Fans will have the opportunity to meet 23 of the greatest players in UTEP football, men’s and women’s basketball history – and get their autographs -when the Miners celebrate their Athletics Centennial Weekend Nov. 14-15.
Returning to campus for the basketball and football games are football’s Trey Darilek, Eugene Epps, Pat Hegarty, Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr., Chris Jacke, Howard Jackson, Cedric Johnson, Don Maynard, Lee Mays, Brian Natkin, Jordan Palmer, Billy Stevens, Tony Tolbert, Bob Wallace andBarron Wortham; men’s basketball’s David Lattin and Nolan Richardson; and women’s basketball’s Gloria Estrada, Jareica Hughes, Holly Russ, Be Stoney, Kiana Taylor and Timika Williams. All are members of the UTEP Centennial teams for their respective sports, as voted on by the fans.
Centennial Weekend will get started with a bang on Friday, Nov. 14 as the UTEP men’s and women’s basketball teams open their seasons with a Haskins Center doubleheader. The women, 29-8 a year ago and WNIT runner up, will host I-10 rival NM State at 5:30 p.m. The men, 23-11 in 2013-14 and returning nine of their top 10 scorers, will face Washington State from the Pac-12 Conference at 8 p.m.
For the price of one ticket – starting at just $8 – fans can gain admittance to both games. The first 1,000 fans will receive foam sticks at the women’s game.
Then on Saturday, Nov. 15, the UTEP football team (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) continues its breakthrough season by battling North Texas at 8 p.m. Centennial team posters are free for the first 5,000 fans, and the Centennial team members will be signing autographs in the stadium concourse at 7 p.m.
Fans can also look forward to a special halftime performance by hundreds of local spirit groups.
For tickets, please call (915) 747-5234. Tickets are sold at the University Ticket Center (2901 North Mesa), at the East side UTEP Miner Store (1452 North Zaragoza Suite A-500) and via ticketmaster.com.
UTEP Football Centennial Team
Quintin Demps (2004-07)
Quintin Demps had a flair for the dramatic during his UTEP career. He forced a fumble in the second overtime to preserve UTEP’s 35-28 win over Rice in 2004, and sealed the Miners’ 44-41 triumph over Houston in 2005 – also in two overtimes – with an interception of Cougar quarterback Kevin Kolb. Demps closed out his career with 17 interceptions (second in school history) and 404 interception yards (first). Three of his interceptions went for touchdowns, including a pair of 100-yard returns as a senior. He continued his career in the NFL with Philadelphia, Houston, Kansas City and the New York Giants.
Eugene Epps (1967-68)
Eugene Epps played for the Miners for two seasons after transferring from Coffeyville Junior College. In his first year at UTEP, he helped the team to a 7-2-1 record. He posted one of the top games of his college career against Mississippi in the Sun Bowl, with his 10 unassisted tackles and fourth quarter interception spearheading the Miners’ 14-7 victory. As a senior in 1968, he registered a team-leading 130 tackles, including seven for losses, with three interceptions. Epps played in the 1969 College All-Star Football Game in Chicago, and was chosen by Washington in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Charlie West (1965-67)
A gifted athlete who could have been a star anywhere on the field, Charlie West was a lockdown cornerback with the Miners from 1965-67. West, who went on to play in the NFL for 12 years, owns school records for interceptions (19) and interceptions for touchdowns (three). He also set the single-season standard with 11 picks in 1966. He was a part of three consecutive winning campaigns, and aided the squad to Sun Bowl victories in 1965 and 1967. West also returned punts, and he remains listed in the top 10 in the UTEP record book for career average, returns and yardage. He played in Super Bowl IV with the Minnesota Vikings.
Jesse Whittenton (1952-55)
Jesse Whittenton is considered to be one of the best all-around athletes to play at UTEP. He rushed for 1,351 yards, passed for 1,381 yards, caught 19 passes, intercepted nine passes, brought back 17 punts for 230 yards and returned 20 kickoffs for 375 yards. He also scored 18 touchdowns and kicked 44 PATs before taking his talents to the Green Bay Packers, where he was a two-time All-Pro defensive back and selected to the Packers Hall of Fame in 1976. In the 1955 Sun Bowl against Florida State, Whittenton passed for three touchdowns, ran for two and kicked five extra points – thus accounting for 35 of UTEP’s 47 points. He passed away in 2012.
