Today, it was officially announced that new UTEP football coach Sean Kugler would retain Brian Natkin, Robert Rodriguez, Gabe Franklin, and Nate Poss as part of his coaching staff in 2013.
Natkin will stick around as the tight end coach and recruiting coordinator for the Miners. He, of course, played tight end for UTEP from 1997-2000, and is one of only two consensus All Americans that the program has ever had.
Rodriguez will coach linebackers, which is the same position that he's held since 2010. Also a former player here at UTEP, Rodriguez still ranks 4th all time in tackles, and is widely considered one of the best to ever play the position for the Miners.
Franklin will remain the defensive backs coach for the Miners, after coaching cornerbacks for the last two seasons. He's now been with the program for the three years, and has also had stops at Bishop O'Dowd High School (CA), California, and San Diego.
The final holdover for the 2013 UTEP football staff will be Nate Poss, who has served as Assistant Athletic Director of Football Operations since 1997.
Here are some comments about these coaches from coach Kugler:
"Brian is one of the greatest players in UTEP history...I had an opportunity to see Brian work as a player and have watched him develop as a coach...He has great character, work ethic and he's an outstanding person. When I first got the job, I knew Brian was going to be one of the coaches I was going to keep here on staff because I respect him so much."
"Robert, to me, is another self-made guy...He's a hard worker. He's from here in town. I admired his work ethic and attitude when he was a player here. He has developed into a great coach. He has worked at it. He's a high character guy that we're excited to keep on our staff."
"Gabe is an outstanding young coach and recruiter...He is very intelligent and a very good teacher. He fits in that mold with Natkin, Rodriguez and [defensive line coach Andrew] Browning, bringing us good youth and energy. He has done an outstanding job this year recruiting guys and hanging on to the commitments that we have. I'm excited about working with him."
Overall, I'm pleased with the guys that coach Kugler has retained as assistants. Brian Natkin and Robert Rodriguez are sons of this program, and are two of the best to ever suit up for the Miners. They're absolute perfect fits. While I'm not completely familiar with coach Franklin, he seems like a great coach and recruiter, and should also be a good fit with the team and staff.