Later this week, the UTEP football team will head 220 miles southeast to begin the first fall training camp under new head coach Sean Kugler. Some fans are wondering what type of training camp Coach Kugler will operate with his team? He told me it will resemble “almost down to the minute” what the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp was like. This is not surprising, since Kugler spent the past three years as an assistant coach under Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. He believes that Pittsburgh’s camp was the most productive he was a part of, from the physical work to the mental preparation and down time. Here is what a typical day will be like for the Miners during fall training camp.
6 a.m.: Early wake-up call for UTEP players and staff. Some Miner players will receive early treatment.
6:30 a.m.: Team breakfast
8 a.m.: UTEP coaches will meet as a staff for 45 minutes, going over final preparations. These could include field adjustments due to weather, injury reports from the trainers. UTEP players are getting taped at this time and are finishing up breakfast.
8:30 a.m.: Team meeting between players and coaching staff.
8:45 a.m.: Individual positional meetings for UTEP players and coaches. The meetings last for an hour and cover the basis of the day, which was installed the previous night.
9:45 a.m.: Players and coaches prepare for practice, which will last approximately two hours. The team will be in pads whenever it’s allowed.
11:45 a.m.: Coaches and players leave the practice field, shower, and head to lunch.
Noon: Team lunch
1:30 p.m.: Miner players get a break and can relax back in their dorms, while coaches watch film from the morning practice.
2:30 p.m.: One-hour weight lifting session for UTEP players. The team is divided up into two groups, and they lift weights every other day during training camp.
3:45 p.m.: An afternoon practice, which lasts one-and-a-half hours. This practice is only during two-a-days.
5:30 p.m.: Team dinner.
7 p.m.: Night meetings with players and coaches. It begins with special teams, then a team meeting, and finally individual groups.
9:45 p.m.: Snack break.
11 p.m.: Bed check and team curfew.
If this daily itinerary looks organized, it is because Coach Kugler is the most detailed oriented coach that UTEP has ever had. He is also a disciplinarian and has excused 18 players from the team since he took over as head coach last December. If the Miners can be as precise in their on-field execution as their daily schedule, fans should enjoy the football product that Sean Kugler will deliver.
Since 1997, Steve Kaplowitz has hosted “Sportstalk” weekday afternoons 4-7 p.m. on 600 ESPN El Paso. Over the last 17 years, he has also worked for UTEP and NMSU as a play-by-play broadcaster, for UTEP telecasts on Time Warner Cable and for KDBC-TV and KTSM-TV as a sports anchor/reporter. You can contact Steve by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.