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November 30, 2011


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He always has a better team coming back. If Nord didn't get his 6 year plan, why should Price get a 9th year????


This is the problem with El Paso.. We forget that its difficult if not impossible to recruit top players to come and play here. As a good a coach as Mr. Price is he has to have some talent to be able to win. Football talent mind you, is not that easy to come by when you are competiting with all the other Division I schools. So easy Joe this is not UT Austin. We are talkin about UTEP. Mr. Price has done a lot with what he has been able to put on the field. Let us not forget the sad state of affaris prior to his arrival. I for one, do not wish to remember those days or return to them. Let's extend the contract and remind the public that UTEP and no other team plays here. So GO MINERS !! Stop complaining and support them. They are worth it.


Mike Price wanted to retire a couple of years ago but he also wanted to leave the program in a good situation. He wanted to leave with quality recruits coming in and money to hire a better replacement. A lot of posters think he is complacent and non competitive but that is not the case. He wanted to win as a thank you to the university that rescued his career. He made mistakes along the way. The biggest mistake was recruiting the better athletes over the better citizens. That led to a total lack of discipline and players flunking out. He has since reversed that policy.

If he is let go, it will be because of low ticket sales and low academic performance. For all the good that Bob Stull has done for UTEP athletics, the reputation that he has is well earned. Any university's success can be measured by community support. Stull seems to spend too much time courting the big money donors and he neglects the small businesses and average fans. The snob tag sticks.

The reason I hammer away at fan attendence and undying support is because it solves all problems. A sold out stadium is worth one or maybe two additional wins a season. Think about how 50,000 screaming fans may have tilted many of our close losses over the years. This would have accelerated Price's retirement and left us with plenty of money to hire a quality coach while our program is looking very attractive. Recruits are lured by the overall atmosphere when making a decision about where to play. They don't go to a school because of the coach. They go because the stadium sells out, the facilities are first rate, the uniforms are cool and because the community treats them like celebrities. Money is the answer and Miner fans need to put it out there or we will never have a consistently winning program.

Anthony Salom

Mike Price is not the reason that there are not people in the stands. Our team was 5-5, and needed one win on senior night to get us to another bowl. How many people showed up? 20,000? I am just as disappointed as anyone with how this team ended the season, and with the apparent lack of leadership/coaching down the stretch. But, I think Joe, like usual, is way off base here. I really don't think the University is just trying to find the money to boot Price. Price would probably just walk away. He doesn't need the money, and if they really wanted him to leave he'd likely just step down...Sure, there are issues that need to be discussed. It happens after EVERY ATHLETIC SEASON. I'd be extremely surprised if Price was fired. It really does no good for UTEP in the short run, so why not just wait out the last year of the guy's contract? I mean, for everything he's done, he deserves it. Regardless of all the delusional people out there that think we're UT Austin, and that we should be winning 9 or 10 games a season.

Dustin Jones

The more I think about this, the more I recall that he recently tried to slip out the back door to Arizona State. So I guess his honeymoon with UTEP is over. In that case, it's probably time for all parties to move on. Price wants to stay because he's got a winner coming back, then he'll go elsewhere or retire. But it's better for UTEP to change now, the more I think about it, so the new coach will have good material to work with.

tio Tomas

Joe you are towing the company line. Price has been a fiasco after 4 games every year. A poorly coached team that shows no discipline. After last years pathetic performance against a weak BYU team in the new Mexico bowl on national tv, is it any wonder that when UTEP qualifies for any bowl, they are every bowl directors last pick. Prices team on friday against Ucf was more pathetic.

Natalicio, we all know, will not dip into the general fund, because quite frankly she puts no stock in athletics. Academia do not want their universities to be selected by students because of athletics. They fail to realize that athletics helps create a better environment for everyone.

The reasons more students go to Texas, OU, asu and other schools with winning teams is that there is an association that top schools have equally good academic programs. UTEP is mired in mediocrity because natalicio chooses not to fund athletics with general funds, not realizing to put a winner on the field you have to spend now for a return later. UTEP football can never be a self sustaining profitable venture until Natalicio decides she is serious about improving it with the help of general funds. Until she invests it will remain a deficit spend.

