UTEP football hires Ex-Montwood coach under criminal investigation

Former Montwood High School coach Chuck Veliz was being investigated by the Texas Rangers and the FBI over claims of missing money with the Montwood football program. (KFOX14)

A former high school football coach in El Paso lands a job on The University of Texas at El Paso football team’s coaching staff.

But this comes amid an ongoing criminal investigation

Ex-Montwood football coach Chuck Veliz last coached in the 2015 season before retiring.

That came after the Socorro Independent School District launched an investigation into missing money in the football program.

In 2016, KFOX14 Investigates first reported the Texas Rangers and FBI also began investigating Veliz.

“It was always a dream of mine to coach at the Division I level,” said Veliz, the newly minted wide receiver coach Friday afternoon at practice.

Rather than focus on what ended his tenure at Montwood, Veliz said he is looking forward.

“I know nothing about the stuff that’s going on. All I want to do is continue to work hard and do well for this university and do well for every kid I come in contact with,” said Veliz.

When KFOX14 asked about the criminal investigation, a UTEP spokesperson cut off the interview,. “We are not going to do that,” she said.

Friday KFOX14 spoke with the Texas Rangers, and a spokesperson confirmed the investigation into Veliz remains ongoing.

“The investigation is still open and ongoing. There have been no additional developments and no charges have been filed at this time,” said Sgt. Moises Vasquez.

Veliz is accused of stealing from the program and from fundraisers.

Last spring, KFOX14 Investigates obtained a copy of the Socorro Independent School District’s investigation, which included an internal audit.

In the records KFOX14 Investigates obtained, FBI agents suggested more than $100,000 -- over three years and from just one fundraising activity -- could be missing.

Despite that, UTEP head coach Sean Kugler is placing faith in the coach and counting on Veliz’s local connections to help with recruiting.

“He’s done a really great job with the players, the players respond very well to him. I think it will give us good inroads for the future for El Paso recruiting,” said Kugler.

At Montwood Friday, a former player said he wishes Veliz success at the next level.

“I just hope he does great,” said Julian Santibanez.

KFOX14 also spoke with a couple of Montwood parents. They didn’t want to speak on camera but said they are "disgusted" Veliz was hired at UTEP.

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