George Daney (1965-67)
Although he played on the defensive line at UTEP, George Daney was moved to guard by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played for seven years before retiring due to a neck injury. He helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl in 1970 and was regarded as an exceptional special teams player. Daney, who came to UTEP after Detroit Mercy dropped its football program, played in two Sun Bowl games. He and Fred Carr are UTEP’s only first round draft picks. Daney passed away in 1990 at the age of 44.
Wayne Hansen (1947-49)
Wayne Hansen played at UTEP for three years before moving on to the NFL, first with the Bears and later the Cowboys. Hansen was the center and nose tackle for the Miners, earning All-Border Conference honors as a senior. He opened holes for starsFred Wendt and Pug Gabrel. He helped the Miners to a 21-7-3 record over three seasons and back-to-back Sun Bowl appearances from 1949-50. He was inserted into the Chicago Bears’ starting lineup as a rookie. After playing on the offensive and defensive line early in his career, he moved to linebacker in 1955 and made the Pro Bowl three times (1956-58). Later an assistant coach at Texas Western, Oklahoma and Stanford, Hansen passed away in 1987.
Tony Tolbert (1986-88)
Tony Tolbert was somewhat of a late bloomer with the Miners – he didn’t start until his junior year – but quickly made up for lost time. He earned second team All-WAC honors in 1987 and first team in 1988, when he tallied 101 tackles with 11 sacks for UTEP’s first 10-win team. A fourth round draft choice by the Dallas Cowboys, Tolbert spent nine years in the NFL and tallied 59 sacks. He had more sacks than any other Cowboys player in the 1990’s. Tolbert was a member of Super Bowl championship teams in 1992, 1993 and 1995. He was also a Pro Bowl selection in 1996.
Brian Young (1995-99)
An El Paso native who starred at Andress High School, Brian Young was later a fierce pass rusher for his hometown Miners. He closed out his college career with 32 tackles for losses and 14.5 sacks. In 1998, he became the first UTEP defensive lineman to post 100 tackles in 10 years. He also went over the century mark as a senior while registering 16 tackles for losses and eight sacks, garnering WAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. He played for St. Louis and New Orleans over nine seasons in the NFL, and was a part of the Rams’ 2001 Super Bowl squad. He joined the Saints coaching staff in 2009.
Chris Jacke (1984-88)
Chris Jacke had an All-America season for UTEP in 1988 when he went 25-of-27 on field goal attempts and 48-for-48 on PATs. He set the school record with 123 kicking points that year, and the 25 field goals were also a UTEP standard. Jacke was the first kicker taken in the 1989 NFL Draft (by Green Bay) and spent 10 seasons in the league. His top year was 1993 when he scored 128 points with 31 field goals, earning placement on the All-Pro Team. In his final year with Green Bay (1996), he helped the team to a 13-3 record and world championship. He was inducted into the Packers’ Hall of Fame in 2013.
Cedric Johnson (1993-96)
A dynamic special teams performer, Cedric Johnson closed out his UTEP career with 116 kickoff returns for 2,757 yards, both school records, while scoring three touchdowns. He had a 100-yard kickoff return at New Mexico in 1996. Johnson was also the Miners’ top receiver as a senior with 52 receptions for 634 yards and seven scores. He later played for Saskatchewan and Portland in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League, respectively.
Fred Carr (1965-67)
Fred Carr was a three-sport standout at Phoenix Union High School, earning All-State honors as a basketball player and a national ranking as a discus thrower. But he made his name as a gridiron star. He played for the Miners for three seasons after being a part of a national championship team at Phoenix College in 1964. Carr led the Miners to a pair of Sun Bowl wins in 1965 and 1967. In 1968, he became the highest overall draft pick in school history, when the Packers selected him fifth overall in the first round. He was named All-Pro three times, and the Pro Bowl MVP in 1970. Carr was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1983.
