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UTEP football: UTEP legend accepts assistant coaching job with Minnesota Vikings

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Robert Rodriguez took one giant step into the NFL coaching ranks, landing an assistant gig with the Minnesota Vikings.

A former UTEP great will now be roaming the sidelines and following his dreams in the NFL.

Robert Rodriguez, one of the greatest linebackers in UTEP history and current UTEP assistant coach has left the program to take an assistant coaching job with the Minnesota Vikings

Rodriguez will join Mike Zimmer's staff in Minnesota along with former UTEP defensive coordinator Andre Patterson who is the Vikings' defensive line coach.

He will be an assistant to Patterson working with the defensive line, he has worked with linebackers, safeties, and this past season worked with the improved UTEP defensive line during his tenure as an assistant at UTEP.

Rodriguez also worked as a special teams assistant this past season.

The proud El Pasoan had a major hand in guiding UTEP's top tacklers from 2011-13 working with the linebackers and safeties during that period, and also coached one of the nation's top kick returners last season into a 27.6 per return average.

Ranking among the top five tacklers in UTEP school history, Rodriguez spent four seasons playing professionally and tells us he is grateful for the opportunity to grow his coaching skills under the tutelage of the great Mike Zimmer.

No word yet or roster update on if or who will replace Rodriguez at UTEP.