UTEP coach Tim Floyd announces retirement after loss Monday

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Tim Floyd’s career has taken him from benches in the Big Sky to the NBA and back to college again. He’s won big and found controversy. It’s been a career filled with highlights, lowlights and oddities.

It is now a career that is over.

Floyd, the head coach at UTEP, announced his retirement Monday after the Miners fell to 1-5 on the season with a 66-52 loss to Lamar, ending a coaching career that spans decades.

“I’ve coached for 42 years and I love this school. My father played here. Nobody wants to win here more than I do,” Floyd said in his post-game press conference. “I think it’s time for somebody else to have the opportunity to have the joy that I’ve had, the agony that I’ve had, the acclaim that I’ve had and the heartbreak that I’ve had in my career.

“I’m through. I’m retired as of today. This is my last game as a coach. I’m going to move forward with my life.”

Floyd’s first head coaching job came in 1986 at Idaho, where he was for two seasons before moving on to New Orleans. He took over at Iowa State in 1994 and led the Cyclones to three NCAA tournaments in four years before taking over the Michael Jordan-less Bulls in 1998. He went 93-235 in four-and-half seasons with the Bulls and one with Charlotte in 2003-04.

“I’ve had the most incredible opportunities,” Floyd said Monday, “and worked with some great, great players.”

The last chapters of Floyd’s career are certainly filled with interesting – and scandalous – notes. He returned to college in 2005 at USC, and led the Trojans to three NCAA tournaments and a conference tournament championship. It was marred, though, by allegations that Floyd provided money to get star recruit O.J. Mayo to join the program. Floyd denied the allegations, but resigned in 2009.

That led him to his last stop at UTEP, where feuding with USC coach Andy Enfield and the local media generated more headlines than anything the Miners did on the court during his tenure. UTEP won 20-plus games three times, but never made an NCAA tournament and slipped to 15-17 last year.

“This is the right time. I know it’s the right time,” Floyd said. “It’s been incredibly difficult to keep fighting the fight.”