With a wealth of experience as a coach, athletic administrator and educator, not to mention a standout playing career at the collegiate level, there are few assistant coaches in the country with a better pedigree than Darren Brunson.
Brunson, who came to UTEP in spring 2002, has played an integral role in helping turn the Miners into a championship caliber program that has drawn notice both regionally and nationally. The Miners are 84-39 since 2006-07, which was aided by a school-record three straight winning seasons. Two of them were of the 20-plus victory variety, including the historic 2007-08 campaign.
He has been highly involved with UTEP's recruiting efforts, particularly in the states of Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, while also assisting in the day-to-day aspects of the program.
Brunson came to UTEP after 15 years at Independence Community College, where he wore many hats.
From 1991-2001, Brunson served as the director of athletics at Independence. During that span, Brunson took the Independence athletics department to a higher level with innovative fund-raising campaigns.
One of his most important decisions during his tenure as AD was to hire Keitha Adams as the head women's basketball coach. The move was the start of a tremendous professional relationship for the pair, with Brunson later joining Adams in El Paso as an assistant coach. It is the position he still holds to this date.
Brunson first went to Independence in 1987 as the assistant men's basketball coach. In 1989 he took over the women's program and helped rebuild the team into an annual contender for the conference title.
He also took on the assistant director of athletics title during his time as head women's basketball coach. In addition, he was the men's and women's basketball academic counselor.
During the 1990 season, Brunson was called to active military duty for Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, where he received the Army Commendation Brunson taught business courses, served as an academic and career counselor, chaired the physical education division and worked as a residence hall director while at Independence.
A native of Wichita, Kan., Brunson is a 1987 graduate of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He later earned his master's in administration from Pittsburg State in 1998.
Brunson was one of the best players in St. Mary's history, earning induction into the institution's Hall of Fame in 2004.
A talented point guard, Brunson racked up 478 assists from 1983-85. That figure shattered the then school record for career helpers (392) and still ranks among the top five at the school to this date. The same can be said for his assist per game average, which was a mind-boggling figure of 7.5
Following his illustrious career, he moved into the coaching ranks at St. Mary's. He served as a a student assistant coach for the Rattlers from 1985-87.
Brunson and his wife, Cynthia, have three sons (Darren, Jr. 23, Darius 13, Deion 11) and a daughter (Deiona,two years).