Mike Price: Wikis


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Mike Price
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Title Head Coach
College Texas-El Paso
Sport Football
Team record 25-23
Born April 6, 1946 (1946-04-06) (age 63)
Place of birth Colorado Denver, Colorado
Annual salary $260,000[1]
Career highlights
Overall 154-145
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1997 National Coach of the Year
Playing career
Washington State
Puget Sound
Position QB / DB
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Washington State - GA
Puget Sound - OC
Washington State - RB
Missouri - QB/WR
Weber State
Washington State
Alabama - (no games)
Texas - El Paso

Mike Price (born April 6, 1946, in Denver, Colorado) is a college football coach, currently the head coach of the Texas-El Paso Miners, more commonly known as ""UTEP." He was previously the head coach at Weber State, Washington State, and Alabama, where he was fired before coaching a game in 2003.


Early years

Price grew up in Everett, Washington, twenty five miles (40 km) north of Seattle. He was the son of Walt Price, the longtime head football coach at Everett Junior College. At Everett High School, Price was a teammate of Dennis Erickson, the son of Pinky Erickson, the head coach at cross-town rival Cascade High. Everett High was coached by Bill Dunn, a next-door neighbor of the Ericksons. Dennis Erickson was a year behind Price, but took his job as starting quarterback mid-way through Price's senior year, and Price was moved to defense as a safety. The team finished 9–1. Price went on to play at Everett Junior College, Washington State, and finally at Puget Sound, where he co-captained the football team and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. [2]

Price met his wife, the former Joyce Taylor, in kindergarten in the early 1950s. They were married at age 19 and have three children: two sons (who are his assistant coaches) and a daughter.

Assistant coach

Price started his coaching career in 1969 as a graduate assistant for two seasons at Washington State, then was the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, UPS, for three. He returned to WSU for four seasons in 1974 as the running backs coach, where he unsuccessfully recruited future baseball hall-of-famer Ryne Sandberg to play quarterback.[3] His final job as an assistant coach was at Missouri, where he coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers for three years, from 1978-80.

Head coaching career


Weber State

Following the 1980 season, Price landed his first head coaching position at Weber State of the Division I-AA Big Sky Conference, a job for which friend Dennis Erickson was also a finalist. Erickson would get the Idaho job the next year, and returned the favor (following the 1986 season) by beating out Price for the Washington State job. Upon leaving just two years later for Miami, Erickson recommended Price, who got the WSU job and then rented Erickson's Pullman home. Price was head coach at Weber State through 1988, compiling a 46-44 record in eight seasons. His best season was 1987, when the Wildcats went 9-2 (6-1 in conference), and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division I-AA playoffs to finish at 10-3.

Washington State

On the field, Price was noted for his successful head coaching work at Washington State, where he served for fourteen seasons, from 19892002. At WSU, he compiled a record of 83–78, with three 10-win seasons and five bowl appearances. His last two seasons at "Wazzu" combined for a 20–5 record (13–3 in the Pac-10). Price's 2002 team compiled a 7–1 mark in the conference and advanced to the Rose Bowl, where they were defeated by the Oklahoma Sooners 14-34. Five years earlier in 1997, Price was named National Coach of the Year, as the Cougars returned to the Rose Bowl after more than sixty years.


Price may be best known nationally for an off-the-field incident during his brief stint as the head coach at Alabama. In December 2002, he was hired in principle to replace Dennis Franchione as the head coach of the Crimson Tide. Price coached Alabama through the 2003 spring practice, in May his contract was rescinded shortly after news reports surfaced of an incident during a trip to Pensacola, Florida, where Price was playing in a golf tournament.[4] Price had never signed a written contract at Alabama.

A story in Sports Illustrated said that Price had been seen at a strip club. He allegedly later checked into a local hotel with at least one exotic dancer from the club. The magazine further alleged Price had sex with one of the strippers, a claim which Price denied, although he acknowledged being intoxicated on the evening in question. He filed a $20 million libel and defamation suit against Sports Illustrated. Price received some vindication in 2005 when the magazine settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum.


On December 21, 2003, Texas-El Paso announced the hiring of Price as its new head coach.[5]At the press conference, Price said, "I feel reborn. I think this is the right situation for me. My dad told me a long time ago if you go somewhere where you're wanted and needed, your chances for success are a lot better. I want to be here. It's a match made in heaven." In his first season in 2004, he led the Miners to an 8–4 record and a berth in the Houston Bowl, where they lost to Colorado. The season was an astounding turnaround for the Miners, who had won only two games in each of their previous three seasons. At one time during the 2004 season, UTEP earned its first-ever ranking in the AP Poll, rising as high as 23rd. Price was a finalist for Eddie Robinson Award and the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award for coach of the year.

Coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Rank#
Weber State Wildcats (Big Sky Conference) (1981–1988)
1981 Weber State 7-4 4-3 4-T
1982 Weber State 4-7 2-5 7
1983 Weber State 6-5 4-3 5-T
1984 Weber State 5-6 3-4 6
1985 Weber State 6-5 4-3 4
1986 Weber State 3-8 2-5 6-T
1987 Weber State 10-3 6-1 2 1-1 Div I-AA Quarterfinals
1988 Weber State 5-6 3-4 4-T
Weber State: 46-44 28-28
Washington State Cougars (Pacific Ten Conference) (1989–2002)
1989 Washington State 6-5 3-5 8
1990 Washington State 3-8 2-6 9
1991 Washington State 4-7 3-5 6-T
1992 Washington State 9-3 5-3 3-T W Copper 15
1993 Washington State 5-6 3-5 7
1994 Washington State 8-4 5-3 4 W Alamo 21
1995 Washington State 3-8 2-6 8-T
1996 Washington State 5-6 3-5 8-T
1997 Washington State 10-2 7-1 1-T L Rose 9
1998 Washington State 3-8 0-8 10
1999 Washington State 3-9 1-7 10
2000 Washington State 4-7 2-6 8-T
2001 Washington State 10-2 6-2 2-T W Sun 10
2002 Washington State 10-3 7-1 1-T L Rose 10
Washington State: 83-78 49-63
University of Texas at El Paso (Western Athletic Conference, Conference USA) (2004–Present)
2004 UTEP 8-4 6-2 2 L Houston
2005 UTEP 8-4 5-3 2-T L GMAC
2006 UTEP 5-7 3-5 8-T
2007 UTEP 4-8 2-6 10
2008 UTEP 5-7 4-4 5-T
2009 UTEP 3-8 2-4 8-T
UTEP: 33-37 22-24
Total: 162-159
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


"Out of Everett," 'The Seattle Times' Pacific Magazine, Sunday, August 13, 1995, p.12-17.

External links

  • UTEP Athletics.com - official site - Mike Price biography
  • KVIA-TV - Mike Price biography
  • ESPN.com - Price fired by University of Alabama - 03-May-2003
  • Allsports.com - UTEP hires Mike Price
  • USA Today.com - Coaching agrees with Mike Price - 08-Nov-2004
  • Yahoo.com - Wednesday Rap with Mike Price - 14-Nov-2007
  • [1] - Mike Price Sits Marcus Thomas 21-November-2006
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dennis Erickson
Washington State University Head Football Coaches
Succeeded by
Bill Doba
Preceded by
Dennis Franchione
University of Alabama Head Football Coaches
2003 (did not coach a game)
Succeeded by
Mike Shula
Preceded by
Gary Nord
University of Texas-El Paso Head Football Coaches
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Bruce Snyder
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award winners
Succeeded by
Phillip Fulmer


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