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Basketball head coach looks to continue success after 2021 campaign

Annabella Mireles
Men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding faces a new team this year, with only three returning players.

As UTEP basketball ramps up for the 2022-2023 season, men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding prepares his brand-new roster to face the Texas Longhorns Nov. 7. 

Golding is coming off a remarkably successful first season where his team won 20 games, a task the Miners have not accomplished since 2015. Thanks to those 20 wins, the Miners won its first postseason game in over 13 years. Golding believes his team can do even more this year. 

“We obviously got out of the gate pretty good with 20 wins but we still didn’t really do anything, in my opinion,” said Golding. “We were beat in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament and finished middle of the pack, but I like where this team is at. They’re working extremely hard.” 

Golding’s squad lost several key pieces in the offseason with star players like guard Jamal Bieniemy and power guard Souley Boum not on the roster this season. The only carryovers from the 2021-2022 season are sophomore forwards Jamari Sibley, Kevin Kalu and Ze’Rik Onyema. This would reasonably concern any coach, but Golding maintains that his team is headed in the right direction. 

“We’ve got a brand-new team who has a lot going on right now. We’re trying to figure each other out and trying to form a unit with a lot of different pieces, but I like where this group’s at and I’m excited to coach them,” said Golding. 

Prior to his tenure at UTEP, Golding was at the helm of the Abilene Christian University (ACU) basketball program. In his time with ACU, Golding took the program to two different National Collegiate Athletics Association tournaments where he upset No. 3 Texas back in 2021.  

Before all the glitz and glamour of playing on a national stage, however, ACU was a Division II program before making the leap to Division I for the 2013-2014 season. Golding did not have a winning season until 2019 when ACU went 27–7 punching the team’s ticket for the NCAA tournament. 

In building that ACU roster, and even this UTEP team, Golding’s staff focuses greatly on recruiting individuals who demonstrate positive character traits. 

Looking forward, UTEP faces the Texas Longhorns on the road. This is UTEP’s first matchup against Texas since the 1991-1992 season where the Miners lead the series 3-1. But a lot has changed since these teams last met. Texas is currently ranked No. 16 in college basketball, has been to 25 NCAA tournaments since the 1991-1992 season and is coming off five winning seasons. Similarly, to UTEP, Texas has a young head coach in Chris Beard, who is also coming off his first season with the Longhorns where he posted 22 wins and an invitation to the NCAA tournament. 

None of this phases Golding as he is pushing for the roster to play through the adversity. 

“We’re going in with our backs against the wall. I just look forward to competing. Playing in a hostile environment, I think, will help us down the road,” said Golding. “I tell my guys not to play the scoreboard. We play hard for 40 minutes, and we’ll look up at the end of 40 minutes and see where it stands.” 

One aspect of the game Golding wants to see grow is fan interaction. This past football season, the UTEP Miners football team sold out its season opener against UNT for the school’s “915 Night.” Golding hopes to emulate that same success for its first home game. “Our New Mexico State game, we’re trying to sell out and to do that, we have to have students,” said Golding. “I thought the North Texas (football) game was great, but we got to continue to grow. When (The Don) is packed and loud, there’s not a better place to play in the country. It helps us win games and helps us continue to recruit good players.” 

The UTEP Miners first face the Texas Longhorns at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at the brand-new Moody Center. 

The Miner’s first home game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, for “915 Night” at the Don Haskins Center against I-10 rival New Mexico State University. 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram    


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About the Contributors
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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Basketball head coach looks to continue success after 2021 campaign