Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler has been hired as the new head football coach at UTEP, the school announced during a press conference on Monday.
Kugler, 46, replaces Mike Price, who retired after nine seasons with the Miners. Kugler was a defensive lineman for the Miners from 1984-88, the final three seasons current athletic director Bob Stull served as head coach. He spent eight years on the UTEP staff, but has been in the NFL for all but one year since 2000 - serving as offensive line coach for Boise State in 2006.
Kugler, who spent the past three seasons with the Steelers, is set to hire Washington State linebackers coach Jeff Choate as his defensive coordinator, according to the El Paso Times.
"I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be the next head coach at UTEP," Kugler said during Monday's press conference. "I'm very grateful to Dr. Natalicio and coach Stull. I'm hoping to build on the tremendous job that was done by coach [Mike] Price and his staff. I have been the Miners' biggest supporter from afar, and the job coach Price and his staff did was outstanding. I can't wait to work with the players in the near future. I spent 13 years as a player and coach at UTEP and loved every minute of it. I'm excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career at a place that has so many fond memories."
UTEP was 3-9 in 2012.