News Archives: Athletics

HPU alumnus named men’s athletic chaplain at Texas Tech University

Corbin YoungBROWNWOOD – March 9, 2017 – Howard Payne University alumnus Corbin Young was recently appointed by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes the new men’s athletic chaplain at Texas Tech University. In this position, Young serves the seven men’s sports teams at Texas Tech by encouraging and equipping the coaches and athletes through Christ.

“I’m excited and humbled beyond words by this opportunity to represent Christ, through the ministry of FCA, at one of the largest state schools in Texas,” Young said. “Serving in this capacity, as a college sports chaplain, has been a ministry dream job for me since I first surrendered to God’s calling on my life at 18 years old.”

Young said college students, particularly male student-athletes, are among the church’s most unreached people groups in the nation.

“Consequently, I see this as one of the most strategic and vital ministry opportunities for advancing the Gospel in our sports-obsessed culture,” he said. “As I seek to earn the trust of these Red Raiders, my role will be all about building relationships and making disciples by encouraging and equipping them in their faith, character and leadership through the loving ministry of presence.”

Young, a former HPU student-athlete, earned his bachelor’s degree in practical theology in 2010 and a master’s degree in theology and ministry in 2014. He was a four-year letterman in football (2006-2009), team captain (2009), American Southwest Conference all-conference slot receiver (2009), three-time academic all-conference selection (2007-2009) and a collegiate national championship qualifier in Olympic weightlifting (2007).

“Corbin was a model student-athlete while he attended HPU,” said Hunter Sims, the university’s athletic director. “We are extremely proud of his service to the Kingdom and to have him as an alumnus.”

Young began working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2010 as the Big Country area representative based in Brownwood. In 2013, he became the founding area director for the organization in Midland where, under his leadership, the FCA staff and ministry rapidly grew around the Permian Basin.

He is a licensed and ordained Baptist minister and has served on staff at churches in Brownwood and Paradise as well as in Saskatchewan, Canada. Most recently, he served as the lead pastor at First Baptist Church of Tarzan, Texas.

Young is married to Kandace (Schuelke) Young, also an HPU graduate and former student-athlete. They have a 4-year-old son, Kensler, and a second child due in August 2017.


Cutline: HPU alumnus Corbin Young was recently named the men’s athletic chaplain at Texas Tech University through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

HPU alumnus named 2016 Class 6A Assistant Coach of the Year

mark nickolsBROWNWOOD – May 24, 2016 – Howard Payne University alumnus Mark Nickols was recently named the 2016 Class 6A Assistant Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. He serves as assistant basketball coach at San Angelo’s Central High School.

According to the San Angelo ISD website, Nickols helped his team reach the playoffs for the second straight year this season. They finished the season with a record of 21-12. He will be recognized this month at the annual convention of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

“At HPU, I really appreciated the small classes and professors who truly cared about my success,” said Nickols.

Nickols said it was Coach Troy Drummond’s friendship with San Angelo’s Coach Jaime Boswell that led him to begin his career at Central High School.

Drummond serves as head men’s basketball coach, head golf coach and associate athletic director for operations at HPU.

“I am very proud of Mark for taking an opportunity and making the most of it,” said Drummond. “When Coach Boswell got the job at San Angelo Central and was talking to me about his assistant position I really thought that Mark would be a great fit. Mark is an exceptional young man with a great work ethic. I’m so very happy for him and his family and wish him all the best.”

A 2010 HPU graduate, Nickols is the son of John and Barbara Nickols of Brownwood. John Nickols serves at HPU as assistant professor of history and political science and special assistant to the athletic director.


Cutline: HPU alumnus Mark Nickols was recently named the 2016 Class 6A Assistant Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Photo courtesy of San Angelo ISD.

HPU alumna named All-Big Country Coach of the Year

Heather Hohertz and teamBROWNWOOD – May 4, 2016 – Heather Hohertz, 2007 Howard Payne University graduate, said she credits her HPU professors and coaches in guiding her to be her best. Hohertz, who serves as head basketball coach and assistant softball coach at Brownwood High School, was recently named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year for Classes 4A-6A by the Abilene Reporter-News. She additionally won the award in 2010.

“By playing under Coach K (Chris Kielsmeier, former HPU basketball coach), I learned how to dedicate myself toward my passion and I learned the work ethic to become successful on the court and in life,” she said.

Hohertz grew up in Priddy and during her senior year of high school was a member of the team that won the first-ever state championship for the small community.

“When I was searching for a college to continue my playing career, Howard Payne was an easy choice,” she said. “Coach Kielsmeier recruited me and I knew I had to become a member of the Lady Jacket family.”

Today, Meia Daniels, a former teammate of Hohertz, serves as head women’s basketball coach for the university.

“Heather is very deserving of the award,” said Daniels. “She works hard and is very competitive, which she relays through her team. I am very proud of her and I know she will continue to do great things in the future.”

During seven years at Brownwood High School, Hohertz has led her team to many victories and has a win-loss record of 147-74.

“This year, we matched our best record in the school’s history,” she said. “We were 25-8 and made the school’s first-ever trip to the regional tournament.”

Hohertz said it’s a great honor to be named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year because there are so many great coaches in the area.

“It’s a tribute to the great kids I have had the opportunity to coach,” she said. “They bought into my philosophy and they strive to be successful.”


