A (very) slight defense of our last two ADs

MinerManiac

MI Hall of Famer
Jun 28, 2001
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It is my opinion that our last two ADs have done a poor job. However, I can't sit here and criticize every recent hire that they've made without being a hypocrite. So here is my assessment of their last several hiring actions in the two money sports:

Mike Price: When it was announced that Mike Price was interested in the UTEP coaching vacancy I wanted him to be hired in the worst possible way. Old timers here remember that many on this board asked Nineteen Rabbit, a published author, to write a letter to Stull and Natalicio advocating for Price. I also wrote my own letter for the same purpose. Hiring Price seemed like a no-brainer. That he didn't work out isn't Stull’s fault. That Stull gave him way too long of a leash is.

Tim Floyd: I've mentioned several times how excited I was when Floyd was announced as head coach. Like Price, this was a hire that I would have made in a heartbeat if I were in Stull's shoes. And, like Price, this is a guy that Stull kept around long after it was obvious that it wasn't working out.

Sean Kugler: Now we get to a hire that I was weary about from the start. My concern wasn't really with Kugler himself, it's just that he was a position coach when Stull gave him UTEP's head coaching job. If you're going to hire an assistant make sure that you're hiring a hot shot coordinator. The job, obviously, proved to be way too big for Kugler.

Rodney Terry: I was on the Rodney Terry bandwagon. Sure, his overall record at Fresno State wasn't that great, but in his last three years there he had won at least 20 games each season, and made one NCAA Tournament and one NIT. Plus, he had a reputation as a great recruiter. I thought it was a good hire - until about midway through Terry's second season. So I can completely understand hiring Terry - the decision to extend his contract, however, baffles me. Thank god for Beard.

Dana Dimel: A lot of people make jokes about Dimel getting hired based on his skills with PowerPoint. I know that this is a somewhat of a joke, but I do think that some are legitimately missing the point here. I don't know if PowerPoint was used at all, but if it was, it's not that Dimel was hired because he used a nice background, or a great looking font, or had some cool animations, or was adept at using pics and graphics instead of bullet points. His presentation was great because he was prepared. He said later that there were a few schools that he had been looking at for his return as a head coach - UTEP was one of them. When he came in he had done his homework, more so than any other candidate. He was able to discuss UTEP's unique challenges, and lay out a detailed plan for success. However, Senter obviously placed more weight on homework then he did on practical applications. Dimel's failure at Houston, especially that 0-11 season, should have raised huge red flags for Senter. It obviously didn't.

So there you have it. If Natalicio had been foolish enough to name me AD I would have likely matched three of the last five hires in the money sports that our actual ADs made. I certainly wouldn't have made the other two hires, and I wouldn't have been so patient with Price, Floyd, or Terry. Oh, and one final note: no matter how good a guy Jeff Darby is, I would have fired him for the Vince Hunter tweets.

Given that I believe that Senter acted reasonably with the last hire, I do have some hope that he will make a good hire this time around. If Sadler is chosen, however, please reserve a torch and a pitchfork for me.
 

Lil_Train

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Jun 28, 2001
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Well said Maniac. My main issue with Senter was the length and guaranteed nature of the contracts he agreed to for both Dimel and Terry. Adding an extra year to Terry's contract, even with the pay cut, tells me all I need to know about Senter. That's why I mentioned I had zero confidence in his ability to hire this time around.
 

miner1liner

MI Hall of Famer
Feb 10, 2014
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PRAYERS, HOPES, MEMORIES.
MR SENTER! DR WILSON!
PLEASE LISTEN TO THE UTEP MOURNERS. WE NEED YOU TO MAKE THE BEST AND SOUNDEST DECISION POSSIBLE WITH THE CHOICES YOU HAVE.
 

Minerforlife

MI Hall of Famer
Sep 11, 2013
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Everyone of Stull's football hires had winning seasons and played in bowl games. In hoops three of his five hires made the ncaa and all made the NIT. His problem has been stated is that he held on to coaches way to long. It was definitely time for a change.

