Brumbelow Building: The Home of UTEP Athletics

By on November 13, 2012

Mike Brumbelow

The land on which the Brumbelow Building now sits has served a variety of purposes. Beginning in 1951, a group of students formed a Rodeo Club. After meeting with Texas Western College (now UTEP) Athletic Director Mike Brumbelow, the group drafted a constitution and made plans for a rodeo arena. The 500-square-yard arena was estimated to cost $3500 and would be funded entirely by the club. It would be located in close proximity to the college stables on land the club would lease from the C.R. Carter of the Carter Petroleum Company of El Paso. The Rodeo Club raised necessary funds and, with the aid of the El Paso County and New Orleans Railroad, the TW Rodeo Arena was completed in time for the 1953 rodeo season.

The Rodeo Arena enjoyed a short history on the land; in 1957 El Paso Natural Gas (EPNG) took over ownership of the land and tore the arena down to make room for the EPNG Research Center. The structure, with a cost of $200,000, was to be used by EPNG and Texas Western College student interns. Built by EPNG for the purpose of creating more room for their research department, the location was chosen so that the close proximity to the College would encourage co-operative research. The building was designed to conform to the College’s Bhutanese style. EPNG Research Center opened on April 12, 1960 and served the intended purpose until EPNG leased the facility to Global Universal Services from 1969 until 1974. Like EPNG, Global Universal Services worked with UTEP students and faculty on research projects.

In 1974 the land and building was acquired by the University and the building was renovated to house the UTEP Athletics Offices. The building has continued to serve as athletic offices but was renamed the Brumbelow Building in 1984 in honor of Coach Brumbelow. Brumbelow not only served as Athletic director but also as the head football coach from 1950-1956.

[Sources: The Prospector 09/30/1950, 10/13/1951, 12/8/1951, 02/16/1952, 02/23/1952, 04/19/1952, 11/28/1956, 10/04/1957, and 03/19/1960]

Ashley Swarthout was a student in the Masters of Arts in Teaching English program at UTEP. She graduated in May 2013 and is now teaches dual credit at Chapin High School.