Not to mention Stull is not a very committed AD. His comments of waiting to see where UTEP will land in a conference tells me he is not motivated in trading up to a better conference and getting better. Stull like price and Natalicio are tired dinosaurs of a bygone Era waiting to be sent out to pasture. Time for all of them to go.

The argument that other schools have larger budgets has been disproven by Boise, TCU and others.


Price has to go. UTEP and the el paso community need to do what ever takes to get a high profile coach in here that can recruit and get wins and fill the sun bowl. Get money from tuition, donors, alumni, whatever. I am so tired of mediocre and listening to all the excuses about location, Juarez, can't get a better coach, blah, blah, blah. I live here and I am willing to pay the price! It's time to step it up a few notches!


Four or five winning seasons in 40+ years is indicative of something way past head coaching choices. Price isn't the problem. Location combined with lack of funding is the problem. You don't believe it? Just look up the road to Las Cruces and Albuquerque. Sure, once in a blue moon there is a modicum of success with their respective football teams. But winning seasons on a regular bases? It just doesn't happen.

What do you get with Price? You get a good guy for one. You get a guy with a ton of experience. You get a guy with an established name who, with that name, has at least a shot at getting a three star player. You also get someone who isn't going to break the bank.

If you want to go through the exercise of finding another head coach, either hire a somewhat successful lower division head coach or a coordinator from a upper division, mid-conference team who doesn't have head coaching experience OR bite the bullet and pony up some multiple of a seven figure salary and go after a name. If you aren't prepared to do that, you might as well keep Price.


The argument that "hey price is a good guy and has a good name", what a bunch of BS. Typical of someone who continues to give Free ride Mike, A FREE RIDE! There is Zero accountability for Price just because of that kind of thinking. Ive been a player in elementary, high school and all the way through college and a fan for 40 years. I know what it takes to motivate players and fans. Its got to start with fielding a COMPETITIVE team. Yeah we had some success with Mike. However, if you notice every single time we have a lead or we go to a bowl game, we look totally unprepared in the second half and Completely and Totally unprepared and unmotivated for the bowl games. That my friend is a lack of "coaching up" players. Every interview Ive seen either during a game or after a game with Mike Price, he sounds totally out of it. Doesn't make sense. Sometimes I even see the players laughing at him while he bungles his speeches. But he keeps taking advantage of the fact that everybody gives him a free ride based on his distant past of mediocre success. Football has changed and the miners and El Paso can lure a good coach here. We in fact do get national exposure. I believe I was able to watch almost every game played this year on direct tv. Yes it does take investment money. However, why not give a coach like Dennis Erickson a chance with us. He has WON a national title and did very well with a team like Idaho and don't be fooled, he was indeed a good coach at ASU. I totally agree with Tomas's view. Much more has been done at smaller schools with less money.When the Miners are winning, El Paso does in fact fill the Sun Bowl. My fellow el pasoans, demand more and expect more from our school because if we don't we will continue to have this guy and others above him getting a free ride with a comfortable situation that only benefits himself his son and his best friend the defensive coordinator that fields one of the worst defenses in the nation!!


I am so sick of the excuse about recruiting in El Paso, cmon people, yall make it seem like EP is some remote West Texas outpost. It's a major metropolitan city with more than 700k population. Southwest has cheap direct flights in and out of EP all day from East Texas, Phoenix and Calif, all fertile recruiting areas. Nord recruited well (Higgins, Palmer, T Howard, Demps, Cousins), but couldn't coach the guys up. Boise has no problem recruiting 3-star athletes and Price had no problem recruiting Leaf and Bledsoe to Pullman, Wash.

The problem with Price is he is just simply past his time, an 18-year-old kid could care less that Price won coach of the year in 97 when that kid was 4 years old. Look at Sumlin and Fedora at UH and USM, young, energetic upcoming coaches. Sure, they may leave those schools in the near future, but i'll take that all day over how stagnant UTEP football has become.

And don't give me this whole other argument about how the program was before Price got here. "I always hear 5 wins is better than 2," but cmon the goal is to win conf championships and compete in bowl games when u get the opportunity.

"They're expected to have a better team next year" how many times have we heard that, but 6 straight losing seasons afterwards its the same thing. UTEP could give price his final year, but just be prepared for more 20k fans in the stands all next season and more general apathy.