Thomas Howard (2002-05)
Thomas Howard came to UTEP as a 190-pound walk-on defensive back and, over the next four years, built himself into a 240-pound linebacker and top NFL prospect. He was a three-year starter for the Miners, amassing 34 tackles for losses and 13 sacks. His junior year was most productive as he tallied 14 tackles for losses and eight sacks – enough for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine to recognize him as the state’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. Howard appeared in 95 NFL games over eight seasons before his life was cut short in a car accident at the age of 30.
Seth Joyner (1982-85)
Seth Joyner also came to UTEP as an undersized walk-on, but hours in the weight room transformed him into a college standout and, ultimately, one of the NFL’s top linebackers. His Miner career produced 325 tackles before he was picked by Philadelphia in the 1986 NFL Draft. Joyner played for the Eagles for eight seasons, where he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the 1991 Sports Illustrated NFL Player of the Year. He later played for Arizona, Green Bay and Denver, and was a part of the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship run in his final year as a pro. Joyner was credited with 52 sacks and 24 interceptions in 195 NFL games.
Barron Wortham (1990-93)
Barron Wortham joined Raymond Morris as the only players to lead UTEP in tackles four times. He recorded 129 stops as a freshman, 148 as a sophomore, 138 as a junior and 151 as a senior for a total of 566 takedowns – the top total in school history. Wortham is also the Miners’ all-time leader in tackles for losses (45). He was named a first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America his senior year despite playing on a team that won only one game. Wortham was chosen by Houston in the NFL Draft. He played seven seasons in the league and started for the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Jon Dorenbos (2000-02)
Jon Dorenbos took a creative approach to earning a football scholarship at UTEP. Knowing that the Miners needed a long snapper, he sent a highlight video to the coaching staff. The only problem was that the long snapper on the video wasn’t him, but Golden West Junior College teammate Tim Thurman. No matter, because Dorenbos perfected his craft and not only excelled as a long snapper at UTEP, but for many years in the NFL. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Buffalo in 2003. He later played for Tennessee and Philadelphia, making the Pro Bowl in 2009.
Trey Darilek (2000-03)
Trey Darilek would have started every game for UTEP over four years, had he not missed a portion of the 2002 campaign with a torn MCL. He was named to College Football News’ Freshman All-America team in 2000 after helping the Miners to an 8-4 mark and their first Western Athletic Conference title. He moved from right tackle to left tackle his senior year and landed first team All-Conference honors. Darilek was chosen by Philadelphia in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played for the Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Raymond Evans (1942-47)
Raymond Evans came to the Miners as a promising young halfback in 1942, but after World War II was moved to tackle. He was one of the key reasons for the post-war success of the Miners. Evans landed first team Little All-America honors by the Associated Press in 1948, and was a two-time first team All-Border Conference pick.
Ernest Keily (1946-49)
Ernest Keily was a top-notch pulling guard and a two-time Little All-American by the Associated Press (second team 1948, first team 1949). He was also a three-time first team All-Border Conference choice (1947-49). He led the way for Fred Wendt’s 1,546 rushing yards in 1948. The Miners established school records with 3,751 rushing yards and 47 rushing touchdowns that year.
Thurman Randle (1966-67)
With a 6-6, 266-pound frame, Thurman Randle was an excellent pass blocker and one of the many reasons the Miners have outstanding teams during the mid-1960’s. He aided the team to a 13-6-1 mark over two years and a berth in the 1967 Sun Bowl, where Texas Western toppled Mississippi 14-7. Randle played briefly in the NFL with Atlanta.
James Spady (1985-88)
James Spady was a four-year starter and two-time first team All-WAC center, although he wasn’t the biggest man on the field at any time. He carried 230 pounds on a 6-2 frame and helped the Miners win 21 games his last three years, including a 10-3 campaign in 1988. Later Spady played for Denver and Sacramento in the Arena League before launching a coaching career. He was on the UTEP staff from 1993-2003, and later Nevada (2010-13) before landing the head coaching position at Alabama A&M in 2014.
Hugh Harman (1953-56)
A part of one of the most successful periods in program history, Hugh Harman set a school record by averaging 17.39 yards on 36 punt returns from 1953-56. He averaged 24.3 yards on punt returns and scored three touchdowns his senior year, when the Miners finished 9-2 and squared off with George Washington in the Sun Bowl. His five punt returns for touchdowns remain the UTEP career standard.
