ODESS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – The University of Texas Permian Basin announced it is eliminating both the men’s soccer and cross-country programs, citing “budget pressures”.

In a statement from the Office of the President, UTPB said it has strategies in place to help the student-athletes who were part of these programs to ensure a smooth transition.

Per the statement:

–  Rostered men’s soccer and men’s cross country student-athletes will have the choice to remain at UT Permian Basin to complete their degree or transfer to another institution sponsoring their respective sports.  

–  Advanced warning of closure for these two sports allow the impacted students to identify other opportunities with their sports.  

–  Additionally, scholarship student-athletes wishing to complete their degree at UT Permian Basin will retain their current athletics scholarship allocation through graduation. 

The announcement said it was a “difficult decision” that was related to budget issues that “include a steep increase in expenses due to inflationary factors.” It also states that reducing the amount of sponsored sports will “provide a better experience and more support” for UTPB athletes.

Since 2010, UTPB men’s soccer has a program record of 62-137-17. The Falcons recorded two winning seasons since then, going 9-7-2 in 2017 and 5-3-1 in the shortened 2020 COVID season. Seasons before 2010 are not available for viewing on UTPB’s athletic website.

Dennis Peterson was the men’s soccer head coach for 22 years, beginning in 2000 before he stepped down last fall. Assistant coach Victor Domingues became the interim head coach for the 2022 season.

Domingues recently took on a new role as the head coach of the Permian Basin’s new semi-professional soccer team West Texas FC, shortly before UTPB made the announcement to cut its men’s soccer program.

Alick Musukuma had coached men’s cross country for seven seasons before stepping down last fall to take a job at Oral Roberts. Under his leadership, the Falcons finished third in the Lone Star Conference in 2017.

Josh Larringa, assistant UTPB baseball coach, had stepped in as the interim head coach for the 2022 season, despite having no prior experience with cross country. UTPB’s website says Larringa has a background in fitness, however. The Falcons finished 12th in the 2022 Lone Star Conference meet.