It’s official! Abilene Christian men’s basketball coach Joe Golding will be the 20th head coach in the storied history of UTEP/Texas Western/Texas College of the Mines men’s basketball.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of a new “Golding Era” of Miner B-ball!

Should the UTEP dance squad change their name and be the Golding-diggers?

The Gold(ing) Rush is on! Thar’s Gold(ing) in them thar hills!

Alright, maybe we shouldn’t overdo it with the puns. Let’s focus on some of the reasons to be VERY excited about this new UTEP hire.

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You may have heard that when Joe Golding took over the Abilene Christian program, they were an NCAA Division II school. Golding oversaw the program’s jump up from a D2 to a D1 school but it’s not like he took over a GREAT Division II team; The Wildcats had been, at best, a mediocre team for at least a decade before Golding ever got there. In fact, in the 12 years before Golding’s tenure, Abilene Christian had only ONE winning season.

So, Golding took over a very average team in a lower division and built them into a respectable D1 team. Then, MORE than respectable. In 2019 Golding’s Wildcats got into the NCAA Tournament out of the Southland Conference. 2020 was another 20 win season (even though the season was cut short because of the Pandemic). In 2021, Golding got his first NCAA Tournament win, a stunning upset over #3 seeded Texas.

Will this all translate into a return to the Tournament for the Miners? We can all hope that the new coach has the Gold(ing) Touch that he showed at Abilene Christian.

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