Owen Price (1938-41)
A triple threat player (rushing, passing and punting), Owen Price accomplished a little bit of everything during his career with the Miners. He led the nation in punting in 1940 (48.0 avg.) and 1941 (45.3 avg.). During the same time frame Price paced the squad in all-purpose yards, rushing yards and punt returns. He was also the team’s leading passer in 1941. For his efforts, Price received distinction in both 1940 and 1941 as a Little All-American. Some of his more notable accomplishments included rushing for 180 yards and three touchdowns against New Mexico State in 1940 and setting the NCAA record for passing completions and attempts, hitting 29 of 55 versus Loyola-Marymount in 1941.
Pat Hegarty (1987-88)
A winner in every sense of the word, Pat Hegarty spent two seasons at the controls of the UTEP offense and the Miners went 17-6 in games that he started. Hegarty threw for over 300 yards three times as a junior, as UTEP went 7-4 for its first winning season in 17 years. The following year, he compiled a nearly 2:1 touchdown/interception ratio (17-9) and passed for 2,529 yards in leading the Miners to a 10-3 mark, the best in school history. Hegarty excelled in the classroom as well, as he was named to the GTE Academic All-America Team and honored with an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship.
Jordan Palmer (2003-06)
Jordan Palmer entered his sophomore season (2004) locked in a three-man quarterback competition with Orlando Cruz and Omar Duarte. But coach Mike Price loved his potential, if not his pedigree – he was the brother of former Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer – and over the next three years he threw for 9,916 yards and 81 touchdowns in leading UTEP to 21 victories. Palmer ended his career as the Miners’ all-time leader for passing yards (11,084), passing efficiency (136.26), completion percentage (.596), touchdown passes (88) and 300-yard games (16) before taking his talents to the NFL.
Billy Stevens (1965-67)
For nearly 40 years, Billy Stevens held UTEP records for passing yards (6,485), passing touchdowns (51) and 300-yard games (seven) before Jordan Palmer shattered his marks. His three seasons at the helm of the Miner offense produced 21 wins and a pair of Sun Bowl victories (over TCU in 1965 and Mississippi in 1967). Stevens may be best known for throwing a 92-yard pass – the longest in school history — to Bob Wallace with no time left, giving the Miners a thrilling 20-19 victory at Utah in 1965. The Miners entered the game on a three-game losing streak and, following the “Turning Point” victory, went 17-6-1 over the last 24 games of Stevens’ career.
John Harvey (1985-88)
John Harvey racked up 3,576 rushing yards, 42 rushing touchdowns and sixteen 100-yard games – all school standards – during his four seasons with the Miners. He was UTEP’s leading rusher all four years, totaling 1,921 yards in 1987 and 1988 as the Miners rolled to 17 victories. He was also an excellent pass-catching back with 99 receptions for 775 yards and nine TDs. Harvey is UTEP’s all-time leading scorer with 306 points. He continued his playing career with Tampa Bay in the NFL and Winnipeg in the CFL.
Ken Heineman (1937-39)
The legend of Ken Heineman was born in 1935, when he was a junior at El Paso High School. He played in the first Sun Bowl game as a member of the El Paso All-Stars and accounted for every point, running for one touchdown, throwing for two and returning an interception for a score. Heineman finished with 247 yards of offense in a 25-21 triumph over Ranger High School. Later Heineman became UTEP’s first All-American selection, winning the honor in 1937, 1938 and 1939. He was a triple threat player, leading the Miners in rushing, passing and punting all three years en route to becoming the school’s first NFL Draft pick. He played for Cleveland and Brooklyn in the NFL and, in 1943, led the league in kickoff returns.
Howard Jackson (2001-04)
Slight (5-9, 160 pounds) but speedy, Howard Jackson concluded his UTEP career with 6,153 all-purpose yards (tops in school history), including 1,947 on kickoff returns (second in the record book). He rushed for 3,466 yards – second in school history – despite not seeing much playing time until very late in his freshman year. Jackson ran for 100+ yards fourteen times in the orange and blue. He was UTEP’s leading rusher in all 12 games his senior year, when the Miners rocketed to eight wins under new head coach Mike Price. Jackson was a two-time first team All-WAC honoree.
