EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Kansas State offensive coordinator Dana Dimel has been named head coach at UTEP, where he will take over the only Division I team that didn’t win a game this season.
Dimel was named the Miners coach Wednesday. Sean Kugler resigned Oct. 1 after the team’s 0-5 start in his fifth season at his alma mater. Former coach Mike Price served as interim head coach the remaining seven games.
UTEP said in a release that the school and the 55-year-old Dimel are working on a mutually agreeable start date following completion of his coaching responsibilities with Kansas State, his alma mater where he has been back since 2009. The Wildcats play in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26.
This will be Dimel’s third stint as a head coach. He had a 30-39 record at Wyoming (1997-99) and Houston (2000-02).
Dimel had three consecutive winning seasons for a 22-13 record at Wyoming, when at the time of his hiring he was 34 and the nation’s youngest Division I-A coach. At Houston, the Cougars went 0-11 in 2001 before winning five games in 2002.
“I’m greatly looking forward to the opportunity at UTEP to build a program utilizing a ‘1-0’ concept,” Dimel said. “We will work diligently to elevate UTEP football to the highest level in Conference USA. Having been a part of a major turnaround at Kansas State and having the success we did at Wyoming, I’m just really excited about the leadership challenge that’s ahead.”
Before his two head coaching stints, Dimel had been at Kansas State since first serving as a graduate assistant in 1987. He was offensive line coach (1989-94) and offensive coordinator for the Wildcats (1995-96). He returned to K-State for one season in 2005 while working on his graduate degree.
“We look forward to an exciting new era of UTEP Football under his leadership,” said Diana Natalicio, UTEP’s new president who also described Dimel as a “great fit” for UTEP and the El Paso community.
“We are very pleased to find a coach with the talent, expertise and experience of Dana Dimel,” athletic director Jim Senter said. “He has strong ties to the state of Texas. He will immediately impact recruiting in the state of Texas.”
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