Joe Golding introduces first coaching staff at UTEP

UTEP

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — New UTEP men’s basketball head coach Joe Golding introduced his first Miners’ coaching staff for the 2021-22 season on Monday, one week after announcing it.

Jeremy Cox will serve as Golding’s associate head coach. Earl Boykins and Butch Pierre will be assistant coaches on the staff. Rounding out the staff is Khristian Smith who will be the director of recruiting and player development, chief of staff Bryen Spriggs, and director of basketball operations Caleb Villarreal.

Boykins played in the NBA from 1999-2012 for 10 different teams. Standing at 5-foot-5, he is the second-shortest player in league history. Boykins averaged 8.9 points and 3.2 assists per game in his career and was a spark plug off the bench in the mid-2000s for the Denver Nuggets. Since his retirement, Boykins has been a high school coach, and most recently, was serving as the director of student-athlete development at Arkansas from 2019-2021.

“It’s always intriguing when you get to be a part of such strong tradition,” said Boykins. “I remember playing here and I remember the excitement of city and the energy of the building.”

Cox was recently the associate head coach at Stephen F. Austin and is considered a great recruiter that helped take the Lumberjacks to the NCAA Tournament. He also had stints in Power-5 conferences like the Big 12, SEC, Big East, and Big Ten.

“I’ve always coached primarily post players and I bring a sense of grit, a sense of urgency,” said Cox. “I think I’m a guy that can do a lot of things. I’m well-rounded as a coach.”

Pierre brings over 30 years of experience as a head coach and an assistant. He has recruited some of the top classes in college basketball. Pierre tutored 16 student-athletes who’ve made it to the NBA and his classes have also yielded nine conference championships, 12 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final 4 appearance.

“I’m going to help him [Joe Golding] develop players and get players,” said Pierre. “I think it all starts with players. That’s basically what I’m going to do is be in the recruiting area.”

Spriggs was with Golding during his time at Abilene Christian and has been on hand in El Paso for most of the last two months. Smith most recently served as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech on Chris Beard’s staff for two seasons (2019-21). Villarreal comes to UTEP after serving as an assistant coach at Prairie View A&M University.

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