A mighty happy Mike Price met with the media Thursday afternoon, following an announcement that he will return to coach UTEP's football team next season.
Bob Stull, the university's athletic director, made it official, saying that Price will stay for a ninth year.
After the Miners finished this season 5-7 overall and 2-6 in C-USA play - missing out on a post-season bowl bid - some fans expressed concerns that it was time for a new coach.
One of only two coaches to lead the Miners to a bowl games, Price is the nation's sixth-winningest active head coach with 174 victories. With 45 wins at UTEP, Price is one victory away from tying Mike Brumbelow, who led the team from 1950-56, for the second-most wins in school history.
In 97 games under Price's leadership, the Miners have averaged 30.4 points and 397.8 yards of offense. UTEP has had more 30-point (53), 40-point (23) and 50-point (six) games under Price than any other coach in UTEP history.
The Price era has produced UTEP's all-time leader for passing yards, Trevor Vittatoe; total offense, Vittatoe; receiving yards, Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr.; all-purpose yards, Howard Jackson; and the single-season rushing champion, Donald Buckram.
The Price era has produced seven of the top-10 single season total offense totals in school history, five of the top-10 passing yardage averages and seven of the top-10 point totals.
In the 31 seasons before Price, from 1973-2003, the Miners averaged 2.6 wins per year with four years of five or more victories.
Since he took over the football program, UTEP has averaged 5.6 wins and scored six years of five or more victories.