In the prequel to hiring a football coach, UTEP brought in Jim Senter from the Citadel to head up its athletic program. Before the Citadel, Senter worked in the athletic departments at Colorado, San Diego State, and Idaho. He served as the AD for Idaho State University from 2003-2004.
Senter is known as a fundraiser, a job description he worked under at SDSU, Idaho, and Colorado. He's a Tulsa grad and Pennsylvania native, though he grew up in Oklahoma. Senter has a wide range of experience, at Colorado, which has a $66 million budget and then at the Citadel, a small military academy with a budget of $13 million and just about everywhere in between.
At Idaho State Senter lasted only 18 months before resigning to "spend more time" with his family. Administrators in Pocatello were "surprised and very disappointed" with his sudden decision. Senter got his fill of his family in less than two months, as he took a fundraising position at San Diego State.
At the Citadel Senter fired Chuck Driesell, son of legendary coach Lefty Driesell, after the former finished 42-113. Senter hired an offensively progressive Duggar Baucom to lead the Bulldogs program who employs the "loot and shoot" frenetic offense.
In 2016 Senter hired Brent Thompson to take over the Citadel football program. Thompson was the offensive coordinator at the Citadel and ran an option-based offense that lent itself to the athletes available to the military school. In his first season Thompson's Bulldogs qualified for the FCS playoffs and won ten games. This year after rising as high as eighth in the FCS polls, the Bulldogs lost six of their last eight games.
Senter is a departure from the inner workings of Bob Stull's athletic-industrial complex. UTEP needs fresh ideas and an AD who can raise money for facilities and salaries. Senter has experience in those areas. He raised money for an Idaho State program in desperate need of revamped fund raising efforts and some big-time athletic department's brought him in to bolster the accounts.
He's also hired a successful football coach, at least early on, and an outside the box basketball coach. It seems that Senter isn't afraid to look at non-conventional names in his hiring practices.