The Liberty Flames are headed to Conference USA where the Flames will compete as all-sports members beginning with the 2023-24 athletic season. Over the next several days, we will be profiling each member of C-USA as we all get to know Liberty’s new home a little better.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS EL PASO (UTEP)
Location: El Paso, TexasMascot: Miners Distance to Lynchburg: 1,787 miles Enrollment: 21,298 TV market: No. 98 in US (El Paso, TX) Joined CUSA: 2005 CUSA football championships: N/A Coach: Dana Dimel Stadium: Sun Bowl Capacity: 51,500
UTEP has a storied history of 21 NCAA Division titles in various sports, but most notably the 1966 men’s basketball title win over Kentucky. The Miners made history in being the first team to start 5 African American players in that game. UTEP played in the Western Athletic Conference from 1967- 2005, winning two conference championships. Since joining CUSA the Miners have played in the GMAC bowl in 2005 and the New Mexico Bowl in 2010 and 2014.
Dana Dimel has been UTEP’s head coach since prior to the 2018 season. He has lead the Miners to their best start under his tutelage this season at 6-3 and is currently 11-30 with the Miners.
On the hardwood, UTEP reached the won national title in 1966 but the last three times they made made tournament was 2004, 2005, and 2010. The Miners have been to the NIT on 10 different occasions including trips in 2011 and 2015, but both trips ended in the first round. Last year, the Miners basketball team was .500 with a 12-12 overall record.
Currently UTEP does not offer baseball as a sport. It should be noted that New Mexico State is a rival with UTEP. The rivalry has its roots as far back as the 1920’s and will continue as a heated rivalry in CUSA.