The Kugler File:
Born: 8/9/66 (46 yrs old)
Hometown: Lockport, New York
Alma Matter: UTEP 1989
Children: Robert (19), Patrick (17), Kali (11)
After 9 seasons at the helm of the UTEP football program, Mike Price turned around a team that was slowly spiraling down. After two consecutive bowl appearances, this Miner team decided to go south again. Price had not had a winning season since 2006. While Price only had two winning seasons with the Miners he still posted three bowl seasons and second in wins in his time at UTEP. Coming into last season, almost everyone knew that Price's time was up. It was time to turn to a new direction.
While the coaching search took a little under a month, Miner fans everywhere were throwing names out of possible head coaches that they would love to see. The players and Mike Price himself even endorsed former Defensive Coordinator Andre Patterson to take over. While the list was endless, Stull kept his promise of hiring a head coach by Christmas at the latest.
Sean Kugler was signed as the replacement for Mike Price and it is easy to see why he was chosen. Kugler was a four year letterman for the Miners from 1985 to 1988, playing for current Athletic Director Bob Stull. His position coach while at UTEP is current Philadelphia Head Coach Andy Reid. Kugler was signed as a free agent by the Steelers in 1989. Kugler would go on to become a coach for Tampa Bay Vo-Tech High School from 1990 to 1991. Kugler would have one more playing stint with the Sacramento Surge, which lasted only one season. Kugler then coached Gaither High School for one season in 1992 before returning to his alma mater in 1993. Kugler stayed with the Miners until 2000 and in his time he held the positions of graduate assistant, Tight Ends and Offensive Line coach. Kugler went on to coach the Detroit Lions from 2001-2005 as Tight Ends and Offensive Line coach. In 2006, Kugler returned to college football as the assistant coach of the Boise State Broncos. That season the Broncos posted a 13-0 record and a victory in the Fiesta Bowl over the Oklahoma Sooners. From 2007-2009 Kugler coached the Buffalo Bills as the Offensive Line coach. Kugler has been with the Steelers since 2010 as the offensive line coach.
As impressive of a resume that Coach Kugler has, the one thing that remains a big deal is the fact that he has never held a Head Coaching job or a Coordinator job. If it is one thing that we have learned from the press conference was that he is ready for the challenge ahead of him. "I just love coaching football, it is a challenge at every level and i am looking forward to it" stated Sean Kugler on taking over the reins of the UTEP program.
Kugler made it known at the press conference that there is no where he would rather be than here at UTEP. He mentioned in the conference that as soon as he knew there was a job opening that it was going to be his job. Kugler displayed so much love for a city that basically helped create his playing and coaching career. "I am glad to be back in El Paso, this is a second home to me."
As far as the other assistant coaches, Kugler stated that there have been no hires despite the rumors circulating. He also informed us that while he is the head coach, he has not signed the contract. Kugler stated that he has coaches in mind to be apart of his coaching staff and some of those are coming from Mike Price's staff. While he still needs to hire his coaches, Kugler noted that he will not be running any of the plays. "I will not be a coordinator, i trust my coaches and i will let them do their jobs." Kugler also went on to state his styles of offense and defense we will see with the 2013 Miners. As far as the offense is concerned, Kugler would like to see a two back system and an offense similar to Boise State. On the defensive side of the ball we should expect to see a 3-4 package as well as a nickle 4-2. "Being an O-Line coach, i do believe that it all starts up front." Kugler knows that we will not be able to have an effective offense without a productive O-Line.
After meeting with the players this morning, he wanted all of them to know that he is buying into this UTEP program knowing that the skill is there. He informed them that the best guys will play and that they will become well conditioned. Kugler also let the players know that he can sympathize with the players emotions since he has a son going through the same at the University of Purdue. "If anyone ever wanted to talk to me my door is always open" stated Kugler on the mixed emotions of his new players. Kugler also let everyone know during the press conference that while he is our new head coach, he still has an obligation to his Steelers who are in the midst of a playoff run. Kugler finished his speech letting us all know that El Paso is his second home and that he is very happy with the advancements that the university has made.
Senior Offensive Lineman Brander Craighead agreed that Coach Kugler has what its going to take to bring UTEP to its glory days of the 80s. Craighead also mentioned how he was going to dissect Coach Kugler's mind for any and all techniques to make him a better player. Brander also felt that Coach Kugler will be the X-Factor to help him get over the edge and be the best offensive lineman he can be.
Sophomore LaQuintus Dowell was also available for comment. Dowell felt that the change from a one back to two back would benefit him and future running backs in the long run to get more touches and opportunities to help score. He also felt that running a two back offense will confuse other defenses with the multitudes of different opportunities such as motions. He feels very confident this team behind Kugler's leadership will succeed.