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UTEP Looking at Sam Houston Assistant Stoker to Replace Choate

Even though there is still yet to be an official announcement from UTEP officials as to the departure of defensive coordinator Jeff Choate, reports are already surfacing of the Miners replacing him with Sam Houston State defensive coordinator Scott Stoker.

As was first reported yesterday by Pete Roussel of www.coachingsearch.com, UTEP's top target to take over the defensive coordinator duties is current Sam Houston State DC and linebackers coach Scott Stoker. That has been confirmed by MinerRush.

In his time with the Bearkats, Stoker has had quite a successful run, making his defense tops in the Southland Conference in back to back years, and also helping his team to FCS national title game appearances in each of those campaigns.

Stoker was named the Football Championship Subdivision "defensive coordinator of the year" by footballscoop.com following his unit's performance in 2012, and the coach also has proved to be a great recruiter in Texas and Louisiana.

Prior to taking the defensive reigns at Sam Houston State, Stoker was an assistant on both sides of the ball at McNeese State (1994-2002), and also spent seven years as the head coach at Northwestern State, compiling a 43-38 record.

Stoker seems to be a great candidate for the job, perhaps an even better one than Choate was. Of course, we'll never get to know how good of a defensive mind Choate actually was, but its nice to get a guy with a quality resume like that of Stoker.

As of this morning, no deal is in place, but it does seem like Stoker is the top candidate, and perhaps one of the only candidates for the job. We should expect to hear more on this very soon. Make sure to stay tuned to MinerRush for more on this and all things UTEP sports.