BYLINE: Iliana Limon ILIMON@ABQTRIB.COM / 823-3632
You could call it the "Glory Road" bounce.
UTEP athletics programs are still feeling the fallout after the school was the focus of a well-received major motion picture.
"Glory Road" is based on the 1966 Miners coached by Don Haskins. He used the first all-black starting lineup to win an NCAA men's basketball championship opposite an all-white Kentucky team and is credited with changing the landscape of college basketball.
"Our recruits definitely recognize us more because of the movie," UTEP football coach Mike Price said. "The school was named Texas-Western at the time, but everyone understands it's about UTEP. That's our history and our legacy. We're very proud of it."
Miners senior quarterback Jordan Palmer said a lot more people throughout the country know UTEP exists than when he first signed with the school.
"The combination of having coach Price here, our success lately and the movie really changed the way people see UTEP," Palmer said.
"Glory Road" made $42,448,852 in movie theaters, taking the top box office retail spot during its opening weekend and staying in the top 10 for three weeks.
It has collected another $43,900,000 in video and DVD rentals, not to mention DVD sales and other promotional material.
"Glory Road" also won an ESPY for best sports movie of the year, an honor voted on by ESPN viewers.
Haskins' autobiography written with Dan Wetzel, also titled "Glory Road," was named a New York Times notable book. It was a national bestseller and reprinted five times in the first four months of its release.
The street around the Sun Bowl and Don Haskins Center has been renamed Glory Road. The football team's practice field is now known as Glory Road Field.
"It's the kind of national publicity money can't buy, and it certainly has been a big boost for the entire school," UTEP Athletics Director Bob Stull said.
While coaches and school leaders are thrilled by the residual effects of the movie, they all said the best part is the attention it has shined on Haskins and his players.
"During the movie, they sort of say coach Haskins got a few hate letters, but it was a ton more than that," Stull said. "When you won the national championship back then, you went to the White House and were on the 'Ed Sullivan Show.'
"The team never got to do that, so it was great to see them interviewed all over the country and make the trip to the White House when the movie first opened.
"We're grateful for the attention we're receiving and we're trying to honor that legacy in everything we do."