UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull announces retirement
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) —
After 18 years, UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull is set to retire.
Stull has been the athletic director since 1998.
"We've been here 18 years but I've been involved in college athletics for 50,” Stull said. “My career has allowed me to live in exciting cities across the country, meeting wonderful, caring and passionate coach and athletes."
"We are very grateful to Bob Stull for his decades of service to UTEP that have generated tremendous growth in our athletics program,” UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio said. “He has expertly guided UTEP through the ever-evolving landscape of collegiate athletics, and both the Universityuniversity and the El Paso region have greatly benefited from the significant improvements made during his tenure."
Natalicio hopes the university can find a replacement with similar characteristics and qualities to Stull's.
"We're looking for someone with Bob's talent, his experience in athletics and his ability to reach out to the community, to be a part of a community,” Natalicio said.
"It's very episodic and things do happen. UTEP's brand is much, much, much bigger and better than it was 18 years ago,” Natalicio said. “Both in athletics and generally and so we think we're going to get a lot of applicants."
During Stull's time with UTEP, athletic teams captured a total of 29 conference titles in seven sports. Before Stull, the football team appeared in a bowl game once in 30 seasons, but the team has since played in five bowl games.
In 2000, the football team won its first Western Athletic Conference title led by National Coach of the Year finalist Gary Nord. In 2004 and 2005, the Miners posted consecutive eight-win seasons led by another National Coach of the Year finalist, Mike Price.
The men’s basketball team won the WAC regular season title in 2004, the WAC tournament trophy in 2005 and the Conference USA regular-season championship in 2010. The women’s basketball team was the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Conference USA champion and the 2012 Conference USA Tournament champion.
UTEP also claimed a combined 19 conference titles in cross country and track and field, and one each in men’s and women’s golf under Stull’s leadership.
Since Stull took the reins at UTEP, the Miners have had a conference coach of the year in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, track and field, and volleyball.
As UTEP’s football coach from 1986-88, Stull led the Miners to 21 victories and the only 10-win campaign in school annals in 1988. He returned to the Sun City a decade later.
Stull was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame and El Paso Business Hall of Fame. He was named El Pasoan of the Year by El Paso Inc. in 2000, and Sportman of the Year by El Paso Inc. in 2000 and 2001. In 2006, he was appointed Sports Administrator of the Year by El Paso Inc.
Some boosters hope the new AD can build upon what Stull has already brought to UTEP.
"To continue with what's going on right now. Bob has laid a wonderful foundation for something for everyone to be proud of El Paso,” Russell Vandenburg said.
Stull said the decision was made so he and his wife could spend more time with his family.
"We've been seeing them about three times a year and that wasn't really enough right now,” Stull said.
Some fans hope a new athletic director can bring UTEP back on top.
"Athletics hasn't been great here in a couple of years, so maybe it's time for a change,” Matthew Martinez said. “Hopefully whoever comes in can kind of elevate some of the programs."
"Leadership, man. There's a lot of talent but we don't have a lot of leadership,” Jacob Uribe said.
Bob Stull's colleagues had this to say about his departure:
“I’ve got so many great memories and special moments from my time at UTEP. I really appreciate Bob believing in me and offering me a job from the junior college ranks. He saw something in me and thought I could do it, and I will always be grateful for that. He was always so supportive while I was there. I always admired how he handled things during the few adverse times that we had. I was always impressed with how levelheaded he was. He cared for the kids and he was great to work for. It’s very special and unique that I got to work for the AD who hired me for 16 years.”
Keitha Adams, former UTEP Women’s Basketball Head Coach and current Women’s Basketball Head Coach / Wichita State University
“Bob was incredible to work for. He took a chance on me, and I owe him a great deal for the opportunities that he provided and the doors that they opened. He has done a tremendous job at UTEP while always serving student-athletes. The coaches that he has hired have enjoyed tremendous success, and he really had a knack for developing staff as well. It’s really remarkable to look at the people who worked for him and what they’ve gone on to do.”