My main complaint with Senter is that to this point he's a huge downgrade to Stull. His coaches are nowhere near post season appearances. In Dimel he also made what will probably go down as the worst hire in the history of FBS football. I don't have any confidence in his hiring decisions or fundraising ability.
 

mineralum94

New guy
Apr 9, 2021
26
87
13
It is my opinion that our last two ADs have done a poor job. However, I can't sit here and criticize every recent hire that they've made without being a hypocrite. So here is my assessment of their last several hiring actions in the two money sports:

Mike Price: When it was announced that Mike Price was interested in the UTEP coaching vacancy I wanted him to be hired in the worst possible way. Old timers here remember that many on this board asked Nineteen Rabbit, a published author, to write a letter to Stull and Natalicio advocating for Price. I also wrote my own letter for the same purpose. Hiring Price seemed like a no-brainer. That he didn't work out isn't Stull’s fault. That Stull gave him way too long of a leash is.

Tim Floyd: I've mentioned several times how excited I was when Floyd was announced as head coach. Like Price, this was a hire that I would have made in a heartbeat if I were in Stull's shoes. And, like Price, this is a guy that Stull kept around long after it was obvious that it wasn't working out.

Sean Kugler: Now we get to a hire that I was weary about from the start. My concern wasn't really with Kugler himself, it's just that he was a position coach when Stull gave him UTEP's head coaching job. If you're going to hire an assistant make sure that you're hiring a hot shot coordinator. The job, obviously, proved to be way too big for Kugler.

Rodney Terry: I was on the Rodney Terry bandwagon. Sure, his overall record at Fresno State wasn't that great, but in his last three years there he had won at least 20 games each season, and made one NCAA Tournament and one NIT. Plus, he had a reputation as a great recruiter. I thought it was a good hire - until about midway through Terry's second season. So I can completely understand hiring Terry - the decision to extend his contract, however, baffles me. Thank god for Beard.

Dana Dimel: A lot of people make jokes about Dimel getting hired based on his skills with PowerPoint. I know that this is a somewhat of a joke, but I do think that some are legitimately missing the point here. I don't know if PowerPoint was used at all, but if it was, it's not that Dimel was hired because he used a nice background, or a great looking font, or had some cool animations, or was adept at using pics and graphics instead of bullet points. His presentation was great because he was prepared. He said later that there were a few schools that he had been looking at for his return as a head coach - UTEP was one of them. When he came in he had done his homework, more so than any other candidate. He was able to discuss UTEP's unique challenges, and lay out a detailed plan for success. However, Senter obviously placed more weight on homework then he did on practical applications. Dimel's failure at Houston, especially that 0-11 season, should have raised huge red flags for Senter. It obviously didn't.

So there you have it. If Natalicio had been foolish enough to name me AD I would have likely matched three of the last five hires in the money sports that our actual ADs made. I certainly wouldn't have made the other two hires, and I wouldn't have been so patient with Price, Floyd, or Terry. Oh, and one final note: no matter how good a guy Jeff Darby is, I would have fired him for the Vince Hunter tweets.

Given that I believe that Senter acted reasonably with the last hire, I do have some hope that he will make a good hire this time around. If Sadler is chosen, however, please reserve a torch and a pitchfork for me.
Nineteen Rabbit!! That's a name I've not heard in ages.

I can't disagree with anything you said here. I was weary with Dimel, but not so much Kugler. RT... I was not over the moon about, but I figured he had to be better than Tim Floyd's last few seasons.
 
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Roy_Bigwood_05

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Dec 22, 2016
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Everyone of Stull's football hires had winning seasons and played in bowl games. In hoops three of his five hires made the ncaa and all made the NIT. His problem has been stated is that he held on to coaches way to long. It was definitely time for a change.

My main complaint with Senter is that to this point he's a huge downgrade to Stull. His coaches are nowhere near post season appearances. In Dimel he also made what will probably go down as the worst hire in the history of FBS football. I don't have any confidence in his hiring decisions or fundraising ability.
Great points.

