EL PASO, Texas — Moving from one place to another can be stressful, but when Tim Floyd returned to UTEP to coach Miners basketball he came back home to familiar faces and open arms.
More then 30 years ago, Floyd was given an opportunity to assist legendary Miners Head Coach Don Haskins. Now Floyd made the decision to come back to follow in Haskins footsteps as Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball team.
Floyd says Haskins wasn’t just a boss to him, but more of a father figure. Losing his own dad at the age of seventeen, Floyd says he looked up to Haskins as a second dad.
Living in Hattiesburg Mississippi until he turned 18, Floyd attended Louisiana Tech College and then moved to El Paso where his grandparents were born and lived all their lives. “This is basically home to us,” said Floyd. His daughter was born in El Paso and his father attended UTEP when it was called Texas Western College.
Adjusting to a new place can be difficult at times, however, there is nothing difficult about a place you call home. “It was something corny about starting at a place and trying to finish at a place,” said Floyd. Floyd says it felt like a chance to be back in a place that he was familiar with. There was something that felt really good about that.
With 34 years of coaching experience and his familiarity with El Paso, adapting to a new environment was not difficult, he said, but getting 14 players to adapt to him was the biggest challenge.
“Tony Barbee left us some very good players,” Floyd said. He was left with a senior based team — eight of the top nine players are seniors.
Floyd said that the Miners are enjoying their reputation as an experienced and disciplined team and that will help them move at a fast pace through the Conference season. “Discipline is a good word, not a bad word.” Said Floyd.
Switching over from working as a full time assistant coach to head coach is not a big change for Floyd. He says it’s just moving over 18 inches from one seat to the other. “Past 24 years as a head coach, all we do is just change faces but the games are what we try to adjust to,” he said.
Adding another chapter to UTEP sports history, Floyd is now the fifth coach to lead the Miners since the death of Don Haskins. Floyd said he was always a Miner fan, and by accepting this job he has the chance to continue to be a fan while coaching the men’s basketball team.
Coaching positions change with the seasons, but Floyd says he gives all to every job. “I take every job thinking it will be my last job,” he said.