Day 7: A Tradition of Beating the Odds

By on December 25, 2013

Haskins5Today is Day 7 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial year.

We continue The Top 10 Traditions that Form the Foundation of Miner Pride and Success.

7. A Tradition of Beating the Odds Throughout its history, UTEP has grown accustomed to defying convention and beating the odds. In 1966, the players, coaches, and fans at our West Texas school dared to dream about being NCAA champions. Despite long odds and a widespread belief that they would fail precisely because of who they were, our 1966 national championship team started its best players and upset the nation’s top-ranked team for a historic victory. In the twenty-first century, when colleges and universities typically choose between access or research excellence, UTEP succeeds at both. Defying current conventional wisdom, the institution has experienced growth not only in student enrollment but also in research productivity and degrees awarded. In 2013, Washington Monthly magazine ranked UTEP #7 overall among all national research universities, between #6 Stanford and #8 Harvard. The magazine based its rankings on the institution’s ability to change lives, the net cost of an undergraduate degree, research productivity, and service to the community. UTEP’s commitment to providing affordable access to excellent education is gaining the respect that we have worked so very hard to earn.

Keith A. Erekson served as the Executive Director of UTEP's Centennial Celebration from December 2011 through May 2014. Learn more at