Remember when everyone (including myself) thought Senter had fundraising powers? Think about who funded the new Sun Bowl stuff, Fosters and Hunt and GECU, Senter ain’t bringing in new money or new fans anytime soon.

three years into Senter, and yes Bob sucked his last decade but Stull was 80x better than whatever Senter does here, Bob Stull did a damn good job until about 2014-15 when he started exploring retirement.
 

Hot For Keitha

Starter
Aug 1, 2012
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Great points.

Remember when everyone (including myself) thought Senter had fundraising powers? Think about who funded the new Sun Bowl stuff, Fosters and Hunt and GECU, Senter ain’t bringing in new money or new fans anytime soon.

three years into Senter, and yes Bob sucked his last decade but Stull was 80x better than whatever Senter does here, Bob Stull did a damn good job until about 2014-15 when he started exploring retirement.
I was so happy when Stull retired. Never thought the next guy could be worse than Stull with senioritis. Yet, here we are.
 

utep2step

MI Miner Maniac
Jul 10, 2001
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I will not throw Stull under the bus but his time came to hang it up and call it a career and he did good things at UTEP. Late 80's he showed that UTEP can have a winning football team and do it in short order. UTEP wanted him back as AD and he made Natalicio commit to athletics. Good capital improvements and no matter your feelings on him, he was a well respected AD trying to do miracles in a tough town.

Mike Price was a good hire looking back on history. That first year was fun and Colorado eeked out a win against a tough Thomas Howard led defense. Price brought out the best in Palmer and UTEP experienced a new offense. UTEP blew chances to win CUSA his first two years as a new young stud coach at Tulsa, Kragthorpe, stole his thunder. Oh yeah, ticket sales went up, really up.

Stull pulled another gem from Illinois in Billy G.. UTEP basketball was literally the hottest ticket in town by year two.

Stull is up to bat again and hires Barbee. This one was a head scratcher but a Coach Cal protege can't go wrong, right? It was rough and Culpepper was launching 3's from half court and played uncontrolled many time when he arrived. By 2010, Barbee brought in Derrick Caracter who was the capstone to 2010 season and our last outright crown.
 

FeralFelidae

MI Miner Maniac
Sep 1, 2003
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Mike Price: When it was announced that Mike Price was interested in the UTEP coaching vacancy I wanted him to be hired in the worst possible way. Old timers here remember that many on this board asked Nineteen Rabbit, a published author, to write a letter to Stull and Natalicio advocating for Price. I also wrote my own letter for the same purpose. Hiring Price seemed like a no-brainer. That he didn't work out isn't Stull’s fault. That Stull gave him way too long of a leash is.
Mike Price was the best, most successful UTEP football coach in my entire life (still is) except for, arguably, Stull himself, who split after his best season here. His worst seasons match the best seasons of most of the other coaches. Okay, Nord had one spectacular season and then crashed through the cellar.

There were lots of heart-breaking losses during the Price years that were painful. The losses that we suffered under Price hurt the most because we were so frickin' close to breaking through. But his teams were the most competitive and entertaining UTEP teams of my lifetime.
 

UTEPMiners8106

MI Hall of Famer
Jul 15, 2013
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Mike Price was the best, most successful UTEP football coach in my entire life (still is) except for, arguably, Stull himself, who split after his best season here. His worst seasons match the best seasons of most of the other coaches. Okay, Nord had one spectacular season and then crashed through the cellar.

There were lots of heart-breaking losses during the Price years that were painful. The losses that we suffered under Price hurt the most because we were so frickin' close to breaking through. But his teams were the most competitive and entertaining UTEP teams of my lifetime.
The ECU loss in overtime is the one for me.
 

JCorona

MI Miner Maniac
Jun 15, 2014
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The ECU loss in overtime is the one for me.
I'll never forget sitting outside the Sun Bowl parking lot listening to the pre game show. That interview with Holtz just gave me a bad feeling. We ended up losing and that was the beginning of the end.
 

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