Jim Senter – UTEP Director of AthleticsJim Senter – UTEP Director of Athletics

New UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter came to the Sun City with a vision–Every Person Makes a Difference (#EPMAD). Senter was announced to the position on Nov. 22, 2017, after serving as the director of athletics at The Citadel for the past three years. University President Diana Natalicio says, “his previous experience at the University of Idaho, San Diego State University and the University of Colorado gives him a rich set of perspectives on the complexities of intercollegiate athletics in the 21st century.” Senter has made his way to El Paso and has worked feverishly to increase community support for UTEP Athletics. Senter brings passion, excitement and his ability to fundraise is top-notch. He’s already announced plans to upgrade Sun Bowl Stadium, with the new GECU Terrace, sky lounge, renovated press box and concourse coming soon. His busy first few months on the job have also included hiring football and men’s basketball coaches, as well as engaging various constituents with town halls across the city.  Senter says, “I am really honored to be here and be named athletic director of UTEP. I am humbled by it.”

Dana Dimel – UTEP Football Head Coach

Dana Dimel – UTEP Football Head Coach

Dana Dimel was announced as the 26th head coach in UTEP football history on Dec. 6, 2017. Dimel brings a wealth of NCAA Division I football experience with over 30 years of coaching. Dimel was the head coach at the University of Wyoming (1997-99) and the University of Houston (2000-02), while serving as associate head coach at the University of Arizona (2007-08). Most recently, Dimel was the co-offensive coordinator at Kansas State University (2011-17). On his coaching philosophy, Dimel says “you’re trying to be as efficient as you can, score a lot of points and have an exciting brand of football.”  With Dimel calling plays over the last seven seasons, KSU averaged 33.4 points per game with five nine-win seasons. Dimel assembled a coaching staff that has played or coached at Power Five schools, including new offensive coordinator Mike Canales and defensive coordinator Mike Cox. The buzz is out on Dimel and the new era of UTEP football, as he’s already compiled an impressive recruiting class to make a difference during the upcoming 2018 campaign.

Rodney Terry – UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Rodney Terry – UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach

Rodney Terry was appointed the 19th head coach in UTEP men’s basketball history on March 12, 2018. Terry returns home to the Lone Star State, as the native of Angleton previously served as the head coach at Fresno State for seven years. The Bulldogs experienced tremendous success under Terry’s direction, including 20-win campaigns in four of the last five years and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2016. Terry takes over a storied basketball program and says, “I want to build on the tradition, I want to build on the history. I want to have a connection with the campus.” One of Terry’s mentors, Harry Miller–Baylor University’s head coach from 1994 to 1999–gave Terry his first opportunity in coaching. Prior to his time at Fresno State, Terry served a nine-year tenure at the University of Texas as the Longhorns produced nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four berth in 2003. Current University of Tennessee head coach and former Longhorn head man Rick Barnes says Terry, who has been part of teams that posted a combined 461 wins, is a “phenomenal hire” for UTEP.

Mika Laaksonen – UTEP Track & Field Head Coach

Mika Laaksonen – UTEP Track & Field Head Coach

Mika Laaksonen is currently in his eighth season at the helm for the UTEP Track & Field program. Laaksonen served 12 years as an assistant under legendary USTFCCCA Hall of Fame coach Bob Kitchens. Laaksonen took over a program that saw 143 outdoor All-Americans, 73 indoor All-Americans and 15 cross country All-Americans under Kitchens’ direction. The winning ways have continued as UTEP star athlete Michael Saruni broke an NCAA record in the 800m after clocking a time of 1:43.25 in Tucson, Ariz., on April 29, 2018. Laaksonen, who was a former UTEP student-athlete and 1992 NCAA hammer champion, has directed the program to a multitude of success that includes the women’s track and field team claiming both the indoor and outdoor Conference USA title in 2017, while also being honored as both the indoor and outdoor Coach of the Year. In fact, Laaksonen has been named the C-USA Indoor Coach of the Year five times following his 2017 recognition. For the UTEP women, it was their third consecutive C-USA Indoor Championship title. In 2013, the men’s side won the C-USA Outdoor title, their first since 2008.

