UTEP Coach Kugler makes first school visit at Rojas Elementary

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The University of Texas at El Paso head football coach Sean Kugler took time out of his busy schedule recently to motivate students at Robert R. Rojas Elementary School as they prepare for their upcoming State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests.

Kugler attended the STAAR pep rally with two assistant coaches, A.J. Shepherd and Austin Contreras. The coaches were greeted by Pre-K through second-grade students who were lined up in the hallway wearing UTEP gear, waving pom-poms and signs and chanting “UTEP Miners!”

“It’s an amazing opportunity for our kids to see role models such as Coach Kugler and his two coaching staff members,” said Rojas Elementary Principal Marta Provenghi.

Kugler and his assistant coaches made their way to the gymnasium where they were met with the Miner fight song, applause and more excitement from the third, fourth and fifth graders. The coaches were invited to try their skills at games such as a football toss and a dance video game and Kugler refereed a tug-of-war competition among students.

During the rally, Kugler cheered on the Rojas students and gave them a pep talk.

“Just remember it is real important to do your best at all times. When you are in school do what your teachers say and every day try to do better as students,” Kugler said. “Always listen to your teachers and always listen to your parents and do your best on a daily basis. I know you are going to do great on your tests!”

Kugler was named as the new UTEP football coach in December. This was his first visit to a school since he has been in El Paso, he said. Kugler was the offensive line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for three seasons before returning to the Sun City. He was on the UTEP football coaching staff from 1993 to 2000 and also played football for the Miners for three

The Rojas Elementary students, faculty and staff were proud to have Kugler at their school. It was a visit that would pump up her students and give them the confidence to succeed, Provenghi said.

“They hear it from their teachers, but it’s always good to hear it from other adults and role models that yes they can, si se puede, and they will!” she said.
For additional photos of the event, please visit our photo gallery.