Jones finished with 127 yards rushing, the most by a UTEP freshman since 1996. Jameill Showers’ Miner debut was also a success, as the quarterback set career-highs for passing attempts (20), completions (15) and yardage (119) with no interceptions. His counterpart, UNM’s Clayton Mitchem, finished 4-of-7 passing for 88 yards, but the Lobos rode the ground game to their first victory in El Paso - and the state of Texas, for that matter -- since 1997.
Players Turned Coach
Sean Kugler is the second UTEP head coach who played for the Miners at one time. The other is Walter Milner, a three-year letterman from 1931-33 who served as head coach in 1942. Kugler is one of 12 active Division I head coaches who played at the school where they are currently coaching.
School Head Coach Years Played at School
Air Force Troy Calhoun 1985-88
East Carolina Ruffin McNeill 1976-80
Kent State Paul Haynes 1987-91
Miami (Ohio) Don Treadwell 1978-81
Northwestern Pat Fitzgerald 1993-96
Oklahoma State Mike Gundy 1986-89
Stanford David Shaw 1991-94
Texas Tech Kliff Kingsbury 1999-02
Tulsa Bill Blankenship 1975-79
Utah State Matt Wells 1994-96
UTEP Sean Kugler 1985-88
Virginia Tech Frank Beamer 1966-68
Breaking Down the Coaching Staff
Of UTEP’s nine full-time assistant coaches, six were not on the staff in 2012. They are offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Patrick Higgins, defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Scott Stoker, defensive line coach Andrew Browning, running backs coach Cornell Jackson, assistant head coach/offensive line Spencer Leftwich and wide receivers coach Todd Whitten. Holdovers from the 2012 staff are defensive backs coach Gabe Franklin, tight ends coach Brian Natkinand nickelbacks/safeties coach Robert Rodriguez. This group, combined with head coach Sean Kugler, has coached in 33 bowl games. Natkin and Rodriguez are former Miner players, while Higgins (1998-2003) and Whitten (1994-95) have both coached at UTEP previously.
Sun Bowl Turns 50
GECU is sponsoring UTEP’s “50 Years of the Sun Bowl” celebration in 2013. On Sept. 21, 1963, Larry Durham ran 54 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage as the Miners christened the stadium with a 34-7 rout of North Texas State. Durham and his 1963 teammates will be on hand for the 50th anniversary game versus UTSA on Sept. 21.
The Miners’ 98-man roster includes 17 seniors, 29 juniors, 17 sophomores and 35 freshmen (21 true/14 redshirt). UTEP has 41 returning lettermen (23 offense/17 defense/one special team) and 12 returning starters (seven offense/four defense/one special team). Senior DL Germard Reed leads the Miners with 29 starts, followed by senior OL Brander Craighead(24 starts), junior OL Jerel Watkins (22 starts), senior DL Marcus Bagley (20 starts) and senior LB Horace Miller (19 starts).
UTEP Pounds Out 280 Rushing Yards in Opener