UPDATE: UTEP confirmed Tuesday night that it has hired Abilene Christian's Joe Golding as the Miners' new head basketball coach.
Golding led Abilene Christian to the NCAA Tournament in two of the past three seasons and an upset win over third-seed Texas in this year’s March Madness.
“I’m honored and humbled to be the next head coach at UTEP,” Golding said in a statement issued through UTEP. “Growing up in Midland and West Texas, I know all about the storied history and tradition of the Miner program – the 1966 national championship, the NCAA Tournament appearances, the conference titles and all the tremendous head coaches who have come through the Sun City, including the legendary Don Haskins. I look forward to putting the Miner program back on top in Conference USA.”
He will be formally introduced as UTEP's 20th basketball coach at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
ORIGINAL REPORT: EL PASO, Texas - It appears that UTEP may have found their next head basketball coach.
Sources have indicated to ABC-7's Nate Ryan that UTEP has offered Abilene Christian head coach Joe Golding the job to be its next head coach.
The Abilene Christian University student newspaper The Optimist reports that the two sides are ironing out a potential buyout for Golding.
Golding would come to UTEP fresh off an NCAA Tournament appearance with the Wildcats, where he knocked off #3-seed Texas 53-52 in the opening round.
Known for his defensive-pressure scheme, Golding and the Wildcats forced more turnovers (18.8) than any other team in college basketball last season.
A graduate of Abilene Christian, Golding has spent 10 years as head coach at his alma mater and oversaw the team's transition from Division-II to Division-I in 2013.
Ironically Golding is very close with University of Texas Coach Chris Beard, who hired away former UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry to become his assistant with the Longhorns. Beard and Golding are friends dating back to their days at Abilene Christian in the mid-1990's, when Golding was a guard and Beard was an assistant for the Wildcats.