Fred Wendt (1942-48)
Fred Wendt remains the only player in UTEP history to rush for 300 yards in a game, burning New Mexico State for 326 steps and six touchdowns in 1948. He had a 60-yard scoring run in the 1949 Sun Bowl. For over 60 years, he held the school record for yards in a season (1,546). Upon graduation he was the NCAA record-holder for single-season rushing yards, single-season scoring (152 points), single-game rushing (326 yards) and single-game scoring (42 points versus NMSU). His single-season yardage mark stood until 1969, when O.J. Simpson of USC eclipsed his total. Wendt earned All-America honors in 1947 and 1948.
Brian Natkin (1997-00)
Brian Natkin became UTEP’s second consensus All-American and first unanimous All-American in 2000. He was selected first team All-America eight times that year while leading all tight ends nationally in receptions (64) and yards (787). He converted 46 receptions (71.4 percent) for first downs as a senior. Natkin also earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1998 after notching 34 catches for 362 yards. He closed out his career with 172 receptions for 1,934 yards and 11 touchdowns. Natkin was with two NFL teams (Tennessee and St. Louis) before embarking on a coaching career that ultimately took him back to UTEP.
Bob Wallace (1965-67)
UTEP’s go-to receiver from 1965 to 1967, Bob Wallace still finds his name etched in the record book in numerous receiving categories nearly 50 years after he played his final college game. He is one of just six players in school history to post 200 yards in a contest, tallying 233 versus New Mexico State in 1967. Wallace was on the receiving end of UTEP’s longest pass play — 92 yards against Utah in 1965 – giving the Miners a thrilling last-second 20-19 win over the Utes. He wrapped up his career with 2,161 yards on 123 receptions (17.8 avg.). Wallace played tight end for the Chicago Bears from 1968-72, where he accumulated 1,403 yards on 109 catches.
Johnnie Lee Higgins, Jr. (2003-06)
Johnnie Lee Higgins, Jr. capped a spectacular senior year by making two All-America teams (AFCA, Associated Press). He tallied 82 receptions for 1,319 yards and 13 touchdowns during his final campaign in El Paso, ranking second nationally in yards per game (109.9). Higgins was selected the 2006 Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year after establishing a league record for punt return average (23.4), and earned All-League honors as a receiver and kickoff returner as well. He is UTEP’s all-time leader for receiving yards (3,218 yards) and touchdowns (32), and also compiled 1,033 and 451 yards on kickoff returns and punt returns, respectively. Higgins later played for the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles.
Chuck Hughes (1964-66)
One of the most prolific receivers in NCAA history, Chuck Hughes helped UTEP to 14 wins from 1965-66, including a Sun Bowl victory in 1965. Hughes reeled in 80 catches for a school-record 1,519 yards to garner All-America status in 1965. His 17 receptions against Arizona State and 349 yards against North Texas, an NCAA record at the time, highlighted the sensational season. The campaign was capped off in stellar fashion, as Hughes snared six passes for 115 yards versus TCU in the Sun Bowl. Hughes had 162 catches for 2,882 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career, as well as 851 kickoff return yards. After leaving the Sun City, Hughes played in the NFL for five years.
Don Maynard (1954-56)
Don Maynard did it all. He could run, catch, return kicks and even kick extra points. In his three-year career at Texas Western, Maynard amassed 2,283 all-purpose yards. He rushed for 843 yards, returned kicks for another 525 yards, returned 10 interceptions for 142 yards and recorded 773 yards receiving. During his tenure with the New York Jets, Maynard established club records for touchdowns (88), receptions (627) and receiving yards (11,732). He also propelled the Jets into Super Bowl III in 1969. His no. 13 jersey was retired by the club, and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
Lee Mays (1998-01)
Lee Mays earned the moniker “TD Lee” after leading the nation and setting a school record with 15 touchdown receptions in 2000. He was the catalyst of the Miners’ drive to their first Western Athletic Conference championship. Mays ranks first in school history in catches (200), second in receiving yards (2,908) and third in touchdowns (28). He had ten 100-yard games, including six during the magical 2000 campaign when he scored a touchdown in 10 straight outings. Mays was a three-time All-WAC honoree before appearing in 49 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2002-06. He accumulated 750 kickoff return yards in the NFL.
