UTEP Football Coach Mike Price Announces Staff Changes
Jan. 14, 2010
UTEP Football Coach Mike Price announced on Thursday that DeChon Burns, Jim Clark and Osia Lewis will not be returning to his staff for the 2010 season. Price also announced the appointment of Andre Patterson as the Miners' defensive coordinator.
Additional UTEP football staff changes will be announced in the coming days.
Burns was the Miners' defensive line coach for the last two years. Clark was a member of the UTEP staff since 2004, coaching the cornerbacks from 2004-07 and the safeties the last two seasons. Lewis served as UTEP's defensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009 while also coaching the linebackers.
"It's extremely difficult not to retain these three coaches," Price said. "They are great people with wonderful families. They worked very hard, as hard as any staff I've been around. They cared about young men. They were good role models and never broke any NCAA rules. They always acted appropriately outside the office and became involved in the El Paso community. But for whatever reason, we didn't enjoy the success on defense needed to win football games. We got better on defense and toughened up our defensive players. We just didn't play defense as well as I expected.
"I've waited until after the coaches' convention was over [this week] to make this announcement, so they would have the opportunity to pick the places where they would continue their careers."
Patterson will take over calling the plays for a UTEP defense that will have a different look in 2010, with his specialty the defensive line.
"Our defense will be kind of a combination of what we've done [3-3-5 scheme] and more of a pro-style hybrid 4-3 front because of the personnel we have," Price said. "It's not going to be something completely new to me like our previous defense."
Patterson brings an impressive resume to El Paso.
"He has coached at every level," Price said. "He coached in high school, he was very successful as the head coach at Cal Poly and he worked in the NFL with Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Minnesota and New England. He coached for me at Weber State and Washington State when we went to the Copper Bowl.
"He is a tremendous leader and motivator. He brings a wealth of experience in coaching defensive football, and we're very lucky to get him. I tried to hire him as defensive coordinator when I was at Alabama. He is so well-known and respected in this profession."
Patterson spent the previous two seasons at UNLV, where he was assistant head coach while overseeing the defensive line.
His extended stint in the NFL included stops at New England (1997), Minnesota (1998-99), Dallas (2000-02), Cleveland (2003-04) and Denver (2005-06). He coached the defensive line at all five places, with Chris Doleman, Ebenezer Ekuban, La'Roi Glover, John Randle and Gerard Warren among his protégés.
Patterson spent nine seasons (1988-96) in the college coaching ranks. He was an assistant at Weber State (1988), Western Washington (as defensive coordinator in 1989), Cornell (1990-91) and Washington State (1992-93) prior to landing the head job at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (1994-96). Patterson directed Cal Poly to a 7-4 record and league title in 1994 en route to being named the American West Conference Coach of the Year.
Patterson launched his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Montana, in1982. He was the defensive coordinator at Renton High School in Washington (1983-86) and head coach at St. Monica High School in California (1987) before returning to the college level.
Patterson and his wife, Donna, have a son, Andre Jr. (17) and a daughter, Ashmera (11). He was born on June 12, 1960.