Fall 2017 has been an interesting year to say the least when it comes to UTEP athletics. Hands down, it has been the most tumultuous period in recent memory.
It started late in the summer with a key basketball departure, and the fall has seen a winless football team, and a pretty much winless basketball team as well as other drama and shaking your head moments.
For those just tuning in, here is what you have missed.
- August 4th 2017, Roderick Williams decides to transfer
One of the top JUCO players in the country comes to UTEP, and enrolls in school. But has second thoughts and spends about an alleged 48 hours or so as a Miner, and dips back to California. This was a sign of things to come.
- August 8th 2017, UTEP football starts fall camp
We had no clue how good this team was going to be, and well….yeah…
- August 18th, 2017, UTEP basketball completes Costa Rica Tour
UTEP’s spin was “Costa Rica wasn't about wins and losses” which is complete bullshit, let’s be real. UTEP struggled with smaller and less talented teams and the writing on the wall about the 2017-18 Miners could have already been spray painted and left to dry.
- August 31st, 2017, Bob Stull retires
Ahhhh yes, just two days before the season opener, UTEP and Bob Stull decide to announce Stull is retiring after 18-years. Most expected it, but timing seemed to be a downfall of Stull’s tenure over the last decade or so.
- September 12th, 2017, Keith Frazier joins the UTEP basketball team
UTEP got some good news when Frazier joined the squad. A signing no one really saw coming brought some positive news to the early stages of the madness.
- September 17th, 2017, Offensive coordinator Brent Pease is let go
A day after Sean Kugler said he doesn’t blame fans for checking out on his tenure, Kugler lets Pease go as UTEP got smacked by Arizona. Pease should have been kept around, but whatever.
- September 23rd, 2017, NMSU waxes UTEP in football to stop the streak
This should be the most disheartening thing on this timeline. UTEP had owned the Aggies for seven straight years, but got rolled in embarrassing fashion with a new offensive coordinator, and the cracks started to release the UTEP football flood.
- October 1st, 2017, Sean Kugler steps down
UTEP was 0-5 after losing to Army, and Kugler had enough. A source was telling us this was supposed to happen if Kugler lost to NMSU, which told me he would stick around for the rest of the season, so the timing was surprising. But a huge domino fell and the program continue to spiral the rest of the season.
- October 2nd, 2017, Mike Price named interim head coach
Dennis Erickson was actually Stull’s first choice, but when Erickson bailed, the former Mayor of El Paso back in 2004 and 2005 went from ripping down fan’s signs, to trying to revive a 0-5 UTEP team.
- October 7th, 2017, Joey St. Pierre leaves the UTEP basketball team
Who knows if St. Pierre would have seen the floor this year as a redshirt year would have greatly benefited him. But going back to August it looked like UTEP would have legit frontcourt depth, and now, not so much.
- October 21st, 2017, Kelvin Jones leaves the basketball program
Another promising young big man decides UTEP is not the place for him. Turns out he lands at Odessa JC.
- October 25th, 2017, UTEP’s lone football commit, de-commits.
The lone 2018 football commit Kugler was able to secure early, decides he should look in another direction.
- November 10th & 13th 2017, UTEP basketball signs four players
Floyd’s early class is signed and sealed.
- November 16th, 2017, UTEP blows lead, falls to Boise State
One of the most disappointing loss in Tim Floyd’s tenure. UTEP blew a five point lead with a minute left, and dropped two more games in the Puerto Rico Tip Off. What if’s filled the air in El Paso that day.
- November 20th, 2017, Matt Willms is sidelined
This is not a dig at Willms at all, it just shows the terrible luck UTEP has had. Willms was performing at a high level despite UTEP’s 0-3 week in South Carolina. Hope he can return to help this team out sooner than later.
- November 22nd, 2017, Jim Senter named as Athletic Director
Once Lisa Campos took the UTSA job, it was down to Senter or Chris Park, and from his Skype interview, to face-to-face interview, Senter hit a grand slam according to sources.
- November 25th, 2017, It really happened, UTEP finished the football season 0-12
No explanation needed for this event. :(
- November 27th, 2017, Senter introduced as new AD
He said all the right things, and brought some energy in his presser as a new Sheriff arrives in town.
- November 27th, 2017, Tim Floyd retires
After an ugly loss against Lamar, Floyd hangs it up.
To be continued……hopefully with good news, and no drama. #PrayForUTEP