The past couple years are no measure of UTEP’s success, long-term. In fact, the same university with major sports finishing at or near the bottom in conference standings has been a powerhouse. Do tell.
UTEP has won 21 national championships — to rank among the top 20 among all NCAA Division 1 contenders. Southern California leads with 85 titles.
All told, USC’s website lists 21 intercollegiate teams, including women’s rowing and beach volleyball. UTEP fields 14, five men’s sports, plus nine for women.
UTEP’s list of national championships (source NCAA):
- Men’s basketball: 1 (1966)
- Men’s cross country: 7 (1969, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
- Men’s indoor track & field: 7 (1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982)
- Men’s outdoor track & field: 6 (1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982)
Miners Forever can salute the elite athletes on these championship teams, but also the coaches — hall of famer Don Haskins in basketball and Wayne Vandenburg, who got the track/field program rolling in the 1960s. During meets against some of the finest programs in the nation, “Vandy’s Dandies,” as they were called, turned Kidd Field into an outdoor sound chamber.
The real leader of champions would soon follow. Ted Banks (pictured above) would lead Miners track and cross-country units to a combined 17 national titles in nine years. Banks checked out in 2016. He was 82.