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UTEP football adds three to coaching staff

Photo courtesy of UTEP Athletics

UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel announced secondary/safeties coach Keith Burns, director of player development/high school relations Barrick Nealy and wide receivers coach Scotty Ohara to the staff on Monday.

This comes after offensive coordinator Mike Canales and defensive coordinator Mike Cox were officially announced on Dec. 20.

Ohara comes from Rutgers where he was the offensive quality control assistant in 2017, working primarily with the quarterbacks. He brings over a decade of coaching experience. Ohara spent six seasons (2011-17) at Kanas State with various positions with the program, while working with Dimel.

Ohara got his start at the University of Arizona as a volunteer student assistant under Dimel in 2006 and later received his degree from there in 2008.

“Scott is a very important hire for us and has been with me since my time At Arizona,” Dimel said. “(He) knows what we want to accomplish and how to on offense as well as anyone I have worked with. Scott is very well versed and talented in his skill set. And is a very valuable asset to our program on many levels.”

Nealy got his start with then-head coach Dimel at the University of Houston in 2002 where he played under center in four games. Nealy would transfer to Texas State where he produced three solid seasons, including the Southland Conference player of the Year in 2005 that led to a pro career with the Minnesota Vikings (wide receiver in 2006) and Calgary Stampeders (quarterback from 2006-10).

Nealy recently coached at San Marcos Academy, directing the wide receivers since 2011.

“Barrick has great name recognition in the state of Texas from his outstanding playing career in college and played at professional level as well,” Dimel said. “He will Be very positive influence and character builder of the student athletes in our program. He will help our program on many levels on-and-off the field as a great mentor. (He will) be a strong conduit to the coaches we work with on a daily basis.”

Burns brings over three decades of coaching experience has tutored 29 NFL corners and safeties throughout is career. Burns was recently at Archbishop Mitty HS (San Jose, Calif.) for four seasons (2014-17), where he was the defensive coordinator in 2014 and promoted to head coach in 2015.

Prior to his high school stint, Burns served as an assistant special teams coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2012-13. Burns also served as head coach at Tulsa for three seasons (2000-02).

“Keith and I have known each other for quite a while. We were together at K-State,” Dimel said. “I know what type of experience schematically he brings to the table and also having been a head coach at this level is someone I can refer to since he has sat in the head coaching chair himself. He has a wealth of experience in Power Five and NFL levels. And many years of recruiting Texas.”

The remainder of the staff will be announced following Monday’s hires.

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Jeremy Carranco
Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor
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UTEP football adds three to coaching staff