UTEP’s “80’s Night” Is Missing Paul Strelzin
Paul Strelzin is now 75 years old and he is almost 25 years removed from announcing Miner sports. From the mid 1960s until the late 1980s, the Strelz was the public address announcer for UTEP men’s basketball. His “Minerball” and “SFD” (stand for defense) were rituals for fans attending UTEP games. When he left his position as Miner PA announcer he still attended home games as a season ticket holder. Yet, the university has never reached out to Strelzin about returning to his old post for even one game.
Friday night, UTEP will have “80’s Night” as the basketball team hosts Oral Roberts in their season opener. The game will feature 1980’s throwback jerseys, $8 tickets (which will be available at every home game), and a halftime tribute to former Miner Mike Richmond. It seems like a perfect opportunity to bring Strelzin back as public address announcer. Not according to the school’s athletics officials.
As a longtime fan and host of Sportstalk, I am baffled why Athletic Director Bob Stull or UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio never approached Strelzin about returning to the Don Haskins Center. Even if it was for just one game, the Strelz deserves an opportunity to get behind the microphone and shout out “Minerball”. He was there for much of the 1980s and would bring some life back into a crowd that is still searching for a chance to relive the golden era of UTEP Miners basketball.