Tim Floyd tells why he really quit UTEP
by Ray Sanchez©
When coach Tim Floyd retired as basketball coach at UTEP in November of 2017, I thought that it was because he was fed up with recruiting and the constant coming and going of recruits. He never mentioned that as the reason at his retirement press conference
But my thought was confirmed in a recent interview with K. C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
Floyd told him: “It just seemed right. There had been a lot of changes in the college game and I just got to the point where I felt the recruiting part of it had become distasteful. And keeping a player had become even more distasteful. So I felt it was time for somebody else to have all the fun and take that challenge on, and I felt at that point maybe somebody else could do a better job.”
COACH FLOYD wound up with a career winning percentage despite going 49-190 with the Chicago Bulls. He was hired there for the impossible task of forming a team without Michael Jordan and other stars. His coaching record in college was 444-218 and in the NBA it was 92-231. That’s overall a record of 536-449.
After Chicago, Floyd took a season off and then guided the New Orleans Hornets to the NBA playoffs where they lost a tough seven game series to the Miami Heat.
Next he landed at USC and eventually at UTEP, where he started his career as a 23-year old, and coached for seven seasons and a few games. He wound up with a 138-99 record at UTEP.
FLOYD SAYS he’s just enjoying life now. As for basketball he said that he was thankful for the opportunities he had during his career.
And he added, “This business (basketball coaching) can make you angry at times. And I haven’t been angry one day since I left.”
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which was the first public high school team from El Paso to fly to the Texas state tournament? Answer at end of column.
SPEAKING OF trivia, I made a goof a couple of weeks ago. I asked how many high schools from El Paso had won state basketball championships. I didn’t use the word “public” high schools.
The response was swift. Former Cathedral High School coach Julius Lowenberg informed me that Cathedral High School, a private school, had won several state basketball championships.
AND LOCAL statistician Charles Hill sent me the following:
“I saw your article today and was intrigued by your trivia question about how many state basketball titles have been won by El Paso area high schools.
“Your answer of 5 is correct if you are only talking about UIL state championships. There are many more if you include TCIL, TAPPS, TCAL and SWCAA titles.
“Cathedral has won 9 TCIL titles, the last coming in 1960. Faith Christian has won several TCAL and TAPPS titles and El Paso Home School has won several SWCAA titles.”
Ouch I deserve at least nine lashes with a wet noodle.
WHAT A DEAL. I’ve always been fascinated by tailgate parties at UTEP football games and even have attended some.
Season tickets are now available for the 2018 season and they’re a bargain. Here’s what you get for the six home games:
• A hearty catered meal
• Non-alcoholic beverage
• Beer – If over 21 only (wine sold separately - cash bar available)
• Pep Rally
• Music and Dancing
• Mini-Miners Kids Play Area
All that for $85 ($75 for Miner Athletic Club members), and $10 less in each category if you’re under 21. Or you can buy a single game tailgate ticket for $20. Student tickets are only $10.
No, I’m not hawking for the Miners. I just think you’ll have a lot of fun. Call 747-8600 if interested.
TRIVIA ANSWER: The 1947 El Paso High School basketball team which won the state championship. The team became known as “The Flying Tigers” in honor of the American squadron that became famous during World War II.
Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at by e-mail at email@example.com or online at www.raysanchezbooks.com
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