Friday night we learned that Sean Kugler will be the next head coach at UTEP.
Kugler, 46, is a native of Lockport, N.Y., but played at UTEP from 1984-88. An offensive lineman, he played for position coach Andy Reid with the Miners. After one year in professional football, Kugler started his coaching career in the Florida high school ranks in 1990. In 1993, he returned to El Paso as a graduate assistant and moved on to coach tight ends and the offensive line. He jumped to the a tight ends coaching position with the Detroit Lions from 2001-03 and as the offensive line coach from 2004-05.
He then stopped for one year at Boise State, helping the Broncos to an undefeated season and memorable win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in 2006. He moved back into the NFL as the offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills (2007-09) and then the Pittsburgh Steelers (2010-12).
Kugler’s tutelage has helped Ryan Clady, Jason Peters and Maurkice Pouncey reach the Pro Bowl in three of his stops. His offensive line produced a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his three seasons in Buffalo, and the Pittsburgh offensive line outrushed its counterpart in 17-of-19 games in the Steelers’ race to Super Bowl XLV. His offensive line in Buffalo set a franchise record with just 26 sacks allowed in 2007.
Kugler takes over for Mike Price, who retired as the Miners head coach after nine seasons with a 48-61 record. Under Price, UTEP achieved back-to-back eight-win seasons in 2004-05 but did not enjoy a winning season since that span. The Miners went 3-9 in 2012, with their three wins coming over teams with a combined 3-33 record. They ranked 68th or lower in every major offensive and defensive category tracked by the NCAA.