Miners

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NCAAF UTEP Miners

General Information

  • NCAA Division: Division I
  • Conference: Conference USA (2005-present)
  • City: El Paso, Texas
  • Stadium: Sun Bowl

Championships:

  • National Championships: None
  • Conference Titles: 2 (1956, 2000)
  • Divisional Championships: None

Past Conferences

  • Border Intercollegiate
  • Athletic Association
  • Western Athletic

Team History

The UTEP Miners are a Division I program located in Texas. UTEP — also known as the University of Texas at El Paso — competes in Conference USA and is coached by Dana Dimel.

UTEP has competed in 15 bowl games, most recently in 2021 when it went 7-6 and lost to Fresno State, 31-24, in the New Mexico Bowl. Its previous two postseason trips also happened to be at the New Mexico Bowl (52-24 loss to BYU in 2010, 21-6 loss to Utah State in 21-6).

The Miners have dropped seven consecutive bowl games dating to 1988. Their last bowl victory came way back in 1967 (14-7 over Ole Miss at the Sun Bowl), the longest drought among teams at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.

Since going 8-4 in 2005, its inaugural season in C-USA, UTEP has managed only two winning seasons: 7-6 in both 2014 and 2021.

Part of that stretch saw one of the lowest points in program history: from 2017-19, UTEP lost 32 of the 34 games it played, including all 12 in 2017. Dimel, formerly the offensive coordinator at Kansas State, took over the following season and has mostly struggled. His overall mark with the school is 17-40.

Before joining C-USA, UTEP competed in the Western Athletic Conference. One of the highlights of that tenure was in 2000 when the Miners went 8-4, including 7-1 in conference play, under Gary Nord and shared the WAC title with TCU. The Miners overcame the odds to pick up wins over Fresno State and SMU. The school’s only other conference title came in 1956 as a member of the Border Conference.

UTEP’s alumni base includes Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones, who rushed for a school-record 4,114 yards from 2013-16, and former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr., who set the program record for career receiving yards with 3,218 from 2003-06.

All-Time Records

Passing Yards

o Trevor Vittatoe: 12,439
o Jordan Palmer: 11,084
o Gavin Hardison: 7,016
o Billy Stevens: 6,693
o Sammy Garza: 6,130

Rushing Yards

o Aaron Jones: 4,114
o John Harvey: 3,576
o Howard Jackson: 3,466
o Robert Elliott: 2,834
o Toraino Singleton: 2,635

Receiving Yards

o Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr.: 3,218
o Chuck Hughes: 2,997
o Lee Mays: 2,920
o Reggie Barrett: 2,677
o Kris Adams: 2,657

What is the winningest season in UTEP program history?

The 1988 Miners went 10-3, winning double-digit games for the first and only time in program history. They wound up playing in the Independence Bowl, where they lost 38-18 to Southern Mississippi.

What is the worst season in UTEP program history?

In 2017, the Miners went 0-12 and allowed an average of 36.8 points per game. If that’s not bottoming out, what is? They were only slightly better the following two seasons, posting back-to-back 1-11 marks.

Who is the winningest coach in UTEP program history?

Mike Price won a school-record 48 games with UTEP. Granted, it took him a while to get there, as Price coached from 2004-17. His winning percentage was just .414.
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