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Texas State moved up to FCS in 2012. Sullivan will have to sit out a year.

Pascal Fortran

Kugler is an idiot.

He can convey all the coach speak he wants about running off 27 players in less than a year; at some point he has to look in the mirror and see that being a prick w/an ego only gets you so far. Even the most discipline minded military leaders come to this realization.

Kugler should've been edgy w/what he inherited from Price, but pliable. Then, installed his type of player and schemes with consecutive years of red-shirting, and adding a few JuCo players that fit. We all know Bob Stull will support a losing coach for years, so why not build the future without compromising the present. UTEP should've won 6 to 7 games this season.

Organizations are built by peeling back layers; not completely throwing out good apples with the old, my way or the highway adage.

What a prick!

Pascal Fortran

Yes, I believe jUTEP is correct - TX State is in the Sun Belt (I think?).

Perhaps Sullivan is in the same boat Showers was last year. He can graduate and play right away.


so who's missing Mike Price yet

georgeofthe desert

I don't miss Mike Price, he drove us over this cliff, but, Kugler is floating down in a golden parachute provided by Stull while the school becomes the biggest laughing stock in the FBS.

Sullivan wasn't the quarterback for Price's system, and definately not the quarterback for what ever Kugler's system is. But he deserved better.

Too bad to see this happen to the school.


He left because he wanted to continue trying to play quarterback. They didn't drive him off, they wanted him to stay and perhaps play saftey because he is a good athlete. He chose to leave because he felt he could win the starting job at Texas State. For those of you bashing Coach Kugler who don't know the interworkings of the program, keep in mind he is trying to rebuild a program that just had 8 straight losing seasons. These players were used to doing whatever they wanted and now that they cannot get away things anymore they are pouting and wanting to leave. I know from personal experience what the locker room dynamic is there and what Coach Kugler is trying to build.

Pascal Fortran

Not missing Price, but there were better options out there with proven/recent recruiting resumès.

I hope the UTEP football mess sorts itself out, but I work with and recruit young talent for a large corporation. One cannot strong arm today's kids, especially if they aren't your own.

I'm a military brat, and did not respond well to prickly bosses.


You are correct that there were better options, etc... but the problem is that for what UTEP pays their head coach you would have never gotten them to come here. Coach Kugler wanted to come back to his Alma Mater and be the head coach. Not to mention he was willing to accept what they could pay in order to try and build a program. As far as your correlation between between a corporation and a football team, its a little skewed. I worked with the team for a number of years and was there when Kugler was there before he left for the NFL. He is a great coach and is nowhere near a "prick". His o-line loved him and did anything for him. The players that are leaving or complaining are the same ones that were used to getting away with no consequences to their actions. They always have an excuse rather than taking care of their responsibilities. Not to mention that this is football!!! If you are sensitive to criticism or don't want to be yelled at occasionally, then you are in the wrong sport. Speak to any athlete and ask them if they are continually screwing up do they not get yelled at or disciplined. He coached professional athletes that appreciated his discipline. He coached at Boise St. when they beat OU. Same comments from Head Coach Chris Peterson, that he is one of the best coaches he has ever been around. He is learning the nuances of being a head coach, but he is also laying a foundation for what he wants this program to be. I'm sure as a recruiter for young talent for your coporation, you can understand that if someone is always making excuses and is not responsible for their actions, they would not be considered for employment or be employed very long


Everyone knows that Price lacked discipline. That is the only thing that prevented us from getting over the hump. People need to let coach Kugs run his program and give him a chance. He will right the ship. I am confident in his style and believe that it will work. It will not be an over night thing. Realize that Prices style and Kugs are very different styles.

Pascal Fortran

spyder31, you and like-minded individuals are the problem. A reputable coach would've come to UTEP for what Kugler makes, especially w/what the potential is in incentives. BTW - Kugler and Price earn/earned incomes northward of the median college coaching salaries. They aren't poor, and with Texas being a income tax-free state, money goes even further - especially in El Paso.

For example, I reside in a state w/a state income tax. While my property taxes are nominal, my income is HEAVILY impacted by both. My $700K, 4k sq. ft. home where I live, cost about half that amount in El Paso.

