Dana Dimel will try and put a jolt in a UTEP program that went 0–12 in 2017 with a staff loaded with experience and Texas ties. Mike Canales, who has twice served as an interim head coach at North Texas, will be the Miners’ new offensive coordinator. Sources tell SI that former Kansas State linebackers coach Mike Cox will be the new defensive coordinator. In addition, former Arkansas assistant Reggie Mitchell is expected to be UTEP’s new running backs coach; Mike Tuiasosopo will handle the Miners’ defensive line; Joe Robinson, a West Texas native, will be the special teams coordinator; Scotty Ohara is expected to come from the Rutgers staff to coach receivers and former Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters, who was a graduate assistant at Iowa State this season, is expected to become an inside receivers coach.
The 55-year-old Dimel, who will come to UTEP from his role as Kansas State’s offensive coordinator and play-caller after the Wildcats play UCLA in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 26, went 30–39 over six seasons as a head coach at Wyoming and Houston. He has recruited Texas for 30 years. Canales, Mitchell, Robinson and Burns all also have strong connections in the Lone Star State.
Dimel has the most wins of any active offensive coordinator in college football since 2011 (60), and has been a part of eight straight bowl appearances at Kansas State. With Dimel calling the plays over the last seven seasons, the Wildcats have averaged over 33 points per game and 6.2 yards per play.
The Miners have been to just two bowl games in the past 12 years and last won a bowl game 50 years ago in the 1967 Sun Bowl.