New coach, new signings, spring football and more for UTEP
It was a busy day to say the least for news surrounding UTEP athletics.
UTEP men’s basketball confirmed the hiring of Lamont Smith as the top assistant coach to head coach Rodney Terry.
Women’s basketball signed a couple names in accordance with 2018 National Signing Day for basketball.
And the starting quarterback battle that UTEP football is experiencing might not hit the field on Friday for the spring ball game.
Here’s a breakdown of what happened today:
Men’s basketball hires top assistant coach
Coach Terry announced former San Diego head coach Lamont Smith to his staff on Wednesday.
Smith compiled a 40-52 overall record with San Diego from 2015-18. Previously, he had been an assistant with the likes of Arizona State, Washington and New Mexico.
On Feb. 25, Smith was arrested at Oakland International Airport following an alleged domestic abuse charge with an unnamed woman. About a week later, he resigned as the head coach for San Diego.
No charges were filed against Smith by San Francisco District Attorney's office due to insufficient evidence.
“I’m excited to hire Lamont as my top assistant here at UTEP. From afar I’ve had the pleasure of watching him successfully recruit, develop and coach young men at some of the top programs in men’s college basketball. Coach Smith is a tireless worker who understands the commitment needed to build a program that is able to sustain success at a high level. He will play a key role in helping me establish a competitive program that educates and develops young men into productive adults.”
- Rodney Terry on Lamont Smith
Smith played collegiate basketball with San Diego from 1994-99 and was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999. Interestingly enough, he worked closely with James Harden during his time with ASU.
“My family and I are ecstatic about the opportunity to join the UTEP basketball program,” Smith said. “It’s like a dream to have the opportunity to be back in my home state of Texas coaching at a university with such a rich tradition of success in college basketball. Working with one of the top coaches in Rodney Terry made this an easy decision for me.”
More on Terry’s contract with UTEP
Terry is set to make $725,000 per year, which is about $75,000 more than former head coach Tim Floyd received, according to ABC-7.
He was initially set to make $650,000, per an inside source, but renegotiated his contract further during the past few weeks.
Women’s basketball signs a pair
Kevin Baker and staff will get two additions to their 2018-19 roster with the addition of Alexis Hoy of Hill College and Alexis Bryant of San Jac.
Hoy joined Hill College as a wing player for the team and is a native of Rockwall, Texas. At Rockwall-Heath High School, she was a four-year varsity starter and a McDonald’s All-American Nominee.
As a 6-foot-1 forward, Bryant averaged 8.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game at San Jac. In High School, she was named to the first team all-district for her senior year. Her team won three straight district championships from her sophomore to her senior season.
Spring football hits some injury adversity
After Monday’s practice, quarterback Kai Locksley was helped off the field with an apparent ankle injury. He assured fans on Twitter that he would be fine and try to play on Friday’s spring game.
His chances at playing on Friday’s game seem slimmer after he was seen in a walking boot during Wednesday’s practice.
Between Locksley and Ryan Metz, the Miners are currently evaluating the starting quarterback spot and hoped for a clearer sight at who would lead UTEP in the fall after watching the spring ball game.
Now it looks like the quarterback competition for the starting job will continue up until the summer.