And, if a coach left after achieving success at UTEP, who cares. Price tried to leave UTEP on two different occasions while at UTEP, and I assure you Kugler will as well.

I alluded to this in my earlier post, and will again. Regardless of a young person being a football player or computer scientist, one CANNOT manage them as if this were the 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s. They aren't wired the same any longer - they have many more schools that now play FCS football, and don't have to put up w/the BS. Most SEC teams practice discipline, but not to the extent Kugler does.

Brian Balkovec

Bret, Texas State is an FBS School, they play in the Sun Belt and finished bowl eligible this year. They played in the WAC last year. He will have to sit a year.


I speak because I have been part of the program and know what has been going behind the scenes. Information that people like you never read in the news. Price came here because we were the only ones who were giving him a second chance. He already had money so the salary wasn't the driving force. He told me this in a conversation before practice started. Same with Kugler. There are more assistant coaches at many schools that make more than our head coach. You speak of the extent of Kugler's discipline, what's your experience with it first hand? You say you're a military brat, yet you have a problem someone who is a strict disciplinarian? My father was a marine and I knew that if I was out of line I was gonna hear it. It was yes maam or no maam. I have been there through both good and bad seasons. I have been in the lockerroom to hear the team be addressed. I have seen the attitudes some of these kids come in with and have had to deal with them first hand. So you're telling me that its better to give in to those selfish attitudes? Rather than show them what the ground rules are and that they are responsible for their own actions? I am not the problem, I am more informed on this situation then you will ever be.

Pascal Fortran

syder31, quit acting as if you know what the heck is going on w/the program. Being a jock sniffer by hanging around a few practices each year does not constitute your being informed. It means you have a pathetic life and too much time on your hands; especially since you don't serve the university in an official capacity.

Kugler managing his team with a firm hand is fine. Coming in and running the program with an iron fist is another thing. I bet he wishes he would've handled the spring differently, especially since Price was a loose coach. Had he done so, he could've fielded a competitive squad and gradually purged the program of kids he so harshly weeded out by their graduating, transferring, or quitting. Hell, some of them might have bought into his program had he given them the spring/summer to stomach his demanding ways.

Likely, 8 to 12 kids needed to be let go, but 27 is absurd. One needs to look at oneself in that case - he was making crap up to get rid of kids beyond 12.


Only addressing the subject of the blog (Sullivan) and not all the rants and tangents in the posts: It was apparent we would lose some QBs (too many). Too bad however it was Sullivan. I do blame Kugler. The Leftwich decision was favoritism pure and simple. Furthermore it was selfish of the coaching staff to pull a redshirt at the end of a lost season when they had 2 good QBs still in the lineup. Sullivan and Simpson had earned their shots. Sullivan helped us last year, his running game was great and his passing game had potential. Sullivan will enjoy San Marcos and I bet we see him starting in a couple of seasons. Best of luck to him. Kugler screwed this one up big time.

Pascal Fortran

Always the voice of reason Canaima. Where have you been?


I wish Blaire well. Bloomquist makes another blunder in a long line of many. And the EP Times wants us to pay for this garbage? Puhleeze...


I hope this kid kicks butt at Texas State. The talent he faces in the Sun Belt will be an upgrade from Conference USA.

Most of the teams that departed the Sun Belt did well this year. NMSU was wise to go back there, even though it was out of desperation. The new Sun Belt reminds me of the WAC back in the 80s - it should be on par with the MWC by 2020. They've already surpassed C-USA.


Who wouldn’t transfer after starting as QB, being replaced by a redshirt freshman and offered a position as a linebacker or safety? He made a good decision in transferring and the coaches did him a favor by starting Leftwich. Leftwich was sacked 8 times in the North Texas State game and didn’t have much success. QB Simpson will probably be the next one to transfer.
Besides discipline with the players there is evaluating the coaches - no one bought into the 4-2-5 scheme that is being used. Using this next year will result in another 2-10 record - last year the opponents scored an average of 29.5 points a game, this year it was 39.3. Kugler thinks that he can improve this defense with new freshman and transferred players?


