With just over a month on the job at UTEP, new head coach Sean Kugler has made both of his coordinator hires (Patrick Higgins will serve as the offensive coordinator and Jeff Choate as the defensive coordinator) but admits that they haven't talked a whole lot of football yet. They've spent the majority of their time getting on the same page with terminology so that they can effectively communicate moving forward.
Kugler explained that his familiarity with the work ethic and body of work of both hires led to his decision to bring both of them on staff. As an assistant himself, Kugler noted that he responded best to head coaches and coordinators that "let you coach", so that's what he aims to do with both of his coordinators.
A few of the things that led to Kugler to bring Choate on board was his organization, his ability to produce at each coaching stop, his recruiting prowess, and his unlimited energy that in turn cathces on with the players and eventually, the rest of the coaching staff.
Kugler and Higgins actually attended the same high school and grew up near each other and remained close throughout the years. Higgins resume includes head coaching stops at William Penn (NAIA - IA), St. Andrews Prep and as the interim head coach this past season after Danny Hope was let go, as well as numerous stops as an offensive coordinator and has coached nearly every offensive position during his coaching career.
On the new hires, Kugler bragged, "I've got two young, outstanding coaches, with energy. Both are extremely intelligent, both with an outstanding work ethic, and both that I believe everyone in Miner nation will be very proud of."
Kugler also noted that they'll do something interesting on special teams, as both Kugler and Choate have served as special teams coordinators during their careers. No coach will have the title of special teams coordinator, but the offensive staff will all be involved on the return units, and the defensive staff will handle the coverage units. Kugler noted accountability as one of the main reasons for structuring it that way.
Hear more of his reasoning on the special teams duties at about the 3:30 mark.