EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP kicker Gavin Baechle was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year by league officials on Wednesday.

Baechle leads the conference with 22 field goals and ranks fourth nationally. Baechle went 22-for-24 in field goals which led to a 91.7% success rate which also leads the conference. Baechle finished the year with 97 points as he also added 31 extra points along with his 22 made field goals. His 97 points is the ninth most points scored overall during a single season in program history.

Baechle also put his name into the UTEP record books in many different categories. Bachle finished as UTEP’s all-time leader with 58 made field goals. Baechle’s 22 makes in 2022, a career-high, ranks second all-time in a single season in school history. His 91.7% on field goals is the second best in school history. Baechle tallied 284 career points (58 FG, 110 XP), finishing third on the program’s all-time list for overall players, and second all-time for kickers only. 

Some of Baechle’s best career moments came in the 2022 season.

Baechle nailed the game-winning field goal against Florida Atlantic on Oct. 22. It was the school’s first walk-off win since the 2010 season.

Baechle hit a career-long 54-yard field goal on national television when UTEP faced No. 9 Oklahoma on Sept. 3. He added a 48 yarder against the Sooners, becoming the first UTEP kicker since the 2010 season to connect on at least two field goals of 48 yards or more in the same contest. 

Baechle also played a key role in UTEP’s upset over Boise State on Sept. 23. Baechle went 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points.

Baechle joins Higgins Jr., and four other Miners who earned player of the year awards. Robert Rodriguez (2004), Brian Young (1999), Barron Wortham (1993) and Raymond Morris (1983) garnered the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) defensive player of the year awards during their respective campaigns.