I actually worked with the university during my time there. I was part of the support staff and still very connected. So as far as your pathetic attempt to belittle me, it is unfounded. I know these coaches personally and know the staff that is still there. So I'm not someone who just hung out at a few practices, I was working with players and coaches every practice,every game and every offseason. Where are you getting your information? What makes your point of view such a viable option? You need to stop speaking as though you understand the innerworkings of this program because you do not.


Wow! With the way people defend a losing coach, it's going to be another miserable 6 to 8 years. Bottom-line is this - C-USA is a terrible football league that should be winnable for UTEP on an annual basis. They should at least qualify for a bad bowl each season.

Counter to what's been posted, Price did not leave the cupboard bare. He left Kuglar with a big and powerful O-line that underperformed as soon as Showers went down. The O-line, by the way, is Kugler's strength and he couldn't motivate them to play a full season, with or without injuries. No excuse, UTEP was deep on the O-line. TV announcers alluded to their prowess against Texas A&M, and they were right.

After Showers went down, they could've went to an I-formation or triple option with double tight-end scheme; any QB after Showers can run those proven schemes successfully - Leftwich is built for an option offense.

The defense could've performed better had he kept Patterson's scheme in-place for another year, then recruited properly. The athletes he had could've run a traditional 3-4 or 4-3 scheme in a weak C-USA conference, and at least kept the score in check with zone coverages and timely blitzing.

My concern is Bob Stull has given too much rope to Kugs to learn on the fly. A prudent coach would've made adjustments; heck, an experienced FCS or D-2 coach would have made adjustments in a New York minute to accommodate their limited personnel and capability. I can't believe he's not firing any coaches. I'm even more surprised the competent coaches he does have, haven't jumped ship. They are either idiots, or desperate in their employment situation.


Last thing - Kugler's lack of experience as a coordinator hurt this team this year. If he learned from it, good.

I would pull play calling from the OC, and sink or swim my way. Wouldn't let Leftwich's dad make any more important decisions. Kugler reminds me of the Green Bay coach - he can concurrently handle play calling and game management.


Fans and alumni didn’t put up with Price’s record at 2-10 or Gary Nord’s or anyone else – so why should they not question Kugler’s record at 2-10 when there are no changes for next season and when recruiting look dim. The best recruiter’s for UTEP in Texas are Rodriquez and Napkin – mainly because of their ties with El Paso and South Texas. They were able to recruit the Jones brothers and Golden – who made the USA All conference teams. The recruits that Kugler was able to garnish were the offensive line’s coach’s son and the Laufasa (a promising fullback). As much as everyone wants to stay positive, it doesn’t look good for the next season, especially with the success of UTSA, Tulane, Middle Tennessee, North Texas State and Rice. You can probably count these as losses. Kugler’s complacency after this season is disturbing to some UTEP alumni and fans.


Well said UTEPalumni.

Now, get with the alumni association and have them start ponying up more donations so, 1> they can get a seat at the table each year to discuss the extent of monetary short-falls that occurs when they aren't competitive, both from poor attendance losses and donations; 2> said position at table would allow the alumni association greater say in hiring a coach.

Bob Stull has too much say in the departments direction. He needs to be kept in check - Kugler was a bad hire, and a prudent person would've caught that from the mention of him as a candidate. He never served in a coordinator capacity after years of coaching college and pro ball. There was likely a reason for that and it showed on the field this year.

Miner Maniac

"Bob Stull has too much say in the departments direction."

Uh, isn't that what an athletic director does?


Miner Maniac: Not at universities that win. There's no way UT, Alabama, Auburn, etc., hire anyone without approval from, 1st> their major booster, & 2nd> a player committee.

Auburn's AD didn't hire Gus Malzahn, a three person committee consisting of Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson, and their biggest donor did. Same with Brady Hoke at Michigan.

Athletic directors are a waste of money, and are becoming a figurative, fundraising role more so than overseeing the department these days. That's why most schools are leaning toward lawyers rather than former athletes and coaches nowadays. Other than compliance issues, what are they needed for; and with associate ADs, they do even less.

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