After serving on the Miner coaching staff for nine seasons from 2004-12, UTEP head football coach Dana Dimel announced the return of Aaron Price to the staff as the new special teams coordinator for the Miners on Thursday.
Price, the son of former UTEP head coach Mike Price, returns to El Paso for a second stint after serving in a variety of roles, including offensive coordinator, for the Miners from 2004-12. During his time in the Sun City, Price also worked with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and kickers over the course of nine seasons.
“We are really pleased to have Aaron back in the program,” Dimel said. “Obviously, he has really strong roots to UTEP and El Paso. He brings plenty of experience and knowledge to our coaching staff. We think he is just going to add a whole new dimension to our special teams unit.”
The coaching veteran spent the last two seasons as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach at Northern Arizona, where he coached a pair of All-Americans in kicker Luis Aguilar and punter DJ Arnson.
In his first stint at UTEP, Price was responsible for coaching a pair of Miner greats in quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Trevor Vittatoe, both of whom broke all of the program’s passing records while under his guidance. He also coached former Miner kicker Jose Martinez, who was a two-time all-conference selection and runner-up for the Lou Groza Award in 2007.
“I want to say thank you to Coach Dimel and the UTEP staff for bringing me back home,” Price said. “Wow, what an honor to be blessed with. I can’t wait to rejoin my El Paso and UTEP family again and help promote what awesome things are happening inside the football program, and also help UTEP Football continue to grow and be successful. As a special teams group, our philosophy will be ‘ALL IN’ and just as our program is, so am I. My family and I are ‘ALL IN!’ I am so fired up and grateful to be joining this program that I truly believe in and has so many positive things happening. We are on the rise and we will continue the hard work and effort everyone is putting in to get better and achieve success.
“To Coach Dimel and UTEP Athletics, I can’t tell you how happy you’ve made my three daughters with this homecoming reunion, and as they said to me, “Getting our Daddy back home!” To El Paso, UTEP, my daughters Andi, Blakeanne, and Maddison, you all mean the absolute world to me! I’m so excited to be coming home! It’s ‘ALL IN TIME!’ GO MINERS!”
In Price’s first year at Northern Arizona, three players from his positional groups earned All-Big Sky honors. Kicker Luis Aguilar (First Team), punter DJ Arnson (First Team) and running back Joe Logan (Second Team) all landed postseason recognition. Additionally, Aguilar was named the 2019 Fred Mitchell Award winner, presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate placekicker in the FCS.
Price took charge of the Lumberjacks’ special teams and running backs after more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience at nine different universities. Price has been part of seven bowl teams as a coach or player, including three at UTEP and four at his alma mater Washington State.
Prior to joining the staff at NAU, Price’s previous stop within the collegiate coaching ranks came as the offensive coordinator at Humboldt State University (Calif.) in 2016. He directed a prolific Humboldt State offense that saw individual players break the program’s single-season passing and career rushing records.
He spent the previous three seasons as the quarterbacks coach at Tulane (2013-15) after spending nine years at UTEP (2004-12) working with his father. Price also spent time on the coaching staffs at Alabama (2003), Washington State (2001-02, 1995-97), Idaho State (1999-01), Missouri Western State (1998) and Cal Poly (1994).
Price lettered as a kicker at Washington State and was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award and a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection during his playing days. He still ranks eighth in program history in field goals made in a season (17; 1993) and 10th in season field goal percentage (.722; 1992). Price also spent time in the Canadian Football League (1994) and the Arena Football League (1995) following his playing days with the Cougars.
Price earned his undergraduate degree in physical education from Washington State in 1994. He has three daughters: Andi, Blakeanne and Maddison.