach (237).
“This is the right time. I know it’s the right time,” Floyd said. “I love these kids, they know I love them. And I appreciate the kids and their parents in this new age of college basketball, who have hung in there and understood that adversity is a good thing and fighting through it sometimes is a better thing. But I don’t know that any program has dealt with more than we have here in the last three or four years at this level. It has been incredibly difficult to keep fighting the fight.”
As far as the game, Lamar made 9-of-14 three-point shots in the first half in blowing out to a 20-point lead, and a late rally by UTEP came up short as the Miners fell to the Cardinals, 66-52, on Monday at the Don Haskins Center.
“First of all, I’m really proud of our guys’ effort in the second half,” UTEP coach Tim Floyd said. “They went and fought and competed and I think they held the other group to 25 percent [shooting] in the second half. We didn’t come out right. We understand that. We have had a lot of adversity here in the last week or so.”
Joey Frenchwood made four three-pointers in the first half and Zjori Bosha made three for the Cardinals (5-1), who improved to 2-0 on the road this season with victories at Tulsa and UTEP. The Miners never led after falling behind 13-0 in the first three minutes.
UTEP was only down nine (24-15) when Kobe Magee hit a three-pointer with 8:52 remaining in the half. But the Cardinals used a 14-3 run to push their advantage to 20 (38-18).
Lamar was comfortably in front the entire second half, despite a frantic finish that saw the Miners (1-5) pull within nine points with 39 seconds left. UTEP utilized a 15-4 run to trim a 20-point deficit down to 61-52.
Trey Wade, returning to the lineup after missing a game with a hyperextended knee, was the only UTEP player in double figures with 13 points.
Bosha scored 18 points, Josh Nzeakor 15, Frenchwood 12 and Colton Weisbrod 11 for the Cardinals. Lamar shot 39 percent from the field to UTEP’s 33.3 percent, and the Cardinals outscored the Miners 14-7 in points off turnovers.
Video courtesy UTEP Athletics | Photos Gallery by Andres Acosta, Chief Photographer, El Paso Herald-Post