UTEP Men’s Basketball Centennial Team
Nate Archibald (1967-70)
One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Nate Archibald remains the only player to lead the league in scoring and assists – a feat he achieved as a member of the Boston Celtics during the 1972-73 season. Archibald was also a member of the Celtics’ 1981 world championship team as well as a six-time All-Star. His career at UTEP was equally impressive. He scored 1,459 points in only three seasons (20.0 avg.) and sparked the Miners to their first Western Athletic Conference championship in 1970. “Tiny” was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Jim Barnes (1962-64)
Jim Barnes was “bad news” for opponents. He played at Texas Western College for two seasons after transferring from Cameron College, where he was a junior college All-American. Barnes posted spectacular numbers in a Miner uniform, including averaging an astounding 29.1 points and 19.2 rebounds his senior year. He is UTEP’s all-time leader with 48 double-doubles, and once collected 51 points and 36 rebounds in a game versus Western New Mexico. The number one pick in the 1964 NBA Draft, Barnes had an injury-marred pro career but still played seven seasons in the league and scored close to 4,000 points. He passed away in 2002.
Randy Culpepper (2007-11)
Possessing freakish athletic ability for his size, Randy Culpepper led UTEP to 93 wins in four seasons, including the 2010 WAC title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He closed out his career ranked second in school history with 2,338 points and 251 steals, and is UTEP’s all-time leader with 318 three-point field goals. Culpepper was named the 2008 Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year and the 2010 C-USA Player of the Year. He is one of just four players in Miner annals to score 40 points in a game, putting 45 on the board versus East Carolina on Feb. 13, 2010. Culpepper has continued his playing career overseas.
Antonio Davis (1986-90)
Antonio Davis came to UTEP a gangly freshman at 6-8, 200 pounds, but by the time his NBA career ended in 2006 he was a sturdy 6-9, 245 and one of the top power forwards in the league. Davis played in 903 pro games, averaging 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds. Davis played on four NCAA Tournament teams at UTEP and helped the Miners secure 95 wins in four years. Over his final three seasons in El Paso, Davis collected 11.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg while playing on stacked Miner teams that featured two other future NBA mainstays, Greg Foster and Tim Hardaway. Davis was a 2001 NBA All-Star and later worked as an ESPN analyst.
Tim Hardaway (1985-89)
The 1989 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Tim Hardaway mesmerized college and pro opponents with his signature “UTEP Two-Step” crossover dribble. Hardaway ranks first in school history in steals (262) and second in assists (563). He averaged 22 points his senior year, when he won the Naismith Award as the best player in college basketball 6-0 or under. Hardaway was a five-time NBA All-Star, collecting 15,173 points, 7,095 assists and 1,428 steals in 13 seasons. He became the second-fastest player to reach 5,000 points and 2,500 assists in league history.
Bobby Joe Hill (1964-67)
Bobby Joe Hill was the catalyst of the Miners’ drive to the historic 1966 national championship. He averaged a team-leading 15.0 points per game for the season and scored 20 in the title game against Kentucky. His two steals and corresponding layups within a minute span of the first half turned the table in the Miners’ favor. Hill was appointed to the 1966 NCAA Tournament All-Regional Team and to the Final Four All-Tournament Team. Hill stayed in El Paso after graduating from Texas Western College and retired as an executive with El Paso Natural Gas. He passed away in 2002.
Jeep Jackson (1983-87)
Jeep Jackson was the inspirational leader of the great UTEP teams of the mid-1980’s. He aided the Miners to 101 wins, four conference titles and four NCAA Tournament berths. Jackson was the team’s leading scorer as a senior (12.9 ppg). He scored a combined 39 points in his final two college games, both in the NCAA Tournament. He collected 313 assists and 165 steals in his career, and still rates in the top-10 in the UTEP record book in both categories. An extension of coach Don Haskins on the floor, Jackson won also won over hearts with his easygoing smile and infectious personality. His untimely passing at the age of 23, shortly following his senior year, shook the fan base, and no Miner has worn his no. 22 since.
