After nearly 30 years years as UTEP football radio analyst, Bernie Ricono retired prior to the start of the 2020 season and he will be replaced by former Miners quarterback Mike Perez. The former UTEP defensive coordinator (1977-79) told 600 ESPN that it was completely his decision to step down from his longtime game analyst job. "I'm 78 years old, you have COVID out there, and 28 years is long enough," Ricono said. "I knew that it's my time to get out. I really enjoyed my time with Jon and Mike will do a great job."

Perez played quarterback for the Miners between 1990 and 1993, and he threw for more than 4,100 yards and 20 touchdowns. He ranks eighth on the all-time list for both career passing yards and touchdowns. The San Antonio native graduated from UTEP and coached at Austin high school before leaving for pharmaceutical and surgical spine sales. His younger brother Rocky led the Miners to the 2000 Humanitarian Bowl.

"I am absolutely honored to be joining Jon Teicher and the UTEP Football broadcast team," Perez said in the official release. "I look forward to learning from a true legend and watching his preparation leading up to each game. I hope to add something positive to the broadcasts and will work diligently to give Miner fans an informative experience."

Perez becomes the third full-time analyst to join Teicher in the booth. Rick Parr (1982-91) preceded Ricono for UTEP radio broadcasts. "I am delighted to welcome Mike to the UTEP Football radio broadcast crew," Teicher said in the release. "Mike gave everything he had during his UTEP playing days, and I have no doubt that he will as well in breaking down the action for Miner fans."

One other difference radio listeners to 600 ESPN El Paso will notice this season is that there will be no sideline reporter for UTEP home or road games. Mando "The Monster" Medina had spent the last two seasons as the third man on the broadcast team but due to COVID restrictions, many conferences are eliminating sideline reporters for 2020.

UTEP will kick off their season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 5th at the Sun Bowl. Although the opponent has not yet been confirmed by the school, there are reports that the Miners will host FCS Stephen F. Austin. Our coverage will start with Countdown to Kickoff at 6 p.m. and continue after the game with MinerTalk presented by Longhorn Distributing.

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