UTEP football begins spring practices and announces staff changes


UTEP began spring practices on Tuesday morning at Glory Field, kicking off year two under Dana Dimel. 

Additionally, Dimel announced the addition of Zach Tenuta to the coaching staff and the promotion of four staff members on Monday.


“I’m looking forward to the addition of Zach Tenuta to the coaching staff,” said Dimel. “I’ve known his family for a long time and like the energy that he will bring to the team.”


Tenuta will be the defensive quality control, as Matt Wallerstedt takes over the defensive line. Tenuta comes to UTEP after coaching two seasons at Norfolk State, working with outside linebackers (2018) and defensive line (2017). Wallerstedt served as defensive quality control last season for the Miners. Prior to his time with the Miners, Wallerstedt was the defensive coordinator for Charlotte for three seasons (2015-17) and has over 25 years of coaching experience.


“I’ve worked with Matt (Wallerstedt) previously and brought him in with the intent to eventually be able to promote him,” said Dimel. “He brings experience and is a really good coach.”


Along with Wallerstedt, the Miners promoted Matt Rahl (offensive quality control), Barrick Nealy (recruiting coordinator/senior player personnel director) and Jacob Martinez (director of player personnel).


Zach Tenuta

UTEP head football coach Dana Dimel announced the hiring of Zach Tenuta as defensive quality control. Tenuta served two seasons at Norfolk State, working with outside linebackers (2018) and defensive line (2017). Before heading to NSU, Tenuta was at Chowan University where he served as the defensive line coach in 2016.

Prior to Chowan, Tenuta spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Virginia (2014-15), working with the defensive ends. Tenuta’s first coaching job came at Middle Creek High School in Apex, N.C. He served as the defensive ends and linebackers coach in his lone season with the Mustangs.

Matt Wallerstedt

Wallerstedt enters his second season with the Miners. He will be taking over the defensive line this season. Prior to the 2019 season, Wallerstedt served as the defensive quality control. Last season, the Miners ranked 68th nationally in total defense (394.7 average per game) and 34th in passing yards allowed (198.9 average per game). Wallerstedt is a veteran coach with more than 25 years of coaching experience and previously served as the defensive coordinator for Charlotte (2015-17).


Matt Rahl

Rahl was promoted to offense quality control for the 2019 season. He will be assisting offensive line coach Mike Simmonds. Previously, Rahl served as the recruiting coordinator for the Miners (2018). Before coming to UTEP, Rahl spent four seasons at McKendree University where he worked as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. In the summer of 2017, also became the associate head coach for McKendree.


“(Matt) Rahl wanted to work on the field and this position brings him closer to that goal,” said Dimel.


Barrick Nealy

Nealy enters his second season with the Miners and was promoted to recruiting coordinator and senior player personnel director. Last season, Nealy served as the director of player development – high school relations. Prior to arriving to UTEP, he coached wide receivers for six years at San Marcos Academy (2011-17).


“(Barrick) Nealy has worked hard as the director of player development and this experience will allow him to grow,” said Dimel. “I look forward to seeing what he does in his new role.”


Jacob Martinez

Martinez continues his stint with the Miners as the director of player personnel. Previously, Martinez served as a graduate assistant assisting with football operations for three seasons. The El Paso native also played for the Miners for three seasons (2011-13).


“Jacob (Martinez) is a UTEP graduate and has been with the program for a few years,” said Dimel. “He is a very organized and detailed individual. I believe he will excel as the director of player personnel.”

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