Stefon Jackson (2005-09)
Stefon Jackson’s propensity for scoring in multiple ways catapulted him to the top of the all-time UTEP and Conference USA scoring lists. After averaging a modest 8.0 points his freshman year, Jackson exploded for 2,264 points his final three seasons (22.4 ppg), and led the nation in free throws made (312) and attempted (374) his senior year. He concluded his career with 2,456 points, 810 field goals, 726 free throws and 110 three pointers. He scored 20 points or more 68 times, and 30 points or more on 15 occasions. Jackson has continued to light up opponents while playing overseas.
David Lattin (1965-67)
David Lattin set the stage for Texas Western’s stunning upset of Kentucky in the 1966 national championship game by dunking on the Wildcats’ Pat Riley in the opening minutes. “Big Daddy D” was a dominant force inside for the Miners, averaging 14.6 points and 9.3 rebounds over two seasons. He registered a double-double in nearly half (26) of his 56 games. A third team All-American his junior year, Lattin went pro and was chosen by San Francisco with the 10th pick in the 1967 NBA Draft. He spent five seasons combined in the NBA and ABA, scoring 1,904 points and sescuring 1,332 rebounds.
Nolan Richardson (1960-63) Although he was a fine player at Texas Western College, Nolan Richardson is best known for his coaching exploits. He averaged 14.7 points in three seasons with the Miners, including 21.0 as a sophomore. He was a three-time first team All-Border Conference selection and was a part of the first NCAA Tournament team in school history in 1963. Richardson later coached at Western Texas College, Tulsa and Arkansas. He is the only coach to win a junior college national championship, an NIT title and an NCAA championship. His stints at Tulsa and Arkansas produced 508 wins, nine conference titles and 16 NCAA Tournament bids.
UTEP Women’s Basketball Centennial Team
Gloria Brown (2010-12)
A player who epitomized the old adage that it doesn’t matter who starts but who finishes the game, Gloria Brown was an impact player for UTEP from 2010-12. Brown, who never started, was the 2011 and 2012 C-USA Sixth Player of the Year while earning All-Conference USA honors in both seasons. She led the Miners in all major stat categories and was the 2012 C-USA Tournament MVP after guiding UTEP to its first tourney title. She is the school’s career record holder for blocks per game (2.6), field goal percentage (.537) and free throw percentage (.808), while ranking second in rebounds per game (8.1) and 10th in points per game (12.1).
Gloria Estrada (1974-77)
Gloria Estrada was a standout on the first team in UTEP women’s basketball history. She played three years with the squad, pacing the Miners in scoring as both a junior and senior. Estrada had limitless range and was often considered to be a coach on the court. Most of the offense was worked around her varied skillset, as she helped lay a foundation for future Miners. Estrada became the second women’s basketball player to be inducted into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame, entering as part of the class of 2013. In the spring of 2014 the Fabens, Texas, native was voted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jareica Hughes (2006-10)
A superstar in every sense of the word, Jareica Hughes was the catalyst of a new era of UTEP women’s basketball. Hughes played much bigger than her 5-3 frame while leading UTEP to 84 wins over four years, the most by any class at the time of her graduation, which included the program’s first league title and NCAA Tournament bid in 2007-08. The only four-time all-league player in school history, Hughes was the 2008 and 2009 C-USA Player of the Year. She was also a two-time member of the C-USA All-Defensive team. Hughes owns UTEP career records for assists (599), minutes played (3,777) and steals (277) while ranking second for field goals (527), free throws (359), points (1,555) and starts (114).
Natasha Lacy (2007-08)
Natasha Lacy returned home to El Paso to be a part of a storybook season as a senior in 2007-08. Lacy started all 32 games, teaming with Jareica Hughes to give the Miners one of the best backcourts in the country. She averaged 13.0 points and 5.9 rebounds while recording 156 assists and a UTEP single-season record 108 steals. Her efforts helped UTEP capture its first league title and appear in the “Big Dance” for the initial occasion. Lacy became just the second player in school history to earn Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America and All-Region honors. She was a 2008 WNBA draft pick and has gone on to enjoy a lengthy professional career.
