7 years, 7 months, and 29 days.
That’s how long Tim Floyd was UTEP’s head basketball coach. During that time Miner fans enjoyed a roller coaster ride filled with hope and disappointment and it got me thinking yesterday of some of my favorite moments and not so favorite moments of the Floyd Era.
Let me start off by saying this, before I was on the whole “Fire Floyd” train, I was a big supporter of Floyd and believed in what he wanted to do. I attended his introductory press conference. I wasn’t media, I was just a die-hard fan that wanted to see it for himself. I’ll never forget the excitement in the Foster-Stevens lobby that day. I remember going to his first radio show and him giving me some time after the show and we talked for a while about recruiting and his 3-5 year plan. I thought this program was going to become what Butler, Wichita St, and Gonzaga have become. Evidently it didn’t and now we’re here.
Here are some of my favorite moments in the Tim Floyd era.
November 12, 2010 – Tim Floyd’s first game as UTEP’s head coach. You guys remember how excited the city was? El Paso was renamed “Miner Orangeville” that day. The star on the mountain was lit up in orange that week. Those pickaxe’s that are on the pavement on intersections around UTEP were placed. It was the first opening season game to sell out in the Don since 1986. Miners ended up losing to Pacific 66-61.
February 26, 2011 – This was by far one of my favorite home games. The Miners put a shellacking on C-USA powerhouse, Memphis 74-47. I thought that was going to be the key moment in which we took over conference and become the team to beat.
February 18, 2012 – Again, beating Memphis 60-58. This one was extra special because the Miners broke the Tigers 64 game winning streak of C-USA home games. Never forget Barton missing that game winning shot as freshman Julian Washburn played defense.
November 17, 2012 – Isaac Hamilton shocked the college basketball world when he announced on national television that he was committing to UTEP and Tim Floyd. He was the first 5 star recruit to pick the Miner. This moment was when Miners fans though Floyd was putting us back on the national map.
2013 Recruiting Class – Arguably the best class in UTEP history. Several analysts referred to it as a top 25 class in the country. Notables in that class were Isaac Hamilton, Vince Hunter, Andre Spight, and Jacob Thomas.
December 19, 2012 – Triple overtime win vs Oregon. Need I say more? Oh yeah former Miner, Dominic Artis, played in that game but as part of the Ducks squad before transferring.
2013-2014 – UTEP went through a pretty good stretch that year posting a 15-2 record during a 17 game stretch in the middle of the season.
February 6, 2016 – The 50 year anniversary game of the 1966 championship team. Miners mounted a big comeback win versus Western Kentucky.
94-32 home record
Some not so favorite moments
February 11, 2011 – Ejections of Tim Floyd and Phil Johnson at ECU. Police officers had to escort Floyd off the court.
March 12, 2011 – Losing the C-USA tournament final to Memphis in the Haskins Center. It was Floyd’s first season with a senior laden team that led most of the game but couldn’t close it out.
November 28, 2013 – Incident with USC’s Andy Enfield in the Bahamas.
2013 Recruiting Class – Unfortunately, the potential of the 2013 class never came to fruition. Hamilton and Thomas never showed up. Spight was ruled ineligible and went the JUCO route (averaging 20+ for Northern Colorado this year).
January 8, 2014 – Gambling situation with former players McKenzie Moore, Jalen Ragland, and Justin Crosgile.
Losing to lower tier teams – Losses in the past two years to Southeastern Louisiana, Northwestern State, Northern Arizona, Maryland Eastern-Shore, and Appalachian St.
Record vs NMSU – After sweeping the Aggies in his first year, Floyd posted a 3-10 record vs NMSU that includes a 7 game losing streak in Las Cruses. It has been over 3 years that UTEP has beaten the Aggies.
Transfers/Signees not playing – Basically what Floyd has attributed his failures to. Too many guys have either transferred, never made it to campus or “left earlier” than expected.
Slow offenses – UTEP only averaged more than 71 PPG in a season once under Floyd (2015-16)
30-49 Road Record
14-17 Neutral Record
0 Conference USA Championships
0 NCAA tournament appearances
0 Postseason wins