Where Texas Western Led, Others Followed — Miner’s New Book Chronicles UTEP’s Historic Stake in American Culture

By Mark S. McDonald Sr., Totally Self-Serving Miner Forever Sixty years of living and football, plus two years of research and writing, just washed up on my doorstep today. A 5,213-pound package containing 1,500 copies of my baby. You may recognize it as my new release: Beyond The Big Shootout – 50 Years of Football’s … Continue reading Where Texas Western Led, Others Followed — Miner’s New Book Chronicles UTEP’s Historic Stake in American Culture

Vandy Still a Dandy — Hall of Fame UTEP Coach in Full Stride

By Mark S. McDonald, undocumented UTEP railbird Wayne Vandenburg was on fire the other night, poking at a plate of enchiladas at a Permian Basin café, serving up 55 years of UTEP athletics for dessert. Vandy came to Texas Western from the University of New Mexico to coach the track/field and cross-country teams. He was 24. … Continue reading Vandy Still a Dandy — Hall of Fame UTEP Coach in Full Stride

No Plus for the Miners — What ESPN’s New Deal with the Big 12 Does for UTEP and Conference USA

By Mark S. McDonald Sr., undocumented college sports railbird In case you missed it, cable sports gorilla ESPN just drove a $40 million wedge between NCAA haves and have-nots. Specifically, the network signed an agreement, beginning this year, for ESPN+ to deliver Big 12 football and basketball games on its online subscription streaming service. This … Continue reading No Plus for the Miners — What ESPN’s New Deal with the Big 12 Does for UTEP and Conference USA

Caution UTEP Miners — Tech fans carry a torch for their team

By Mark S. McDonald, A.K.A. “Mr. Manners” It’s been awhile since long-suffering UTEP basketball and football fans have had much to celebrate. Perhaps we could take a lesson from our neighbors in Lubbock. Last Saturday night after Texas Tech beat Michigan State to reach the NCAA men’s basketball championship game, Hub City hooligans “celebrated” by … Continue reading Caution UTEP Miners — Tech fans carry a torch for their team

On the Menu: Car Wash, Strong Coffee, Weak B.S. and a Mountain Lion to Go

By Mark S. McDonald Sr., Undocumented Miner of Yesteryear In mid-January, an Austin-area man reported seeing a mountain lion walk across the front yard of the family’s home near Leander. The animal wascaught on the door bell camera, disappeared into the night, never to be seen again. (Hold the yawn.) A cougar in 2017 was sighted in … Continue reading On the Menu: Car Wash, Strong Coffee, Weak B.S. and a Mountain Lion to Go

Faithful UTEP Stalwart on the Mend

Miners Are Forever: Always enjoy reading your thoughts, Mark. I had emergency back surgery on Feb. 19. Two vertebrae had twisted together and closed my spinal cord. Was in rehab for three weeks, and it will be a slow and long recovery, but I’m a little mobile with a walker. I need a good trainer! — Marilyn Cromeans, El Paso {Editor's … Continue reading Faithful UTEP Stalwart on the Mend

Winchester Shoots His Own Ammo

By Mark S. McDonald, Undocumented UTEP Magpie In the mid-1960s, former Texas Western Coach Bum Phillips moved from the border to Port Neches-Grove High, where son Wade was a promising sophomore linebacker. There is another, little-known sidebar to the Phillips connection in UTEP football history. The Phillips’ 1963 PN-G team met Beaumont South Park for the … Continue reading Winchester Shoots His Own Ammo

Fred Schwake: A Semi-Hidden Jewel

By Mark S. McDonald, Certified UTEP Miners Railbird “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” so the saying goes. You couldn’t tell it by Fred Schwake. He doesn’t seem to know the difference. Nor does he much care. The former UTEP athletic trainer runs One of a Kind Unique Antiques in Ballinger, where his shop … Continue reading Fred Schwake: A Semi-Hidden Jewel

Tough But True — Don Haskins Treated All His Players the Same — Like Crap

By Rex Miller, Texas Western & UTEP Historian My associations with Hall of Fame basketball coach Don Haskins consisted mostly of watching his practice sessions. At Memorial Gym on campus where the Miners practiced, I once sat with (Western Athletic Conference basketball official) Moose Stubing. "There's Stubing up there," Haskins rumbled, pointing to the stands … Continue reading Tough But True — Don Haskins Treated All His Players the Same — Like Crap

Wade Phillips – UTEP’s Super Bowl Connection You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

With the Super Bowl approaching on Sunday, we have a choice. We can either hide in the jungles of Brazil, or wade through a tidal wave of minutia regarding the Rams and Patriots. It’s amusing to see how the press has "discovered" Wade Phillips, crowning him a defensive mind for the ages. During his head … Continue reading Wade Phillips – UTEP’s Super Bowl Connection You Won’t Find Anywhere Else