UTEP brings back Mike Price as interim head coach

Mike Price was the head coach at UTEP from 2004 to 2012. (Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

UTEP is going with a familiar face to fill its head coaching void for the remainder of the season.

The school announced Monday that Mike Price will serve as interim coach. Yes, that Mike Price. Price, who coached the Miners from 2004 to 2012, fills the void left by Sean Kugler, who resigned Sunday after the team dropped to 0-5 on Saturday with a loss to Army. UTEP previously fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease last month.

“I’ve asked Mike if he could help us in this situation,” UTEP athletic director Bob Stull said in a release. “He has thankfully agreed. We’ve lost two coaches, and while we have two fine coordinators who are capable of doing the job, I just felt like it was important to bring in somebody with head coaching experience that is familiar with El Paso and our program.”


Price will meet with the team Tuesday afternoon and join the team at practice on Wednesday.

“I was surprised and flattered by Bob’s call and appreciate the opportunity to help this program one more time,” Price said. “I am not interviewing for the future job, and I’m not going to be the future head coach. I’m going to manage the program and provide leadership for the rest of the year.”

Price, 71, had a 48-61 record in nine seasons and led the Miners to three bowl games before deciding to retire after the 2012 season.

Before his time at UTEP, Price was head coach at Weber State 1981-1988 and Washington State from 1989-2002. He led WSU to the Rose Bowl in 1997 and 2002. After the 2002 season, Price landed the Alabama job, but was fired before he ever coached a game for the Tide. He did not coach during the 2003 season and returned to the field when he was hired by UTEP, where he stayed until his retirement.

His first game back with the Miners will come Saturday at home against Western Kentucky.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!