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K-State OC Dana Dimel takes job as UTEP head coach

Longtime Wildcat has 30-39 record as head coach at Wyoming, Houston.

Dana Dimel
Dana Dimel during his time as head coach at Wyoming. (Sorry, Coach. We didn’t have access to a newer or better photo.)

The UTEP Miners on Wednesday announced they had hired Kansas State Wildcats Offensive Coordinator Dana Dimel as head coach. Dimel will remain at K-State through the team’s Cactus Bowl appearance against UCLA.

The Miners were a dismal 0-12 this season under Sean Kugler, who resigned after an 0-5 start, and interim Mike Price. The only game they even kept within a touchdown was a 15-14 loss to Western Kentucky.

First K-State tenure

Dimel’s time at K-State started as a player during the deepest of the dark ages of Wildcat football. He was a tackle from 1984 to 1986, on teams that went a combined 6-26-1 under Jim Dickey, Lee Moon, and Stan Parrish. He also received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from K-State.

He stuck around as a graduate assistant in 1987 and 1988 under Parrish. When Bill Snyder arrived in 1989, he retained Dimel and elevated him to offensive line coach. In 1993, he added run game coordinator to his responsibilities, and in 1995 and 1996 he served as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Dana Dimel stuck around through the worst at K-State and helped elevate it to some of our best times. So instead of cheering that he is leaving, cheer that he is getting a head coaching job.

Head coaching jobs

In 1997, Dimel departed K-State to take his first head coach job at Wyoming. At 34 years old, he was the youngest head coach in Division I. In three years, he led the Cowboys to a 22-13 record. Unfortunately Wyoming never got a bowl invitation during those years.

He translated that record into another head coach job at Houston, although that tenure was significantly worse than his time at Wyoming. Dimel was 8-26 in three seasons at Houston, including an 0-11 campaign in 2001.

Assistant jobs

After two seasons away from coaching, Dimel returned to K-State as a graduate assistant in 2005 before going to Arizona as a tight ends coach from 2006 to 2008.

When Snyder returned to K-State in 2009, he brought Dimel back with him as offensive coordinator. K-State went 6-6 but didn’t make a bowl in the first year after getting the band back together, but since then the Wildcats have rolled off eight consecutive bowl seasons and won a Big 12 title in 2012.


Dimel is married and has two children. His son, Winston, is a junior on the K-State football team who has a staggering 25 touchdowns from the fullback position.

At 55 years old, Dimel still has plenty of time for a fairly full head coaching career. Good luck, Coach. Make K-State proud.