UTEP AD says Price is safe

UTEP football coach Mike Price will be back next year, according to a report by ABC-7 in El Paso, Texas.

The news station said via its Web site that athletic director Bill Stull has ensured Price's return for the 2010 season despite the Miners’ 3-7 campaign so far. UTEP does have wins over a ranked Houston team and Tulsa and four of the seven losses have been by a touchdown or less.

Price is 33-37 during his six seasons with the program. He won eight games each of his first two years with the Miners and finished second in the WAC (2004) and second in Conference USA (2005). But the Miners have not had a winning record since then and are in danger of their first season with fewer than four wins since 2003.

But Stull said that with several key players returning, including quarterback Trevor Vittatoe and running back Donald Buckram, who ranks second in the country in rushing with 142.20 yards per game, giving Price at least one more year was the right thing to do.

"We have Trevor coming back and Buckram,” Stull told the new station. “Those people, their senior year, to be fair to them and also to give them a chance to maximize their senior year and give Mike the full five years of his recruiting class, I think that would be fair. And I feel good about that."