UTEP will be home for three of its final five regular season games, starting on Saturday against Tulane (6 p.m. MT). It marks the Miners' 81st Homecoming game.
UTEP (5-5, 2-4 C-USA) closes out its 2011 home slate against Tulsa (7-3, 6-0 C-USA) on Saturday in the Sun Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. (mountain). The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
UTEP's head coach recapped the Miners' 44-7 win at Tulane while looking ahead to Saturday's Homecoming game versus Colorado State.
Photos by Ivan Pierre Aguirre
Aaron Price enters his ninth year as a member of the UTEP staff, and his fifth as offensive coordinator. "A.P." was the Miners' quarterbacks and kickers coach from 2004-06, and wide receivers and kickers coach in 2007.
Since Price took over calling the plays in the passing game, the Miners have racked up 19,273 yards of offense, including 12,351 passing, while averaging 28.8 points per game.
In 2011 Price oversaw the development of three quarterbacks - Nick Lamaison, Carson Meger and Jay Hall - who combined to throw for 2,668 yards. The trio had a total of three pass attempts at the Division I level entering the year. Lamaison, a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, led the way with 1,718 yards through the air. Meger threw for 200+ yards twice (at USF and versus Tulsa), and Hall orchestrated a 16-10 win at I-10 rival NM State.
The receiving corps was bolstered by the additions of Michael Edwards and Jordan Leslie, who combined for 1,087 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. Price also worked with kicker Dakota Warren, who has scored 149 points with 25 field goals and 74 PATs over the last two years. Warren already ranks eighth in school history in kicking scoring.
Price's first quarterback protégé, Trevor Vittatoe, ended his career as UTEP's all-time passing and total offense leader. He set a school record for touchdown passes with 33 in 2008, and in 2009 established a Miner single-game standard by throwing for 517 yards versus Marshall.
Despite battling injuries for the majority of his senior season (2010), Vittatoe replaced Jordan Palmer atop the Miner record book with 12,439 passing yards, 97 passing touchdowns, 12,291 yards of total offense and 98 touchdowns responsible for. He concluded his career rated 14th in NCAA history in passing yards and 15th in passing TDs. Vittatoe is the only player in school history to throw for 400 yards in four games, and to pass for five touchdowns on four occasions. He is also the lone signal-caller in Miner annals to pass for 3,000 yards in three separate seasons.
Vittatoe's favorite target, Kris Adams, produced a star-studded 2010 campaign. He led UTEP in receptions (47), receiving yards (1,070) and touchdown receptions (14). He became only the sixth UTEP player to accumulate 1,000 yards in a season and wrapped up his career ranked second in school history in TD catches (30), third in yards per catch (18.5), fourth in receiving yards (2,657), tied for fourth in 100-yard games (10) and seventh in receptions (144).
The Miners received big offensive years from running back Donald Buckram and wide receiver Jeff Moturi in 2009. Buckram set a school record by rushing for 1,594 yards, won the Conference USA individual rushing title and was a Doak Walker Award semifinalist. Moturi made a catch in 36 straight games to cap his career, finishing with 2,527 yards receiving.
The 2009 Miners put 50 points on the board versus a pair of bowl teams, beating Houston 58-41 and Marshall 52-21. UTEP ended the year ranked 18th nationally in total offense (428.7 ypg), 20th in passing offense (277.6 ypg) and 35th in scoring offense (29.8 ppg), while setting a school record with 5,144 total yards. UTEP was the only school in the country to have a 400-yard passer, 200-yard rusher and 150-yard receiver in multiple games in 2009.
Another Price disciple, Jose Martinez, staked his claim as one of the greatest kickers in NCAA history by nailing a 64-yard field goal against UCF in 2008. He was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award after becoming UTEP's first-ever finalist for the honor in 2007. A first team All-Conference USA honoree for the second year in a row, Martinez was 37-for-47 on field goals and 89-for-92 on PATs in two seasons with the Miners.
In 2007 Price oversaw the development of Moturi, a first team All-Conference choice who led the Miners with 65 catches for 891 yards and 13 touchdowns. Moturi tied the school record by making a touchdown reception in 10 consecutive games, finishing with 13 on the year.
UTEP also received productive years from receivers Lorne Sam (42 catches-589 yards), Joe West (41 catches-734 yards-6 TDs) and Fred Rouse (25 catches-379 yards) in 2007.
As quarterbacks and kickers coach from 2004-06, Price was instrumental in the development of record-setting performers Palmer and Reagan Schneider.
Palmer threw for a school standard 3,595 yards in 2006, ranking sixth nationally in total offense (292.4 ypg) and 15th in passing efficiency (149.60). Palmer was selected by Washington in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft and is currently with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Schneider is the Miner all-time leader for kicking scoring (287 points), field goals (50) and PATs (137). He earned first team All-Conference USA accolades in 2006. Schneider was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award as a junior and senior.
Price is in his 14th year working with his father, Miner head coach Mike Price. He also played for Mike Price at Washington State from 1991-93.
He was the quarterbacks coach at Washington State from 2001-02. He was also a graduate assistant at Washington State from 1995-97, working with the punters, kickers and quarterbacks.
He coached several players who went on to the NFL during his time in Pullman including kicker Rian Lindell, who is with the Buffalo Bills.
Price spent two seasons at Idaho State University (1999-00), coaching the quarterbacks and kickers. In 1999 quarterback Kevin McCarthy set a school record with 23 touchdown passes and over 3,000 yards through the air. Shane Griggs threw for over 2,800 yards and 18 TDs in 2000.
Earlier in his career Price was the special teams coach at Cal Poly (1994) and the quarterbacks/kickers coach at Missouri Western State (1998).
He was Washington State's regular kicker for two years (1992-93). He hit three field goals against Arizona as a junior, including a 51-yarder and the game-winner from 47 yards with 31 seconds remaining. He also made a 22-yarder to beat Utah in the Copper Bowl, and a career-long 52-yarder versus Temple. He scored 77 points as a senior. Price was a perfect 26 for 26 on PATs as a senior and added 17 field goals, the second-best total in Cougar history. He was honorable mention All-Pac 10 and Academic All-Pac 10.
In just three seasons at Washington State he scored 147 points. He was 57 for 59 on PATs and 30 for 50 on field goal tries.
Following his collegiate playing career, he saw brief action with Edmonton of the CFL and Sacramento of the World League in 1994.
Price earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Washington State in 1994. He has a family with his wife Diamond.