There’s More to Tim Floyd’s Retirement Than Meets the Eye
Tim Floyd dropped a bombshell on everyone in El Paso and the college basketball world following last night's loss to Lamar. His sudden retirement from coaching has people wondering what really led to his decision to walk away from basketball.
New Director of Athletics Jim Senter arrived on the UTEP campus yesterday and was introduced at an afternoon press conference. He also attended last night's men's basketball game. Floyd had publicly campaigned for Chris Park to be named new AD, but he reiterated last night that he had not spoken publicly with Senter regarding his job status or his decision to retire.
The Miners also lost their fifth consecutive game last night to Lamar, but Floyd stated that his mind was made up regardless of how many wins or losses his team had at this point of the season.
If you watch the video of Floyd announcing his retirement, he says at the 3:05 mark that his family told him it was time to call it quits. He then mentions that he had some issues of his own in the last two to three weeks, but that he would be fine. People close to the basketball team tell me that Floyd is suffering from high blood pressure that could be magnified with the stress of coaching college basketball. His father Lee lived to be just 53 years old and that could have been a factor in his sudden decision to step down.
In light of my public exchange with him 18 months ago, I was not happy to see Floyd call it quits and retire from coaching six games into his eighth season at UTEP. He has been able to get his teams to play the best basketball from January to March each year and this group would be no different. In fact, he was dealing with injuries to Matt Willms, Omega Harris, Keith Frazier, and Trey Wade. That, coupled with the departures of Kelvin Jones and Joey St. Pierre left him with a thin front court and it deprived him of the kind of depth he was expecting to have this season.
If you look at his entire tenure as head coach at UTEP, Floyd could be considered the most unlucky of them all. He endured a gambling scandal, his highest profile recruit decommitting after signing with the Miners, and many other players either going pro or transferring to other colleges. That, coupled with C-USA becoming nothing more than a one-bid league made his job much more difficult than when he took the position in the spring of 2010.
Now that Phil Johnson has been named interim head coach, he will have a chance to continue what Tim Floyd started. "Nobody has had more of an impact on my career than coach Floyd," Johnson said. "And nobody has been a better friend in my career than coach Floyd. He is probably my closest friend in the world. I think the world of him." Despite not having their head coach on the bench for the next three and a half months, the Miners will have a chance to dedicate the rest of the 2017-18 season to Tim Floyd and try and capture the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament next March.