Dana Dimel will coach his final game as Kansas State’s offensive coordinator later this month at the Cactus Bowl.
After that, he will take over as head coach at Texas-El Paso.
UTEP announced it hired Dimel on Wednesday afternoon. Dimel has served as K-State’s offensive coordinator since 2009. He also spent time as a K-State assistant under Bill Snyder in the 1990s.
This will be a return to the head coaching ranks for Dimel. He was previously a head coach at Wyoming, where he went 22-13 over three seasons, and Houston, where he went 8-26 over the same time frame.
“I’m greatly looking forward to the opportunity at UTEP to build a program utilizing a 1-0 concept,” Dimel said in a statement released by UTEP. “I would like to thank President (Diana) Natalicio and Jim Senter for the opportunity. We will work diligently to elevate UTEP football to the highest level in Conference USA. Having been a part of a major turnaround at Kansas State and having the success we did at Wyoming, I’m just really excited about the leadership challenge that’s ahead.”
Dimel and UTEP have not agreed on an official start date, but he will begin working for the Miners sometime after the Cactus Bowl.
K-State will face UCLA in the postseason game on Dec. 26 in Phoenix.
UTEP was one of the worst teams in all of college football this season, going 0-12. Former coach Sean Kugler resigned midway through the year on the heels of an 0-5 start.
Dimel leaves behind a polarizing legacy at K-State. He helped the Wildcats reach eight consecutive bowl games and win a Big 12 championship during his most recent stint in Manhattan, but his play-calling was unpopular with many fans this of late because of its reliance on quarterback keepers, which has led to numerous injuries at the position.
Still, he coordinated several potent offenses over the years, particularly in 2011 and 2012 with Heisman trophy finalist Collin Klein at quarterback and then again with strong-armed passer Jake Waters. Under Dimel, the Wildcats have regularly excelled at running the ball, limiting mistakes, avoiding turnovers and winning time of possession.
“We are very pleased to find a coach with the talent, expertise and experience of Dana Dimel,” UTEP athletic director Jim Senter said. “He has strong ties to the state of Texas. He will immediately impact recruiting in the state of Texas and he is a proven winner.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett