El Paso, TX — UTEP football head coach Sean Kugler Conference USA Media Day quotes from member of the press in Dallas, Texas on July 23, 2014.
What needs to change for the upcoming season?
“We have a lot of things to improve upon. But the main thing is we have to remain consistent in our beliefs in what we want to do. We’ve maintained the entire offensive philosophy and defensive philosophy, we kept our entire coaching staff intact, and we feel consistency is going to be the model to turn this thing around.”
On keeping the coaching staff intact.
“There are always going to be challenges in (keeping coaches intact) – probably at any school. But we were very fortunate to have our coaches return so the players will hear the same terminology over and over again. It’s tough on college players, if say a kid has three or four different coaches coaching them throughout their career. It’s tough to become consistent.”
On the recruiting philosophy
“We’ve had to change our recruiting philosophy a little bit. We have gone outside the box when it comes to recruiting linemen. We’ve gone back east a little bit and some of the northern states to get some bigger sized and physical players. We still recruit in Texas; it’s the main state in our recruiting philosophy. But we’re not going to sit tight and think that’s going to get it done for us – we have to go beyond those boundaries.”
On UTSA recruiting in the same state and how it affects UTEP.
“We’re recruiting the same type of kids and (UTSA) has a very strong talent base in their backyard. We’re a little more isolated in El Paso as far as travel, but we recruit the entire state of Texas. For us, it’s important that we look at any player from any part of the country to have the opportunity to up our talent base.”
On playing Old Dominion this season for the first time in school history.
“I think (Old Dominion) is outstanding. They’re well coached with an outstanding quarterback; they probably should’ve beat Pittsburgh up in Heinz Field last year. That’s a very strong program and we have a lot of respect for them. They’ve made the transition from starting the program and they have an outstanding team.”
On Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
“He has an excellent arm and from watching film, it looks like he displays outstanding leadership skills with the players all around him. He’s got all the tools you look for in a quarterback and he’ll be one of the top quarterbacks in our conference.”
On being improved for the 2014 season.
“We really feel we’ve made a lot of improvements already. In the spring we saw the competiveness and work ethic improve. Again, we’re just trying to set standards in place for the players to improve upon.”