EL PASO, Texas -- Texas-El Paso chose from its own ranks
Sunday, selecting assistant coach Doc Sadler as the new head
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
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.