Kugler, who has been the Steeler's offensive line coach for three seasons, will succeed Mike Price, who is retiring as the Miners' coach.
Kugler played for UTEP 1985-88 and was an assistant coach 1993-2000.
"I'm hoping to build on the tremendous job that was done by Coach Price and his staff," Kugler said in a statement. "I have been the Miners' biggest supporter from afar, and the job Coach Price and his staff did was outstanding. I can't wait to work with the players in the near future. I spent 13 years as a player and coach at UTEP and loved every minute of it."
Kugler also has been an NFL assistant with Buffalo and Detroit, as well as at Boise State.
UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull said Kugler will bring "a lot of enthusiasm and experience and, most importantly, has a great love for UTEP and the city of El Paso."
UTEP went 3-9 this year.