Even a die-hard sports fan as Domingo Martinez, struggles to keep up with NCAA team realignments. (Courtesy of Domingo Martinez)

Scratching the surface of the NCAA team realignment

EL PASO – The mambo jumbo conference-switching going on in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is crazy. With all those schools switching conferences for various reasons, I can only just scratch the surface in this column. There are many schools changing for the better, but maybe switching conferences can be harmful if the school is not really ready for the change. A change can be for good, for better, or for worse. More recently the NCAA Division 1 had many teams switching into other conferences such as WAC, Conference USA, Big East, BIG TEN, ACC, and others for various reasons, such as fame, more money, more national exposure or just to cut back on travel time and costs.

New UTEP football Head Coach Sean Kugler. (Domingo Martinez/Borderzine.com)

UTEP football – New coach, new attitude, new season

EL PASO – After nine seasons, the University Texas at El Paso head football coach Mike Price decided to retire in the final year of his contract, in November 2012. A few weeks later UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull hired former UTEP offensive linesman, assistant coach and Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach Sean Kugler. The players expect Kugler to take UTEP football to the top like the last two head coaches did. “Our new coach is a real strict guy,” said wide receiver Jacob Garcia a sophomore majoring in criminal justice.  “It’s goanna be a positive impact with the team because we’re going to have more discipline with him and the new coaching staff. It can help the team do our best on Saturdays and maybe win more games and go to a bowl game,” said Garcia.

The Cailfornia Beach at sunset. (Courtesy of Stacie Aguilar)

Students spread the gospel on the beach

EL PASO – The Baptist Student Ministries at the University of Texas at El Paso changed venues from South Padre Island to San Diego for its annual spring break mission at the beach this year, but the purpose of the trip remained the same – to talk to people about the gospel while having fun. The BSM is a well-known student organization that has been at UTEP since 1955. They spread the good news and the gospel of Jesus Christ on campus, serve lunch to students every Wednesday, which helps fund the student missions, and every spring break they go on a missionary trip to the beach. For the past five years they have been going to South Padre Island in South Texas on the Gulf of Mexico to help out with other Texas BSM organizations, but this year due to the Texas spring break being the week before UTEP’s, they went to San Diego. “The biggest reason we are going to San Diego is we wanted a change of pace and to expose the students to another part of the country,” said BSM Director Chris Smith.

Local church deacon leads UTEP’s Catholic Campus Ministry

EL PASO ­– The UTEP Catholic Ministry is a well-known student organization serving and spreading the good news and serving the needs of young Catholic students. It was started in 2005 by the Rev. Father Henry Beck in the basement of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Sunset Heights until moving in 2007 to its current location at the Newman Center building on Oregon Drive, next door to the Baptist Student Ministry building. In December 2011 Beck resigned his role as Catholic campus minister, after he was transferred to serve a local Catholic diocese in Wisconsin. During the spring of 2012 the campus ministry placed a temporary minister in charge until the Catholic campus ministry was able to find a permanent minister.