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UTEP football parts ways with Dana Dimel after six seasons with the Miners

Joel Molina
Head Coach Dana Dimel, speaks to the team after the conclusion of the game against FIU Nov. 19.

The UTEP Miners football team (3-9, C-USA 2-6) closed its disappointing season, led by Head Coach Dana Dimel, with a final loss to No. 22 ranked and undefeated Liberty University (12-0, C-USA 8-0) Saturday afternoon.  The next day, UTEP Athletics decided to part ways with the veteran coach.  

The Miners entered the game off a close loss 34-30 to the Middle Tennesse Blue Raiders Saturday, Nov. 18 at Murfreesboro. 

Meanwhile, the Flames have taken the conference by storm under first year head coach Jamey Chadwell. Under Chadwell, Liberty is undefeated going 11-0 prior to Saturday’s matchup. 

The game commemorated the departure of ten seniors including quarterback Gavin Hardison, defensive end Praise Amaewhule and linebacker Tyrice Knight. 

The Miners struggled to get anything going early on as Liberty would take a massive 21-7 lead before the second quarter. 

UTEP did close the gap late in the game, closing the 17.5 point spread but did lose the game 42-28. 

Following the game, Dimel expressed his optimism on returning to UTEP for what could have been the final year on his contract. 

“(I) think there’s a lot of things that we’ve been able to do and bring this program,” said Dimel. “One bad year like this after we’ve played our last three for chances to go to bowl games. This year was out of my control. I can’t do anything about the type of injuries that we can get, but I can do something about us being competitive and playing hard.” 

No less than 24 hours later, ESPN reported UTEP fired Dimel after athletic director Jim Senter refused to comment during Saturday’s game. This move would require UTEP to pay out the final year on Dimel contract which is estimated to be $667,292. 

The report would be confirmed by UTEP Athletics in a press release and a statement by Senter. 

“We would like to thank Dana (Dimel) for the dedication and hard work that he has put in over the last six years, and we wish him the best in the future,” Senter said. “Under his leadership, our football program has shown improvement in all the academic metrics, and we have had minimal off-the-field issues. When he was hired, UTEP Football was coming off a winless season, and he built a more competitive team. However, we have not seen the kind of improvement necessary to compete for and win championships. We determined that a change in leadership was needed for the program to move forward.” 

UTEP will begin a national search immediately for the Miners 27th Head Football Coach. 

Dimel finished his career at UTEP with a record of 20-49. 

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela Armendariz 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.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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