"We will work diligently to elevate UTEP football to the highest level in Conference USA," Dana Dimel said in a Dec. 6, 2017, new release announcing his hire as Miners' head coach. "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.”
Two years later, UTEP is still a long, long way from playing at the highest level in Conference USA, and a big challenge still lies ahead for Dimel and the Miners.
Dimel signed a five-year contract when he left his job as Kansas State offensive coordinator to take over a program that went winless in 2017. As noted in his statement, he's been there before; he was at Kansas State for three years before Bill Snyder arrived and, in several positions, played a key role in the Wildcats' turnaround. Three decades — and two previous head-coaching stops — later, Dimel's second attempt at major turnaround is off to a slow start. And while he deserves a long leash and loads of time to rebuild at one of the toughest jobs in college football, it might be worth revisiting his contract.
Dimel's contract runs from Dec. 27, 2017, through Jan. 31, 2023, and calls for an annual base salary of $700,000. He is also eligible for several on- and off-the-field bonuses, including:
Division championship: One-month base salary ($58,333)
Conference championship: One-month base salary
Conference coach of the year: One-month base salary
National coach of the year: One-month base salary
If fired before his contract ends on Jan. 31, 2023, Dimel is owed a buyout equal to the amount of his remaining salary. For example, for simplicity's sake, if fired on Jan. 31, 2020, he would be owed three full years of salary ($2.1 million.)