The University of Texas at El Paso
to as UT El Paso
) is a
, coeducational university
, and a component of the University of Texas System
the northern bank of the Rio Grande in El Paso,
Texas, it is the largest university in the nation with a
majority Mexican-American student
The school was founded in 1914 as The
Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy
, and a
mineshaft still exists on the mountainous, desert
campus. It is composed of buildings of
massive sloping walls and overhanging roofs. In the mid-1950s,
UTEP, then called Texas Western College
the first southern college to integrate its intercollegiate
athletic teams. Although the campus population was less than 1%
, in 1966,
basketball coach Don Haskins
Texas Western team thrilled portions of the nation by winning the
with an all-black starting lineup, thus
breaking an unspoken barrier and transforming the history of
college basketball. By 1967, the Board of Regents authorized that
the name of the college be changed from Texas Western College to
its present name. Currently there are some 19,842 students
enrolled at UTEP. About 73 percent of
UTEP's student population is Hispanic
is the country's only doctoral research intensive university with a
student body that is predominantly Mexican American
historic 1966 Texas Western College win over The University of
Kentucky for the NCAA basketball championship was depicted
in the Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer movie Glory
Road, which was released in 2006 and in the national
bestselling 2005 book "Glory Road" written by Don Haskins and Dan
Glory Road lies between the two basketball
arenas on the campus, stretching from Mesa Street to Sun Bowl
institution is devoted to the ideals of access and excellence,
educating the population at a sprawling campus in the westernmost
part of the State of
Texas along the borders with Mexico and the
State of New
College of Mines Seal
- The school officially opened on September 23, 1914 with 27
- 1916 - enrollment had grown to 39 students and women were
allowed to enroll.
- 1919 - name was changed to U.T. Department of Mines and
- 1920 - name changed to the Texas College of Mines and
Metallurgy, or TCM.
- 1923 - students painted a large "M" for Miners on the Franklin Mountains; the "M" is
still there today.
- 1949 - name changed to Texas Western College of the University
of Texas (TWC). Gamma-Gamma chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
- 1961 - the nation’s first Peace
Corps class was trained at TWC.
- 1963 -
Stadium was constructed.
- 1966 -
men's basketball (including five African-American starters), coached by
Don Haskins, defeated the all white
Wildcats of the University of Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp,
for the NCAA Men's
Basketball Championship at College
Park, Maryland, the subject
of the 2006 movie Glory
- 1967 - changed name to The University of Texas at El Paso.
Alpha Kappa Lambda granted a charter for Alpha Rho chapter.
- 1968 -
Bob Beamon set a world long jump record
at the Olympic Games in Mexico City; the record would stand for decades.
- 1969 - first of seven NCAA Men's Cross Country
- 1974 - first doctoral degree program in Geological Sciences was approved. Won
first of seven NCAA Men's Indoor
Track and Field Championships.
- 1975 - men's Track and Field team won both the NCAA Men's
Outdoor and Indoor National Championships.
- 1976 - Engineering-Science Complex was completed and the
College of Nursing was also created.
- 1977 -
Special Events Center (now the Don Haskins Center) with 12,000 seats was completed.
- 1982 -
Expanded Sun Bowl
Stadium, increasing seating
capacity to 52,000.
- 1984 - Six-story University Library opened its doors to the
- 1988 - Diana Natalicio became UTEP's first woman
- 1989 - second doctoral degree was approved for Electrical Engineering.
- 1991 - Computer Engineering
- 1993 - Psychology doctorate
- 1995 - Environmental science
and engineering doctorate program
- 1996 - Pharmacy cooperative doctorate
- 1997 -
Don Haskins was inducted into the
Hall of Fame. Special Events Center was renamed the
Center, known as "The Bear's Den." Biological
sciences doctorate program
- 1999 - Don Haskins retired from
coaching. MBA online degree program and History doctoral program
- 2000 - Nursing cooperative doctorate
program. Miner Village was completed and UTEP was designated as a
Doctoral/Research-Intensive University by the Carnegie
Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
- 2002 - $11 million Larry K. Durham Sports Center opens for the
first time and the Sam Donaldson
Center for Communication Studies is established.
was a busy year for UTEP, the school hired former Washington
State University head coach Mike Price to
bring new life to the UTEP football team, $44 million in
construction projects began for Academic Services and Biosciences
buildings and an addition to the Engineering-Science Complex,
construction also began on the $1.8 million Helen of Troy Softball
Complex, and the International business doctorate, the Civil engineering doctorate, and the
Composition and Rhetoric doctorate programs were approved.
On Saturday, November 15, 2003, The UTEP Miners beat the Harlem
Globetrotters in basketball 89-88. Billy Gillespie, now in alcohol rehab,
was the head coach at UTEP at that
2004, UTEP celebrated its 90th anniversary and in the 2004-2005
athletic year, UTEP enjoyed great success in both football and
men's basketball, the Miner football team, under Price, went on to
play the Buffaloes of the University
of Colorado in the EV1.net Houston
Bowl, and the Men's basketball team under new coach Doc
Sadler went on to play in the school's 15th NCAA Men's
Basketball Tournament appearance.
- Enrollment at UTEP reached its highest level ever during Fall
2008 at 20,458, a 1.6% increase over the prior year.
