Tim Floyd: Rebuilding year in store for Miners coach
By Joe Olvera ©, 2011
He guided his USC Trojans to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Tournament in 2006-2007 after compiling a school record of 25-12 and third place in the PAC 10 Conference. He has continued his winning ways with an overall record in 15 years of 306-167. He has taken his teams to seven NCAA Tournaments and three NIT appearances. 13 of his players have made it to the NBA – the professional ranks. He has been the head coach at Idaho, New Orleans and Iowa State prior to coaching at USC.
After coaching in the NBA, his luck rather ran out when he became first the director of Special Operations and later head coach for the Chicago Bulls. Joining the Bulls at a time when its major stars, i.e., Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had left the team, Coach Tim Floyd compiled a dismal record. But, he fared a little better when he coached the New Orleans Hornets, compiling a record of 41-41. Still young at age 57, Floyd is now in his second year as coach of the U.T. El Paso Miners. He no longer has the services of his high scorer, Randy Culpepper, and is, instead, fielding a young slew of players with little experience playing at the Division 1 level. It’s not going to be an easy task for the fiery coach who has been ejected from games at both the collegiate and professional levels.
Taking his cue from former UTEP Coach, Don Haskins, who with his clip-on tie askew, had a habit of arguing with officials, Floyd continues the tradition. Haskins was often ejected from games, or given technical fouls. He was confident in his assistant coaches and believed that his players could continue to play without his instruction and, often, they did. Incensed at their coach being ejected for what they believed were unfair calls by referees. Haskins being thrown out of games sometimes fired up the team, but, not always. If Floyd is going to fire up his team, it’s going to take much more than being ejected from games. They were flat and uninspired in their home game on Nov. 11 against U.T. San Antonio which they lost 73 to 64, albeit, they fared better against U.C. Riverside, defeating them with a tenacious defense. Still, it’s early in the season, although their 21 turnovers in their first game must be curtailed if they are to succeed at all.
Coach Floyd isn’t panicking, however, even though his senior player, 6-10 John Bohannon did nothing to inspire his smaller teammates. Bohannon scored only 12 points in their loss to U.T. San Antonio, but Floyd knows that better days are just ahead, if only his team maintains its poise and plays hard, defends tough, and out-rebounds the opposing team. Floyd’s mantra, like that of Haskins, is defense, defense, defense. Defend the ball, Haskins used to say, and the scoring will take care of itself. Floyd, having served for nine seasons as a Haskins assistant and chief recruiter, knows how to get his players inspired. However, his young team must learn to play with poise, must score when given the opportunity, must rebound on both the offensive and defensive boards, and must control its turnover ratio. 21 turnovers in one game is just not acceptable. If anyone can take this team and turn it into a winner, Tim Floyd can. Go, Miners!
Minerpalooza, UTEP’s largest and loudest pep rally!
The University of Texas at El Paso will celebrate its 21st annual Minerpalooza, the campus’ largest and loudest pep rally, on Sept. 2.
Minerpalooza will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight in the center of campus, near University Avenue and Hawthorne Street. The kick-off bash celebrates the beginning of the school year and all UTEP athletic programs, including the start of the new football season.
On Sept. 3, the Miner football team faces off against the Seawolves of Stony Brook University, located in Stony Brook, N.Y. It will be the first time the teams meet on the field.
“We celebrate all athletics; we celebrate all students coming back to campus,” said Charlie Gibbens, director of residence life at UTEP and chair of the Minerpalooza committee. “This is a chance for us to say welcome back to the entire University and El Paso community.”
For 21 years, the annual back-to-school tradition has welcomed the community with one of the biggest fundraising events for student organizations on campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Tickets for games and food will be available for purchase.
The event offers live entertainment, inflatables for children, a kids’ zone, a carnival and a pep rally with Coach Mike Price, President Diana Natalicio, Paydirt Pete, the UTEP Cheerleaders and the Golddiggers. Entertainment will be provided by bands Del Rio, Red City Blue, Frontera Bugalú, and DJs Esteban Carrasco and Johnny Kage.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to come out. You get to be up and close with the football team. You get to be up close and meet the president,” Gibbens said. “This event really helps students get a really good understanding of what the University is about.”
This is an opportunity for students to bring their families to campus to show them where they spend most of their time, said Erika Portillo, a student development coordinator and one of the organizers of Minerpalooza.
Excitement for Minerpalooza starts during welcome back week, said Portillo, who has been involved with organizing the event for five years.
“The football season is about to start; for freshman, they don’t know what to expect,” she said. “I think the anticipation of a new season, new school year and new event (Minerpalooza) is exciting for them. We have returning students that have been to it in years past and they come back because they know there are so many people, so much activity, music and food.”
For more information, visit www.utep.edu/minerpalooza.