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UTEP Football: Tom Mason will be UTEP's next defensive coordinator

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This time its for real.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Sources from inside the UTEP football program confirm that Tom Mason has signed a contract and will be announced as UTEP's next defensive coordinator.

UTEP is expected to make a formal announcement over the weekend, and will hold a press conference in the coming days.

Two names emerged early in the week, with Ken Flajole turning down an offer before he was introduced at a press conference yesterday, and Jeff Casteel turned down a deal on Wednesday.

Although today Coach Kugler moved quickly and we can confirm that Mason is in El Paso today and was shown around the facility and introduced to the entire coaching staff who will host recruits this weekend.

UTEP hoped to finalize their coaching staff by yesterday's press conference, making last minute undoings a trend with Jeff Casteel, and Ken Flajoe,  but we can confirm that Mason signed his contract this afternoon.

Mason was fired after one year as Hawaii's defensive coordinator at the end of November, after a seven year stint at SMU.

At SMU under June Jones, Mason integrated the 3-4 scheme in 2009, with the best year coming in 2012 when his defense pitched two shutouts, tied an NCAA season record for pick-sixes and ranked 15th in the national in rush defense.

One of those shutouts came against UTEP in 2012.

It appeared Sean Kugler was headed into the direction of a 3-4 type scheme with his defensive coordinator search, something that will surely be implemented under Mason at UTEP.

After a interesting day yesterday, we can safely say UTEP has rounded out their coaching staff, but the official word from the Larry K. Durham Center will come very soon.

This report has been verified