UTEP's head coach recapped the Miners' 44-7 win at Tulane while looking ahead to Saturday's Homecoming game versus Colorado State.
Beginning his eighth season as a member of the UTEP staff, Jeff Woodruff was elevated to assistant head coach in 2007. He also serves as the Miners' tight ends coach. Woodruff's administrative responsibilities include coordinating the Miners' highly successful summer camps across the state of Texas.
Woodruff has over 30 years of coaching experience, including four as the head coach at Eastern Michigan University. He has coached in 14 bowl games.
Last year a pair of senior tight ends, Jonny Moore and Elijah Goldtrap, concluded their careers. Moore posted 31 catches for 281 yards and Goldtrap finished with 104 yards on nine receptions. In 2009, the duo blocked for Conference USA rushing champion Donald Buckram.
Woodruff's prized pupil in 2008 was Jamar Hunt, who parlayed a solid senior season into a free agent signing with the Dallas Cowboys. Hunt was third on the team in catches (31) and receiving yards (367). Hunt, Goldtrap and Moore all scored touchdowns from the tight end position.
Woodruff coached the tackles and tight ends in 2007. Under his guidance, right tackle Oniel Cousins blossomed into a first team All-Conference USA player and was chosen by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the NFL Draft. Cousins played an integral role in the line as UTEP set a then-school record with 5,074 yards of total offense. The Miners also tied a 57-yard old school record by scoring 40 points or more five times with the line paving the way. UTEP rated 26th nationally in scoring offense (33.6 ppg) and 36th in total offense (422.8 ypg). Tight ends Hunt and Jake Sears teamed to record 25 catches for 243 yards and three scores.
Woodruff doubled as UTEP's safeties coach and special teams coordinator from 2004-06. During that span he oversaw the development of free safety Quintin Demps, a first team All-Conference player in 2006 and 2007 who is now with the Houston Texans.
Demps was credited with 67 tackles and seven interceptions in 2006. He tied for fifth nationally in interceptions with 0.6 per game. Demps' running mate in the secondary, Joe Fleskoski, ranked second on the team in tackles with 75 in `06.
UTEP was second in the country in punt returns in 2006 (20.0 avg.) led by Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr., who averaged 23.4 yards per return. Higgins was selected the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year and is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Miners were also fourth in the NCAA in punt return coverage in 2006 (3.5 avg.).
UTEP's special teams were also special in 2005. UTEP ranked 36th nationally in punt returns. The Miners were also outstanding on coverage, yielding 4.2 yards per punt return (third-best in the country) and 19.9 yards per kickoff return (52nd-best).
Demps and Fleskoski had a knack for making big plays in 2005. Demps came up with a huge interception to clinch a 44-41 double overtime win against Houston, and Fleskoski scored six of UTEP's 21 points on a 68-yard pick versus New Mexico.
Demps was chosen the co-WAC Freshman of the Year in 2004. He was also selected a third team freshman All-American by The Sporting News after recording 58 tackles and two interceptions. He was honored as a freshman All-American by Scripps and the Football Writers Association of America. Demps scored two touchdowns as a rookie.
Senior Mark Dowdy and sophomore Fleskoski also put up solid numbers from the safety position in 2004, teaming for 90 tackles.
UTEP ranked 20th nationally in punt returns (13.4 avg.) in 2004 led by senior defensive back Jahmal Fenner, who was 10th with a 15.4 average.
Woodruff was the head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2000-03 before coming to the Sun City.
He was the running backs coach at Arizona from 1998-99 before landing his first collegiate head coaching position. His stint with the Wildcats included a Holiday Bowl appearance in 1998. That year Arizona was 12-1 and ended the year with a No. 4 national ranking following a 23-20 victory over Nebraska. Woodruff was the head coach at Cholla High School in Tucson, Ariz. from 1996-97.
He spent 13 years on the staff at Washington. He was a graduate assistant from 1980-82, and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach as well as wide receivers coach from 1984-94. He was a part of the 1991 Washington squad that finished 12-0 and won the national title.
The Huskies were also selected to play in the 1992 Rose Bowl, marking the fifth time that Woodruff coached in the granddaddy of the bowl games.
In 1983, he was the defensive backs coach at Nevada before returning to Seattle.
A native of Ravenna, Ohio, Woodruff got his start in coaching at Kent State in 1979, where he was a graduate assistant working with the tight ends.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Kent State in 1979. He lettered in football for the Golden Flashes and, as a senior, received the George J. Altman Award, presented to the top student from the school (of H.P.E.R.).
Woodruff and his wife, Jill, have four children - Janessa, Jared, Jessica and Jordan.