EL PASO, Texas — UTEP is bringing back former Miners coach Mike Price to be interim coach and replace Sean Kugler, who was fired after an 0-5 start.
Price, 71, coached UTEP from 2004-12 and took the Miners to three bowl games. From 1989-2002, he was coach at Washington State, where he had three 10-win seasons and the led the Cougars to the 1998 Rose Bowl.
UTEP fired Kugler on Sunday, two weeks after offensive coordinator Brent Pease was let go.
“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,” said longtime athletic director Bob Stull, who announced in August he is retiring but is staying on until a successor is named.
Price said he surprised and flattered to be asked by Stull to serve as interim coach.
“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 said.
Before landing at UTEP, Price became Alabama coach in 2003 but never coached a game for the Crimson Tide. He was fired after news reports of a night of partying at a strip club in Pensacola, Florida. He resurfaced with the Miners and went on to be one of the most successful coaches in the history of a program that has not had much. The Miners have played in five bowls since 1967.
Price finished 48-61 at UTEP, including 30-42 in Conference USA.