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UTEP names Mike Price interim head coach

Former Miners coach Mike Price has returned to the sideline as interim head coach, the program announced Monday night.

The move comes one day after Sean Kugler resigned after posting an 18-36 mark over four-plus seasons, including an 0-5 record to start this season.

"I've asked Mike if he could help us in this situation," AD Bob Stull said in a statement. "He has thankfully agreed. We've lost two coaches, and while we have two fine coordinators who are capable of doing the job, I just felt like it was important to bring in somebody with head coaching experience that is familiar with El Paso and our program."

Price said he is not a candidate for the full-time position. "I was surprised and flattered by Bob's call and appreciate the opportunity to help this program one more time. I am not interviewing for the future job, and I'm not going to be the future head coach," he said. "I'm going to manage the program and provide leadership for the rest of the year."

Price, 71, served as UTEP's head coach from 2004-12, taking the program to its highest point in decades. His tenure began with consecutive 8-4 campaigns with appearances in the Houston and GMAC bowls, the program's first back-to-back bowl trips since the 1953-54 seasons. His 2004-05 teams also made the only AP poll appearances in Miners football history; the club lasted one week at No. 24 in 2004 and climbed as high as No. 23 over a 4-week stay in '05.

The program dipped from there, reaching only one more bowl game before Price announced his retirement at the close of the 2012 season with a 48-61 record over his nine seasons. He has not coached since. Price also served as Weber State's head coach from 1981-88 and as Washington State's head coach from 1989-02. He took the Cougars to two Rose Bowls, the program's first Pasadena trips since the 1930 season. Price parlayed the second Rose Bowl appearance into the Alabama job, but resigned just days after due to an off-the-field scandal. He spent the 2003 season out of football, and rejoined the game upon his hiring at UTEP in December of 2003.

The first game of Price's second stint as UTEP's head coach will come against 2-time defending Conference USA champion Western Kentucky on Saturday in El Paso.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.