Mike Price announced today that he will step down as head coach of the UTEP football team.

“I am retiring from the game that I’ve loved and respected all my life,” Price said during a press conference today. “I wish I could coach here forever, I really do.”

Mike Price has been head coach of the Miners for nine seasons. He is in his final year of his contract. He holds a current record of 48-60 at UTEP, and 177-182 overall. When asked about the future of the football program he said, “I know we’re leaving the program solid for the next head coach. Financially, we made some money this year. We’re doing a great job academically with the football players. Everybody on this team is eligible right now and athletically we’re in good shape.”

It is uncertain who will take over the head coaching position, but Price said he would like to see UTEP defensive coordinator Andre Patterson take over.  “I would be remiss to say that I’m not 100 percent supportive of Andre Patterson to succeed me as the head coach,” Price said. “It is not my decision, but I do want to make that perfectly clear if anybody wants to listen.”

Price says he and his wife intend to stay in El Paso.

“We’re definitely going to continue to live here.  We love it here.  We have our summer home up in Coeur d’Alene that we’re looking into, but the more places you go, the better El Paso looks.  We have friends here and the people are just so gracious and nice.  It was obvious to me when I was looking at the stadium [in Hattiesburg] and what they’re writing about the poor coach there.  It’s BS.  You don’t get that here.  I’ve been to a lot places and I have thick skin, but they treat people with dignity and respect here and I appreciate that.”

Mike Price’s last game will be on Saturday at the Sun Bowl, the last game of the season.

Watch Mike Price Press Conference /video by Duke Keith

Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre/US PRESSWIRE