Sadler replaces Gillispie as Miners coach
EL PASO, Texas -- Texas-El Paso chose from its own ranks Sunday, selecting assistant coach Doc Sadler as the new head basketball coach.
Sadler replaces Billy Gillispie, who accepted the head coaching position at Texas A&M on Wednesday.
"As an assistant coach, it is always a dream to have the opportunity to run your own program," Sadler said. "Never did I dream that opportunity would come at the only school in the state of Texas to have won a national championship. This is a great honor, but also a responsibility I look forward to."
Sadler inherits a team that went 24-8 this season, finishing second in the Western Athletic Conference and earning an at-large NCAA berth where it nearly upset Maryland in an 86-83 loss.
Gillispie was given credit for turning around the team, which posted a 6-24 record his first year as UTEP coach in 2002-03. It was one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball history.
Gillispie credited Sadler for being "the person most responsible for me coaching college basketball" because of job recommendations he gave Gillispie.
Sadler was athletic director and head basketball coach at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith between 1998 and 2003. He posted a 120-39 record while leading the Lions to four consecutive Bi-State conference championships, two NJCAA Region II championships and two trips to the NJCAA National Tournament.
The Lion basketball program had a 95 percent graduation while he was head coach.
He was named coach of the year for NJCAA Region II in 2001 and 2002.
In addition to being an assistant at UTEP this season, Sadler has worked at Houston, Chicago State, Lamar, Texas Tech, Arizona State and Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Sadler received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas. He and his wife, Tonya, have two sons.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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