A total of 21 past and present UTEP student-athletes will graduate from the university on Saturday, athletic department officials have announced.
The breakdown by sport is as follows: football (10), men’s track and field (three), women’s track and field (three), soccer (two), softball (two) and men’s basketball (one).
Several members of this year’s football team will be graduating – Gino Bresolin, Cooper Foster, Anthony Kyles, Brandon Moss, Elliott Oldham, Hayden Plinke, Devin Simmons and Chris Thomas. Plinke was one of three Miners to earn first team All-Conference USA honors this year. Bresolin, Kyles and Thomas have also started games for the Miners. Moss and Oldham both have eligibility remaining in 2017.
UTEP’s all-time leader for kickoff return yards (2,981) and kickoff return touchdowns (six), Autrey Golden, is also receiving his diploma. And Cornelius Brown, who played for the Miners from 2006-09 before spending four years in the NFL with Chicago, Indianapolis and San Diego, is also graduating.
One of the most decorated athletes in UTEP track and field history, Anthony Rotich, is graduating. He is a four-time national champion and 11-time All-American. Another track and field graduate, Nickevea Wilson, garnered All-American accolades in the triple jump at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. Also graduating, from soccer, is Angela Cutaia who led Conference USA in scoring as a senior in 2015.
UTEP’s other graduating student-athletes are Veronica Alvarez (cross country & track and field), Fernie Hernandez (men’s basketball), Taylor Kidd (soccer), Bria Love (track and field), Morgan Rasmason (softball), Jade Rodriguez (softball), Daniel Tarango (track and field) and Sven Zellner (track and field).
Bios follow on all of UTEP’s December graduating student-athletes.
Veronica Alvarez (Cross Country/Track & Field)
Veronica Alvarez is a two-year letterwinner for track and a one-year letterwinner for cross country. She helped the Miners to top-three finishes at the 2015 C-USA Track and Field Championships and the 2016 Cross Country Championships. She earned multiple placements to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. She is a Biology major.
Gino Bresolin (Football)
Gino Bresolin notched 95 tackles, four tackles for losses, seven quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries in 42 games during his career. The three-year starter made the move from offensive to defensive line in 2013. Bresolin started 10 games this season and produced 25 tackles with two quarterback hurries. He earned multiple placements to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Management major.
Cornelius Brown (Football)
Cornelius Brown tallied 130 tackles and seven interceptions in 48 games from 2006-09. He made 32 starts at defensive back and is tied for second on the program’s all-time list with 24 pass breakups. Brown signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears and was also a part of the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers organizations. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Angela Cutaia (Soccer)
Angela Cutaia earned All-Conference USA accolades as a junior and senior. She piled up 24 goals, including a school-record tying 12 game winners, and 13 assists for 61 points. She led C-USA in scoring with 31 points as a senior. She was also a two-time Academic All-District honoree and earned Academic All-America status in 2015. She was a four-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal for posting a grade point average of 3.75 or better. She is a Kinesiology major.
Cooper Foster (Football)
Cooper Foster played in 47 games for the Miners. He saw action on defense and was also a major contributor on special teams. The four-year letterwinner tallied a career-high seven tackles versus Army during his senior campaign of 2016. He earned multiple placements to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Communication Studies major.
Autrey Golden (Football)
Autrey Golden rates first in UTEP history in kickoff returns (119) and kickoff return touchdowns (six), and second in kickoff return yards (2,981) and career average (25.1). He is tied for third in NCAA history and tied for second in C-USA annals with six kickoff return touchdowns. He is a Media Advertising major.
Fernie Hernandez (Men’s Basketball)
Fernie Hernandez was a three-year letterwinner for the Miners, playing for the legendary Don Haskins from 1993-96. He appeared in 19 games and was a member of the 1995 NIT squad. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Taylor Kidd (Soccer)
Taylor Kidd played in 74 career matches, including 28 starts, for the Miners. She earned multiple placements to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. She is a Kinesiology major.
