Saturday, January 27, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, January 27, 2001

Former UH football coach front-runner for UTEP job

Advertiser Staff, News Services

Former University of Hawai'i head football coach Bob Wagner could be headed back to the Western Athletic Conference this season.

Wagner has interviewed for the vacant defensive coordinator position at Texas-El Paso and could be announced as soon as Monday.

A UTEP spokesman said a press conference was scheduled to name a new defensive coordinator but declined to confirm the selection.

Wagner declined comment.

Wagner, 53, spent 19 years at UH, nine as head coach where he was 58-49-1 between 1987 and 1995. He led the Rainbows to their first two bowl appearances, the 1989 Aloha and 1992 Holiday Bowls, and a Top 20 finish in 1992 before being fired at the end of the 1995 season.

Previously, Wagner was an assistant coach for 10 years at UH, four as defensive coordinator.

He spent the past two seasons at Arizona as an assistant under Dick Tomey, another former UH coach, who left the Wildcats in November. At Arizona, Wagner coached defense and coordinated special teams.

There had been speculation last year that Wagner was under consideration for the head coaching job at UTEP when Charlie Bailey resigned. But UTEP athletic director Bob Stull, who coached with Wagner at Washington in the mid-1970s, chose to elevate Gary Nord, who had been the Miners’ offensive coordinator.

Larry Hoefer, the Miners’ most recent defensive coordinator, left to join Kentucky.

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