New UTEP Administration and New Radio Partnership
The last time UTEP broadcast their games on KROD-AM 600, the Miners football team under Mike Price was averaging 40,000 fans per home game at the Sun Bowl and had a pair of consecutive bowl appearances. Meanwhile, the men's basketball team had just come off of back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. It was exciting times for UTEP sports fans and they jammed the phone lines each weekday afternoon during SportsTalk to discuss the Miners.
Fast forward 13 years. KROD is now known as 600 ESPN El Paso, with an all-sports radio format. SportsTalk is still on the air in afternoon drive, but instead of phone calls the show is dominated by Twitter and the explosion of social media. Many of our loyal listeners stream the show from their computers, tablets, and smart phones on the 600 ESPN El Paso free mobile App. They also download our daily podcast so they never miss a minute.
Today at UTEP, Dr. Heather Wilson began her first official day as President, while Director of Athletics Jim Senter, head football coach Dana Dimel, and head men's basketball coach Rodney Terry are all preparing for their second season with the Miners. Van Wagner Sports signed a long term contract to replace IMG as the UTEP athletics department’s exclusive multimedia rights partner and sales agent.
The best move UTEP made came this afternoon when the school announced that were coming home to a familiar member of the broadcast family. 600 ESPN El Paso is once again the radio home for the Miners, including all football and men's basketball games. Jon Teicher will return to the airwaves for his 39th season as the "Voice of the Miners". For football games, he will be joined in the booth by Bernie Ricono and Mando "The Monster" Medina reporting from the sideline. Former UTEP player Steve Yellen will once again join Teich courtside for every UTEP men's basketball game.
Today's announcement marks the third time in nearly 30 years that UTEP and KROD have joined forces. From 1991-1997 and again from 2002 through 2006, 600 AM was the home of the Miners. In those days, the only way to listen to games was on the radio. Now, the aforementioned free app along with our website allows for a first-rate quality streaming broadcast that makes our listeners feel like they are in the studio with us. It is a difference maker for an AM radio station and it will also allow fans to listen in to Jon and his team from anywhere in the world. It is great to bring UTEP back home and we look forward to the new administration delivering the kind of success and postseason opportunities that Miners fans have been waiting for.
At the same time, 600 ESPN El Paso has been the home of El Paso Chihuahuas baseball since day one. That will not change and we will continue to deliver every pitch of every regular season and playoff Chihuahuas game on 600 ESPN with Tim Hagerty. For the first game of the 2019 Miners season, there is a rare conflict where both UTEP football and Chihuahuas baseball will play on the same day and time. On August 31st, the Miners will air on partner station 95.5 KLAQ. We have other big announcements to make in the coming days but this one feels right for so many reasons.