Anthony Kyles (Football)
Anthony Kyles transferred to UTEP from Los Angeles Southwest College and played in 20 games while starting four at the right guard position. His efforts helped UTEP rush for 384 yards, its highest total in over 30 years, against North Texas in 2016. He earned a spot on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Bria Love (Track & Field)
Bria Love was a member of the women’s team that captured its first conference title in 2015. Last season, Love clocked in with a career-best of 13.84 seconds in the 100m hurdles. She earned a bid to the 2015 NCAA West Preliminary Championships. She earned multiple placements to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. She is a Biology major.
Brandon Moss (Football/Track & Field)
Brandon Moss played in 24 games for the Orange and Blue, seeing action on offense, defense and special teams. He scooped up a blocked punt for a touchdown against North Texas in 2016. Moss was also a silver and bronze medalist in the long jump at the C-USA Championships as part of the Miner track and field team. He is a Marketing major.
Elliott Oldham (Football)
Elliott Oldham transferred to UTEP from Minnesota West Community and Technical College. He played on the scout team in 2016 and saw action in the Miners’ season-ending rout of North Texas. He earned a spot on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Hayden Plinke (Football)
Hayden Plinke was a two-year starter for the Miners, notching 75 receptions for 861 yards and eight scores. This season, Plinke became the first tight end to lead the team in receptions since 1986. The first team All-Conference USA honoree tallied eight touchdown receptions, most by a tight end in school history. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Morgan Rasmason (Softball/Soccer)
Morgan Rasmason played in 114 games and scored 32 runs during her career while tallying multiple assists from the outfield. After concluding her softball career in 2015, she spent the fall semester as a member of the soccer squad, serving as a reserve goalkeeper. She was a four-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal for posting a grade point average of 3.75 or better. She is a Media Advertising major.
Jade Rodriguez (Softball)
Jade Rodriguez played in 127 games and made 92 starts in the outfield, while even seeing action in the circle during her career. She set a program record with seven sacrifice hits in 2015, while tallying a career-high in hits. In her last game, she connected on her first career triple that scored a run in the Conference USA Tournament. She earned multiple placements on the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. She is a Kinesiology major.
Anthony Rotich (Cross Country/Track & Field)
Anthony Rotich concluded his collegiate career as a four-time NCAA champion, 11-time All-American, four-time Conference USA Athlete of the Year and a three-time C-USA All-Academic honoree. He racked up 19 conference titles and won a total of 63 races in the Orange and Blue. He earned multiple placements on the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Civil Engineering major.
Devin Simmons (Football)
Devin Simmons played in six games during his senior campaign with the Miners. He saw action on defense and special teams. He earned a spot on the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Daniel Tarango (Track & Field)
Daniel Tarango was a member of two Conference USA championship teams at UTEP. He was also a part of the 4x400m relay that qualified for nationals. Tarango earned four C-USA medals during his collegiate career. He also earned a spot on the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. He is a Criminal Justice major.
Chris Thomas (Football)
Chris Thomas played in 32 games and started eight on the offensive line, including in the 2014 New Mexico Bowl. In 2015 he helped the Miners rank first in Conference USA in sacks allowed, and tied for sixth nationally in sacks allowed per game. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
Nickevea Wilson (Track & Field)
Nickevea Wilson captured All-American honors after finishing in eighth place in the triple jump at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. Wilson made four NCAA Championship appearances during her time at UTEP. She concluded her collegiate career with four gold and two silver conference medals. She earned multiple placements to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. She is a Health Promotion major.
Sven Zellner (Track & Field)
Sven Zeller helped the Miners secure the 2014 Conference USA Indoor title with a bronze medal in the 60m hurdles. He was also a member of the runner-up squad at the 2015 C-USA Outdoor Championships. Zellner qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Championships in the 110m hurdles. He was a three-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal for posting a grade point average of 3.75 or better. He is a Mechanical Engineering major.