Today, former NFL player Todd Whitten was added to the new UTEP football coaching staff. Whitten, who has been coaching for roughly 25 years, will take over as the wide receivers coach for the Miners.
Whitten is a 1997 graduate of Stephen F. Austin University. The quarterback's name is still written in the record books there as he ranks second in school history in both passing yards and touchdowns.
Upon graduating, he spent a season with the New England Patriots, and as a standout baseball player, he was also drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies.
After his playing days were up, Whitten took to the sidelines as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech in 1988, then moved on to coach quarterbacks at New Mexico State from 1990-1993, and then had a stop here in El Paso as the running backs coach at UTEP from 1994-1995.
Following his stint with the Miners, Whitten spent a year as the head man at Tarleton State, where he would also hold the same position from 2000-2004. In between, he spent time as offensive coordinator at Wyoming from 1997-1998, and then at Sam Houston State in 1999.
In 2005, after five years as the head coach at Tarleton State, Whitten was named the head coach at Sam Houston State. He spent five years as the coach of the Bearkats, leading them to two 2nd place finishes in the Southland Conference. Whitten compiled a 70-52 record in his 11 years as a head coach.
After his stay at Sam Houston State, Whitten became the offensive coordinator at Lamar for two years, and most recently, in 2012, he coached Arlington Heights High School in the Forth Worth area.
Coach Kugler had this to say about Whitten:
"Coach Whitten has been a successful head coach at the Division I-AA and Division II levels...He has also been a coordinator at the Division I level. He brings a lot of experience. He has a great background recruiting in Texas. He's going to recruit West Texas and North Texas for us. I think he'll have a great relationship with those coaches, having dealt with them for an extended period of time. He is an extremely intelligent coach with a lot of experience. He and Spencer Leftwich were college teammates, and the chemistry that they'll bring is awesome."
It seems like coach Kugler made another great hire in bringing in Todd Whitten. He's a guy that has experience not only as an assistant and a coordinator, but the guy has also been a head coach for more than 10 years.
He knows Texas, he's coached high school in Texas, and he's spent plenty of time in this area over his career. Mentioning the chemistry that he's already got with coach Leftwich is just the icing on the cake. If he can recruit Texas, and recruit it well, this guy is an absolute steal.