Izabela Piekarska (2004-08)
A player who could score both inside and out, Izabela Piekarksa helped change the fortunes of the UTEP women’s basketball program. At 6-5 Piekarska was an intimidating presence who had a varied skillset fully reflective of the European game. She led the Miners to their first league title and the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament to conclude her career with a bang. She was a second team All-Conference USA honoree as a senior. Overall Piekarska ranks second at UTEP for career blocks (252), third in scoring (1,251 points) and sixth in rebounds (651). The Polish native was a 2008 WNBA draft pick and has also played professionally for many years.
Holly Russ (1990-92)
The most prolific scorer in program history, Holly Russ terrorized opponents during her two years (1990-92) with the Orange and Blue. She is the only member of the UTEP 1,000-point club (1,068) not to play at least three seasons with the Miners. Russ was a first team All-Western Athletic Conference honoree as a junior after averaging a program-best 22.2 points per game. She piled up 600 points in just 27 games. Her career scoring average (20.2 ppg) is more than two points better than the next player. Russ is responsible for three of UTEP’s top-four single-game scoring records, including the school standard of 40 points.
Anete Steinberga (2009-13)
One of the toughest post players to don the Orange and White uniform, Anete Steinberga helped the Miners win 83 games from 2009-13. She helped guide UTEP to its second league title and NCAA Tournament appearance as a junior before assembling a sensational senior season. With two starters and the top reserve lost to season-ending injuries, Steinberga put the team on her back and led it to a 22-10 mark in 2012-13. She averaged 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing big minutes (29.7 avg.). Steinberga was recognized as a first team All-Conference USA honoree. Overall she ranks eighth for career rebounds (582) and 10th in scoring (1,024 points). Currently she is enjoying a professional playing career in Europe.
Be Stoney (1977-81)
A four-year starter during the formative years (1977-81) of the program, Be Stoney put up big time numbers across the board. She was the school’s first member of the 1,000-point club and held the school standard with 1,249 career points until 2008. Stoney was a first team All-Intermountain honoree in 1981. She accounted for better than 18 points per game as both a junior and senior, helping her finish with a career scoring average of 15.0 ppg. That figure ranks fifth all time at UTEP, while her rebounding total of 563 checks in 10th. Stoney later served as an assistant coach with the Miners and was selected as the first women’s basketball player into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Kiana Taylor (1993-97)
Kiana Taylor was a relentless worker whose motor propelled her to put up some of the best numbers in program history. A four-year letterwinner who averaged 10.8 points and 6.4 rebounds, Taylor showed continual improvement throughout her time (1993-97) in the Sun City. Taylor, the only player in program history to pace the squad in blocked shots all four years, also led the Miners in rebounding and scoring as a junior and senior. Overall she is third at UTEP for career field goal percentage (.492) while placing fifth in rebounds (676) and sixth in scoring (1,134 points).
Kayla Thornton (2010-14)
One of the most competitive players in program history, Kayla Thornton seemingly did it all during her decorated career (2010-14) with her hometown Miners. She helped UTEP forge a mark of 96-36, aided by an unprecedented three straight 20+ win seasons. She was a 2014 honorable mention Associated Press All-American after becoming the first Miner to average a double-double in leading UTEP to WNIT runner-up honors. She was also a three-time All-Conference USA honoree while securing a spot on the league’s All-Defensive team twice. Thornton helped UTEP win both the 2012 C-USA regular season and tournament championship to secure the Miners’ second NCAA bid. She is the program record holder in seven categories, including double-doubles (40), points (1,679) and rebounds (1,032).
Timika Williams (2006-10)
A four-year starter (2006-10) and key cog alongside Jareica Hughes, Timika Williams played a big hand in ushering in a new era of UTEP women’s basketball. UTEP won 84 games during her career, the most of any class at the time of her graduation. She helped the Miners to their first league title, in addition to their initial appearance at the NCAA Tournament. Williams is the only player in program history to pace the team in rebounding on three occasions. She put up big numbers, ranking third at UTEP in career rebounds (794), fourth in games played (12) and seventh in points (1,087).