I’m excited to be given the opportunity to coach this program, who I’ve been really keenly aware of and involved in in many years because of our time spent in New Mexico State. We had to coach against the Miners for many years, so I got a pretty good awareness of what was here and the talent pool and what the city was like. My wife is from here, my in-laws are here. We’ve been playing The University of Texas at El Paso for a lot of years, and so I know that this program has had the ability to succeed. I just think that it was lacking in some quality areas that I felt like my staff and I could come and help with. We’ve already made strides in our efforts here in the spring in making it more competitive. Making the quality of volleyball better, but at the end of the day you are measured in everything in life whether or not you can succeed in wins and losses. When we came in here, this program didn’t really have an identity of what they wanted to show, how they wanted to play, who they were, what they were. One of the first things we did, was allowed for them to just kind of talk about the old and then we moved on and said we are not going to talk about the old, we’re going to talk about where we are going. The first thing I wanted them to do was really think about what they wanted to portray to recruits and what they wanted to portray to the people in the city. When we got here, I looked around at many of the sports and saw some of the hashtags that they had, some of the mantras and the feelings that they wanted their program to represent, similar to Coach Terry with the basketball program and the “Blue Collar Mentality.” When I think of a Miner, and when I think of a coal miner, or a person that is doing that for a living, I think of someone who grinds, someone who gets up every day and they bring their lunch pail, they pack their lunch pail, they put their hard hat on and they come to work every day, and they are not going to complain about things they don’t have, they are just going to go work. We developed a couple of those hashtags together, one being #HardHatHaven, a place where we want people to come and put their hard hat on every day to come into practice and just be a grinder, and this is a grinder city. There’s a lot of people that have done well in this city and have made a living by grinding through tough jobs, and that’s kind of the way that the El Paso folks are, and I want our team to represent that. I want people to come out here and watch and say, “Man, these guys are blue collar, hard hat-wearing, bring my lunch pail to work, just grinders,” and that’s what we want to represent. I’m really looking forward to showing them that we can play really, really hard, we can play fast, we can play efficiently, and that there is a passionate that accompanies this sport that you’re supposed to play with, and you’re supposed to play hard, and you’re supposed to do things the right way, and we are going to put that quality product down the floor for our Miner fans and our UTEP and El Paso folks to come and watch.

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Dennis Veasley

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