The University of Texas at El Paso is subdivided into several
colleges, each of which offers a variety of degree programs
including undergraduate, graduate and some post-graduate:
UTEP offers 81 undergraduate degrees, 65 master's-level degrees and
16 doctoral degrees. The university ranked, in 2006, second in
federal research spending among UT System academic institutions,
and in fiscal year 2006 reported $45.7 million in total research
Hispanic Business magazine has twice ranked UTEP as the number one
school for hispanics
. The National Action Council for
Minorities in Engineering has called the University of Texas at El
Paso (UTEP) "a model for other engineering institutions who say
that today's minority young people from low-income families can't
succeed in a rigorous math- or science-based
The National Science
has designated UTEP as a Model Institution for
Excellence, one of only six in the country. UTEP is one of only 11
universities nationwide to receive a $5 million Teachers for a New
Era (TNE) research grant from the Carnegie Corporation
The campus architecture is a rare example of the dzong
style seen outside the Himalayas -
the university hosts the Chenrezig Himalayan Cultural Center of El
Paso. Initial phases were designed by El Paso architect Henry
Trost, and later phases have continued in the same style.
Academic Services Building
School Colors and Logo
The school's colors were originally made orange and white. However,
in the early 1980s, Columbia blue was added so now the official
colors are orange, white, and blue. When the new UTEP athletic
department logo was introduced in the fall of 1999, a darker hue of
blue was incorporated into the logo, as well as a silver accent to
go with the customary orange.
Pickaxe Hand Symbol
This hand symbol represents the traditional tool used by Miners,
. This gesture is made by UTEP
Miners fans when UTEP players are shooting free throws at
basketball games, or any time UTEP kicks off at a football game.
The Miner Pickaxe hand symbol.
"The Eyes of Texas
" was adopted by
the 1920 student body after the song had been "declared the school
anthem for the University of Texas at Austin"  
UTEP's fight song, "Miners Fight" was also borrowed from the Austin
campus. However, in the late 1980s and with the blessing of the
estate of Marty Robbins
, the UTEP
Music Department wrote a new song to the melody "El Paso."
"The Eyes of Texas" (UTEP's Official Alma Mater)
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away.
Do not think you can escape them,
At night or early in the morn-
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
'Till Gabriel Blows His horn.
"UTEP Fight Song"
Down in the west Texas town of El Paso,
Home of the River they call Rio Grande.
Down on the border the town of El Paso,
Home of the Miners the best in the land.
Fighting to win, the Miners of UTEP,
Long live the College of Mines, GO COLLEGE OF MINES!
Loyal forever, we're standing together,
Onward to victory Orange and Blue, WE WILL BE TRUE!
Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
And it's goodbye to Kentucky.
Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
For we'll put over one more win.
Miners Fight! Miners Fight!
For it's Miners that we love best.
Hail! Hail! the gang's all here,
And it's goodbye to all the rest!
"The Shadows on the Mountains" (UTEP's Band Hymn)
The shadows on the mountains fall,
across the desert sands.
We lift our voices to our home
Along the Rio Grande
With brothers standing ever near
And sisters by our side
Oh Alma Mater always true
Our hearts with thee abide
It is presumed that the nickname "Miners
came from the fact that the school was founded as the "State School
of Mines and Metallurgy." In doing research on this project, early
mention of "Ore Diggers" and "Muckers" for the nickname was found,
but nothing to determine if the name "Miners" was voted upon by the
student body, or if a faculty member, John W. (Cap) Kidd, chose the
name. Kidd was a big booster of athletics, especially football, and
in 1915, when funds were rather lean at the school, Kidd donated
$800 to equip the football team. He also assisted with coaching,
although he was not the head coach. The present track facility on
campus bears Cap Kidd's name.
Notable Athletic Achievements
UTEP's sports programs have won a total of 21 NCAA Division I
national championships. UTEP is currently tied for 10th overall
among schools in Men's Sports Division I championships.
UTEP owns the two largest stadiums in El Paso:
- F. Murray Abraham – Academy Award Best Actor
- Ana Alicia – Actress
- Nate Archibald
– NBA Hall of
Famer, chosen as one of the Top 50 Greatest NBA Players
- Roger Argenis – Lead singer of the
alternative rock band Aerial
- Antonio Davis – NBA All-Star, president of the National
Basketball Players Association
- Sam Donaldson – ABC News veteran
- Bob Beamon – Olympic gold medalist,
world record holder in track and field
- Hank Cohen – President of MGM Television Entertainment
- Joe Devance– Basketball Player
- Greg Foster – Former
NBA player and one time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers
- Hector Guerrero – Professional wrestler, performed on
WWF and NWA
- Jack Handey – Best known for his
"Deep Thoughts" on Saturday Night
- Tim Hardaway – NBA All-Star, 2000 Summer Olympics gold medalist
- J. P.
Hayes – Professional golfer
- Johnnie Lee Higgins – wide
receiver & special team specialist for the Oakland Raiders.
- Ed Hochuli – National Football League referee
- Thomas Howard –
linebacker for the Oakland
- Suzanna Hupp –
state representative from Lampasas County and Second
- Chris Jacke – BBA 1989, All-American
place kicker, Super Bowl champion with Green Bay Packers
- Shoshana Johnson – U.S. Army Specialist,
former Iraq POW
- Seth Joyner – 1991 NFL Defensive Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated, one-time Super Bowl champion
- Don Maynard –
Hall of Fame
- Lee Mays – Former National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver
- Paul Moreno – Former Texas Democratic State
Representative, longest serving Mexican American elected official
in the United States
- John D. Olivas – First UTEP alumnus to be selected as
an astronaut by NASA and a member
of Space Shuttle Mission STS-117 crew aboard the Atlantis, launched on
June 8, 2007
- Bob O'Rear – A founder of Microsoft
- Nolan Richardson – Former NCAA
champion collegiate men's
basketball head coach at the
University of Arkansas
- Hector M. Sanchez – First deaf
student to graduate from UTEP (1996)
- Tony Tolbert – Three time world
champion with the Dallas Cowboys
- Weronika Bloczynska ;
Professional Tennis Player
- Manuel Leon Jr ; Writer
- See UTEP Handbook of Operations
for more details.
- Schools with the Most NCAA Championships