The UTEP Miners football program has decided to dismiss head coach Dana Dimel after six seasons as the head coach of the team. Dimel had a 20-49 record as head coach as the Miners finished the 2023 season with a 3-9 record.
UTEP will go back to the drawing board as they look for a replacement for head coach. Here are some potential candidates for the UTEP Miners head coaching job.
Top Five Candidates for UTEP
Bradley Dale Peveto (Current Job: Defensive Coordinator UTEP)
Looking at Dimel’s coaching tree and his past with UTEP, the only coach that would make sense for a promotion would be defensive coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto.
UTEP’s defense has been one of the very few bright spots for the Miners in the last three seasons. Peveto has been coaching on the staff. From 2021 through 2023, they have finished second, first, and fourth in Conference-USA in total defense.
It was a mixed bag of good and bad for the defense, but that was mostly because UTEP’s offense has been ranked in the bottom four in the conference for offense. Stability on the defensive side of the ball presents an opportunity for Peveto to take over as head coach and find an offensive genius to take over and fix the offense.
There is familiarity with Peveto and the players that could make the transition of a coaching change easier.
Brian Lindgren (Current Job: Offensive Coordinator Oregon State)
There has been talk about Oregon State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren potentially being up for the head coaching job for the Beavers. Should he not get the job, though, it could present an opportunity for UTEP to take a chance and go big by targeting Lindgren for their head coaching job.
It’s already been noted, but the Miners have struggled on offense, ranking third worst in Conference USA in total offense, averaging 362 yards per game. Oregon State’s offense under Lindgren is averaging 426.9 yards per game and scoring 33.8 points per game this season.
This is a chance for UTEP to put its best foot forward by bringing in a coach with a proven track record for successful offensive teams. Lindgren might be wishful thinking with him getting interest from Power Five teams, but if Oregon State makes changes to the coaching staff and he wants to land a head coaching job, the Miners could be a good spot for him.
Brennan Marion (Current Job: Offensive Coordinator UNLV)
Another hot name brought up for some head coaching jobs has been UNLV offensive coordinator Brennan Marion.
UNLV is in the top four in the Mountain West in total offense (424.5) and leads the conference in points per game (35.5). Marion is finishing his first season as offensive coordinator for UNLV as he improved the Rebels’ offense dramatically after they finished 2022 with 352.4 yards per game.
Marion has been a head coach only once, and that was one season on the high school level, as his highest position was offensive coordinator. The 36-year-old coordinator would be a risk for UTEP, but he has an innovative mind that has helped UNLV improve its offense year after year. UTEP needs a facelift with their offense, and Marion can provide that.
Mike Hallett (Current Job: Offensive Coordinator Toledo)
While Toledo offensive coordinator Mike Hallett hasn’t been a head coach on the Division I level, Hallett has been a winner as a head coach and has helped Toledo’s offense since he became offensive coordinator in 2020.
Hallett has been a head coach on the Division III level from 2004 through 2015, when he went 71-50 in 12 seasons. The Toledo Rockets this season have their offense ranked first in the MAC conference in total offense (430.8) and in points per game (35.3). Toledo’s offense has not finished outside the top four in the conference in total offense in Hallett’s four seasons as offensive coordinator.
It could be the perfect time for Hallett to take the next step and become a head coach again, as he took two Division III programs, going from losing records to winning in his career. UTEP needs a lot of work on offense, which has been noted already, so bringing in Hallett would help solve that problem.
Casey Woods (Current Job: Offensive Coordinator SMU)
Another young offensive coordinator on the list could be ready to take over as head coach for the first time, as SMU offensive coordinator Casey Woods has made waves with his offense in 2023.
The Mustangs are ninth in the nation in total offense, averaging 472 yards per game while also fifth in the nation in points per game with 41.8. Woods’ offense was also in the top 14 in both categories nationally in 2022. He has played a big role in the development of quarterback Preston Stone throughout the season.
With UTEP trying to figure out their quarterback of the future, Woods would be able to help develop and bring in a quarterback to play at a high level. The Miners need an offensive coach to bring in a culture of success on offense with the defense already established.
Woods might be tempted to stick around at SMU with the Mustangs about to move to the ACC. The idea of being a head coach on the Division I level might be what Woods needs to take the next step in his coaching career.