Jon Teicher “The Voice of the Miners”

Jon Teicher “The Voice of the Miners”

Jon Teicher will enter his 38th season (2018-19) as the UTEP Football and Men’s Basketball radio play-by-play “Voice of the Miners.” Teicher brings personality and passion over the airwaves as his “touchdown, Miners” call gives goosebumps to anyone listening. Teicher was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in the spring of 2001 and was most recently honored in New York City in December of 2017 as a recipient of the Chris Schenkel Award, for a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football by the National Football Foundation. NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell says, “Jon Teicher has had an exceptional broadcasting career and his voice has become synonymous with UTEP football and West Texas.” When Teicher first arrived to the Sun City, he called play-by-play for the minor-league baseball Diablos from 1980 to 1984 and again from 1988 to 1992. He also broadcast professional baseball in Portland, Ore., and in Wichita, Kan. A graduate of UCLA in 1979, Teicher looked up to the likes of former Dodgers voice Vin Scully and former Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn.

Kevin Baker – UTEP Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Kevin Baker – UTEP Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Kevin Baker took over a successful UTEP women’s basketball program and continued the winning ways during the 2017-18 season. Baker directed the Miners to a 17-win season, which more than doubled their win total from a year ago, and a first-round victory in the Conference USA Championships in Frisco, Texas. Baker was appointed as the eighth head coach in women’s basketball history on April 24, 2017 after posting 50 wins in two seasons at Angelo State University (2015-17). The Lufkin, Texas, native also saw success at UT-Tyler for three seasons (2012-15) that included a pair of 27-win campaigns during Baker’s final two years. Baker led both a Division II (Angelo State) and Division III (UT-Tyler) school to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Baker brought an exciting brand of basketball as his offensive style is pressing, getting up and down, and shooting a lot of threes. Baker’s UTEP squad displayed mental toughness as the team finished with seven wins in games decided by five points or less, which were the most such victories during a season in program history. Overall, Baker has chalked up 361 victories as a head coach, including 10 seasons as a high school head coach.

Cory Herman – El Paso Rhinos Head Coach

Cory Herman – El Paso Rhinos Head Coach

Cory Herman has been a staple of hockey in El Paso since 1999 when he first arrived, while helping the Sun City embrace a sport he has immense passion for. Most recently, the El Paso Rhinos were by-and-large the most dominating club in the Western States Hockey League after posting a 49-1-1 record and claiming the WSHL Championship during a 3-2 victory over the Ogden Mustangs on April 15, 2018. It was their third Thorn Cup for the Rhinos (2008, 2014). Herman played one season with the El Paso Buzzards before he founded the El Paso Rhinos junior hockey team in 2006. Herman’s goal is to help youth hockey players achieve theirs by playing at higher levels of hockey, including the NCAA. Herman says the most important part of his job as head coach is practice. “Practice is where they learn everything,” he says. But his team’s success on the ice is not all that matters. The Rhinos are heavily involved with local charities and organizations, while also reaching out to schools all around El Paso.

Rod Barajas – El Paso Chihuahuas Manager

Rod Barajas – El Paso Chihuahuas Manager

Cory Herman has been a staple of hockey in El Paso since 1999 when he first arrived, while helping the Sun City embrace a sport he has immense passion for. Most recently, the El Paso Rhinos were by-and-large the most dominating club in the Western States Hockey League after posting a 49-1-1 record and claiming the WSHL Championship during a 3-2 victory over the Ogden Mustangs on April 15, 2018. It was their third Thorn Cup for the Rhinos (2008, 2014). Herman played one season with the El Paso Buzzards before he founded the El Paso Rhinos junior hockey team in 2006. Herman’s goal is to help youth hockey players achieve theirs by playing at higher levels of hockey, including the NCAA. Herman says the most important part of his job as head coach is practice. “Practice is where they learn everything,” he says. But his team’s success on the ice is not all that matters. The Rhinos are heavily involved with local charities and organizations, while also reaching out to schools all around El Paso.

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