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November 19, 2012EL PASO, Texas - During Monday's press conference, retiring head coach Mike Price made only one comment about UTEP's head coach: defensive coordinator Andre Patterson should be considered.
"I would be remiss if I didn't say I was 100 percent in support of Andre Patterson to succeed me," Price said during his retirement announcement. "It is not my decision, but I do want to make that perfectly clear if anybody wants to listen."
Patterson, A long-time assistant coach in the NFL, Andre Patterson joined the UTEP staff in January of 2010. During his time with the Miners, fans have seen an improved defense in terms of quarterback pressure, sacks and being able to keep UTEP in games.
Patterson did not want to discuss the head coach position until after the season.
"We made a pact at the beginning of the year we were going to stay together for 12 fights and we have one more left," Patterson said. "My number one focus is to try and come up with the best game plan I can to help our kids play well against Rice. When that's over and done with, then I'll think about sitting down with Bob (Stull)."
Patterson was impressed with Price's comments about him during the conference.
"Obviously it makes me feel good that a guy like mike would stand up and say that Bob Stull should talk to me," Patterson said. "My job is to make this defense play well Saturday and that's my focus. I can't let it go any other place than that until my job is completed."
Patterson previously worked with Price at Weber State (1988) and Washington State (1992-93). He came to El Paso following two seasons at UNLV (2008-09), where he served as assistant head coach while overseeing the defensive line.
Should Patterson land the head job at UTEP, it would not be his first time in the position as he was the head coach at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo from 1994-96.
Patterson has also serverd as an NFL coach with stints in New England (1997), Minnesota (1998-99), Dallas (2000-02), Cleveland (2003-04) and Denver (2005-06). During his time with each NFL team, he was the defensive line coach and helped shape the career of several players including Chris Doleman, Ebenezer Ekuban, La'Roi Glover, John Randle and Gerard Warren.
Chris Avila can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at @chrisavila_01. Make sure to follow Miner Illustrated on Twitter at @minermaniac for more up-to-date news and information about UTEP.