What a first impression for Joe Golding. The new UTEP men's basketball head coach was introduced yesterday at the Don Haskins Center in front of media and Miners supporters. In 26 years of covering sports in the Borderland, this was by far the most energetic and entertaining press conference that I have seen. It was quite a debut from a man who is known by friends as "The Gypsy."

Golding spoke to a little more than 10 minutes and then he answered questions from the media for almost another 15 minutes. His passion for his job, the city of El Paso, the UTEP fanbase, and tradition of Miners basketball was on full display by the 45-year old head coach. He also began his remarks by acknowledging the Jones family on the passing of Alvin Sr. and former UTEP basketball player Daryl Edwards, who was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Houston last week.

Golding invited all of El Paso to Lucy's Cafe by King's X this morning at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast and as you could imagine, the place was packed with people eager to welcome the new head coach to El Paso.

My biggest takeaway from the 24-hour whirlwind of Joe Golding is how so many diehard UTEP fans that have been down on the program for years are back on board. Some have already made their season ticket deposit and others are echoing Golding's excitement for the Miners men's basketball program.

Ruben R Ramirez
Ruben R Ramirez

Golding spoke with me for 10 minutes yesterday on SportsTalk, and he mentioned that I had passed on him as for the UTEP men's basketball head coaching job. I loved the fact that he called me out on-air about it and my gut reaction is that I want to admit to him and every other Miners fan that I was wrong. As a radio host for 26 years, there have been plenty of times over the years that I have made the incorrect call. Now that I have had a chance to see and listen to what Joe Golding is all about, I am on-board along with every other Miners fan. UTEP basketball has a sudden injection of youthful energy again, and the Don Haskins Center crowds should start to reflect that in the next six months as the new Golding Era of Miners basketball debuts.

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