Schultz a former Miners assistant

EL PASO, Texas -- The TCU offensive coordinator reportedly has become the latest applicant for the head football coaching job at Texas-El Paso, with the field of possible candidates up to seven.

A source close to the search told the El Paso Times in Friday's online edition that Mike Schultz, who is also a former UTEP assistant, applied for the job vacated when coach Gary Nord and his entire staff were fired after compiling a 14-34 record in four years. In the past three years, the former Western Athletic Conference coach of the year had just six wins.

Schultz joins former Washington State and Alabama coach Mike Price, Nebraska offensive coordinator Barney Cotton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight ends coach Art Valero, Auburn defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, Philadelphia Eagles line coach Juan Castillo and Western Kentucky defensive line coach Mike Fanoga as other possible candidates.

One source close to the UTEP athletic department told the San Antonio Express-News that Castillo, in his ninth season with the Eagles, would be the leading contender for the job if he became a serious candidate.

Miners' athletic director Bob Stull, who removed his fourth-year coach on Monday, has said he prefers a Division I-seasoned coach who runs a pro-set offense and who has strong Texas ties.

Castillo coached the offensive line at Texas A&M-Kingsville for five seasons before joining the Eagles' staff in 1995.

Schultz, in his sixth season at 11-1 TCU, is also the Horned Frogs' running backs coach. He coached at UTEP in 1981 under Bill Michael, when he served as receivers coach. At the time, he was the youngest coach on staff at age 25.

Schultz, as running backs coach, tutored a 1,000-yard rusher in four of his six seasons in Fort Worth -- with Basil Mitchell, LaDainian Tomlinson and Lonta Hobbs. Robert Merrill broke Hobbs' single-season rushing record for a freshman this year.

A Houston native, Schultz was at New Mexico for six seasons before heading to TCU. He served four years as the Lobos' assistant head coach and secondary coach and two as the assistant head coach and running backs coach.