Dr. Lisa Campos, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Northern Arizona University.
“Bob brought an exceptional amount of organizational skills to UTEP Athletics and got alumni excited about supporting the Miners. And while UTEP has always been on the map, whether it be for its achievements in basketball or track and field, he expanded our horizons by making us look at the entire athletic program as a part of the living function of the university. UTEP will miss coach Stull, and he will be remembered for quite some time.”
Larry Durham, Former UTEP Football Letterwinner and Athletics Donor.
“I am happy for Bob and Kim. He has been a credit to his profession as both a coach and Athletic Director. I admire the hires that he’s made, and more importantly the space that he’s given the staff to do the jobs that he hired us to do. Everyone is aware of the tremendous upgrades he made in facilities for all our sports. Like his predecessors, he made UTEP a better place than what he inherited. I would guess that our sports teams have to be at the very top of the list nationwide in terms of operating without NCAA probation over the last 20 years. He will be missed.”
Tim Floyd, UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach.
“Bob has been a great friend, mentor and boss. I have the utmost respect for him not only for what he has done for me, but UTEP as well.”
Sean Kugler, UTEP Football Head Coach.
“It is hard to put in words how much Bob has meant to college athletics and the positive impact he has had on so many student-athletes, coaches and administrators. I feel very fortunate to call him a colleague and dear friend. While I am happy for Bob, Kim and their extended family, his thoughtful, experienced contributions and tireless efforts to improve not only UTEP's program, but Conference USA and college athletics will be sorely missed. Bob's ability to combine compassion and class with his competitive spirit has been a tremendous example for all of us and we are grateful for his leadership.”
Judy MacLeod, Commissioner of Conference USA.
“He’s the best athletic director that I have ever worked with. What he’s done here, taking the athletic program to a new level, is amazing. He did it as a coach in football, and he’s done it as an administrator. He’s built first-class facilities and hired exceptional coaches. He does things the right way. The student-athletes are doing well academically and they are respectful. UTEP has a lot of respect in the community. He gets along really well with the administration. I have never seen an athletic director who goes to as many athletic events as Bob Stull. He knows all the student-athletes. I really respect him a lot. He’s really a good person, a good husband, a good father and a good boss. He’s going to be hard to replace.”
Mike Price, UTEP Football Coach (2004-12).
"I am indebted to Bob for taking a chance on me as a young, inexperienced administrator. Bob has been an incredible mentor, trusted voice and friend to me and to so many others and his accomplishments over a lifetime of service to student athletes is well documented. I am thrilled that he and Kim will have the opportunity to return to Missouri to be closer to their grandchildren. Although Bob will never slow down, I wish him only the best in ‘retirement’.”
Stephanie Rempe, Deputy Director of Athletics at Texas A&M University.
“Bob has meant a lot to me personally. He has been a mentor and a friend. I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in today without him and the opportunity that he gave me at UTEP. He really transformed UTEP Athletics and did a great job of coming in there and helping take it to the next level. As both a football coach and athletic director, Bob has certainly had a tremendous impact on college athletics and developing young people.”
Mack Rhoades, Vice President/Director of Athletics at Baylor University.
“I’ve had the great fortune to work with Bob for more than 20 years, and have always believed that there’s no one I would rather work alongside. His numerous contributions to UTEP, first as head football coach and now as Director of Athletics will long be discussed and remembered.”
Jon Teicher, Assistant Athletic Director for Broadcasting / “Voice of the Miners” at UTEP.
“I don’t think anybody has made a bigger impact on UTEP Athletics than Bob. He has lifted the program to an unbelievable level, not just from a competitive standpoint, but academically and with no NCAA violations. A lot of people take these things for granted, but it’s not like that everywhere. He has done a wonderful job. He has worked hard to get where he is. Now he gets to be around his grandchildren, and I think that means a lot to him. We’re going to miss him. He’ll be hard to beat.”
Russell Vandenburg, UTEP Athletics Donor.