I have really, really mixed emotions about Price. Unquestionably he has done a better job than many of his predecessors. It appears that the next recruiting class may be better than those of the past few years. Price is personable, I like the guy, and as you say, generally he is a good ambassador for the school. Overall, five wins this season was a whole lot more than I anticipated.

However, once he began winning early in the year he did set expectations higher than they had been, and again, his team essentially collapsed in November. That is a sign of poor coaching, especially when it happens year after year. You can't blame injuries this year. His offensive staff is weak, extremely weak. Obviously his best assistants - this year -were on the defensive side of the ball. If he is to stay, his son needs to be relieved of his co-offensive co-ordinator title. Perhaps Patterson needs to be named co-head coach and transition into the Price departure. Obviously Patterson is a better coach than I had anticipated.

Does Price deserve another year? Don't know. He obviously did a pretty good job this year. I too would like to see him go out a winner. But what ever decision is made must be made quickly. Forget about getting a name coach, UTEP can't afford one. What they can expect is an up and coming co-ordinator that will leave if he is successful at UTEP. Until someone in the town ponies up some money to keep a coach in El Paso, it is either half baked retreads or an up and comer. Take you choice.


I think Bob Stull should go also it's time for new blood. Look at what his ex-assistant has done in Houston. Why does UTEP always settle for mediocre coaches. Do you know who is the OC at Purdue? Yes, Gary Nord. Price only won with Nords holdover recruits Price himself has done nothing with his own recruits. The defense has been awful under Price and the offense average. I think it's time for Stull and Price to leave town.


Turner Gill? Guy built up Buffalo's program and I feel got a raw deal at Kansas. Those guys he lost with were the result of major friction in the previous regime with Mangino. I think Gill is worth a look and wouldnt cost to much.


Mike Price and UTEP have a contract. Let them both fulfill their obligations. Simple. Honest. End of Story.


As stated by the El Paso Times, Mike Price will be back to coach next year. The school does not have the money to buy out his contract and the contracts of all his assistants. UTEP also does not have the money to increase the pay for an established coach. We got Price at a bargain price considering his resume, so getting a coach with a similar or better resume is out of the question. If we hire now, with the available budget, we would be getting an entry level coach who would likely bolt with any success. By letting Price's contract expire, we won't take such a financial hit with our new coach.

What we need to do now is go out and support next year's team and hope that they are a winner. A fan's love of his team should supercede any issues with tailgating, the head coach, the athletic director, the color of the uniforms, or the parking. If the last few years are any indication, this will not be the case. Fans are going to stay away and cry about how everything is not to their liking and further hurt the program, the university and the city. The whiny fair weather fans will sit at home and cheer for some other school. They won't do what's good for UTEP. I will buy season tickets again and be there for every game, win or lose.


HEY UTEPIA! ITS BASKETBALL TIME! I know there are very low expectations this season, but I think UTEP's performance at Oregon Tuesday night was noteworthy. UTEP held the PAC-12's Oregon Ducks(4-1) to a 23-23 tie at halftime, and kept the game close until the final second. Finally, Floyd's sophomores stepped it up. Perhaps the difference was that McCulley was back in action for the first time this season. With Bo and Perez finally putting it in the hole and a 5th year senior back out on the court, this basketball season may be worth watching after all.

James Maez

Joe, the thought of retaining a coach could not possibly register in the mind of an Aggie ( formidable ) Not only is coach the way to go!He has beaten you Aggie's ( formidable)? How many times now! Love ya coach ! Go Miners! No Fair Weather Fans Needed! Go Orange!


Joe, the thought of retaining a coach could not possibly register in the mind of an Aggie ( formidable ) Not only is coach the way to go!He has beaten you Aggie's ( formidable)? How many times now! Love ya coach ! Go Miners! No Fair Weather Fans Needed! Go Orange!

Posted by: James Maez | December 01, 2011 at 07:24 PM



You are exactly the kind of fans UTEP is famous for. Take great stock in beating the fearsome Aggies, while being satisfied with ANOTHER losing season.

The Mighty Mediocre Miners beat those powerhouses of the gridiron, NMSU. Ooh aah. Two marshmallow squads with bragging rights that mean soooo little to so few.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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