Cutline: HPU alumna Heather Hohertz, kneeling, was recently named the All-Big Country Coach of the Year for Classes 4A-6A by the Abilene Reporter-News. She is pictured with members of her Lady Lions basketball team. Photo contributed.

TSHOF inductee Ken Gray reflects on life at HPU, in the NFL and beyond

By Abram Choate, assistant athletic director for sports information and game administration

A version of this article originally appeared in HPU’s Link magazine.

BROWNWOOD – March 31, 2016 – Recent Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ken Gray had great success on the football field for Howard Payne University and the National Football League, but he says what he went through at Howard Payne really made him who he is.

Grays at exhibitGray and seven others comprised the Class of 2016 inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on February 2. The Waco institution houses displays of more than 300 Texas sports legends.

“It’s one thing to make all-district, all-conference, all-pro or all-anything,” says Gray. “But to receive recognition from your peers – to be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame – it’s icing on the cake.”

Gray says he’s very sincere in being appreciative of everything Howard Payne has meant in his life.

“I know how indebted I am to Howard Payne for the university’s share of the recognition,” he says.

Grays with HPU representativesBorn in San Saba County to a father who was a heavy-equipment operator during World War II, the Gray family moved around central and west Texas before finally settling in the Llano area. There, Gray became an outstanding high school player.

At a basketball practice during his senior year, 1954, Gray was introduced to Jack Brewer, who was an assistant football coach at HPU. Coach Brewer asked if Gray liked to play football and if he would like to play at Howard Payne.

“‘Yes, sir, I sure would,’” Gray remembers replying. “‘Do you understand I am married and have a child?’”

Not only did Brewer understand, HPU had an opportunity for a job for Gray and a home for the young family.

In the fall of 1954, Gray played his first game as a Yellow Jacket. Howard Payne was handily beating the other team and Gray was put in on defense. Coach Brewer did not like the way he was lining up and asked him what he was doing.

“I guess he thought I was being lazy,” Gray says. “It broke my heart. I thought I would just get on the bus and go back to Llano.”

Coach Brewer then came over to the bench and put his arm around Gray.

Gray at HPU“He said, ‘Ken, I’m sorry. It will never happen again,’” Gray recalls. “From then on, I would die for him. That was my introduction to Howard Payne football.

“Coach Brewer was a great, great man. He got the most out of everybody, he was fair and he made men out of a lot of us. I still tear up when I think about him.”

The Howard Payne coaching staff made practices very tough. At that time, the team included several veterans of the Korean War.

“So when an 18-year-old went against a 25-, 26- or even a 29-year-old, you had to battle,” he says. “The things I went through at Howard Payne really made me who I am.”

As a husband and father at HPU, Gray did not have time for much beyond family, football and work. However, he found support among the team’s other married players.

“There were other players who were married with families, so there were others going through the same things,” he says. “All the older guys kind of put an arm around you to take care of you and teach you. Jack Browning and Joe James were older players. Harold Garms was a former service guy.”

Gray graduated from Howard Payne in 1958 with a degree in history and education. He finished Howard Payne as a four-year letterman (1954-1957), where he was All-Lone Star Conference and named to the Little All-American team.

He went on to be drafted in the sixth round (as the 62nd overall pick) of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers in 1958 before earning a spot with the Chicago Cardinals. The team eventually moved to St. Louis.

Gray is one of 17 players in Howard Payne history to be drafted into the NFL and one of approximately 30 Yellow Jackets to have played in the NFL or Canadian Football League.

“When I went from Howard Payne to Green Bay, I really could not believe it. This is pro football,” he says.

However, after his experiences playing at Howard Payne, he was prepared.

“The practices were not really that hard. I found making that jump was really easy.”

In an NFL career that spanned 13 seasons, Gray was named an NFL Pro Bowl guard for the St. Louis Cardinals seven times. He would be named consensus All-Pro six times (1963, 1965-1969) and was honored as a First-Team selection twice during that time. He finished his professional career as a Houston Oiler in 1970.

Gray returned to Llano High School as head football coach from 1973 to 1975.

“That turned out to be the most fun I ever had,” he says. “I got to coach my son who turned out to be an All-State player.”

He then spent the 1977-1978 seasons as the Denver Broncos’ offensive line coach. Since then, Gray has become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Howard Payne University Sports Halls of Fame.

Gray now lives in Kingsland, Texas, with Shirley, his wife of 62 years. He has fond recollections of his days as a student-athlete at HPU.

“The memories are not so much of what happened on the field but the relationships I had with all the players,” he says. “Howard Payne is the kind of place where you can get a good education along with a dose of character building.”


Photo cutlines: Ken and Shirley Gray stand in front of Ken’s display at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.

The Grays are pictured with HPU representatives following Ken’s induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Left to right: Abram Choate, HPU’s assistant athletic director for sports information and game administration; Ken Gray; Shirley Gray; and Stephen Sullivan, HPU’s director of development and alumni relations.

Ken Gray is pictured as a football player at HPU.

HPU names Coach Hunter Sims university’s athletic director

Hunter SimsBROWNWOOD – March 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University announced today that Hunter Sims, head football coach, has been named athletic director for the university. Sims will serve a dual role as coach and athletic director beginning in fall 2016 and will report to Dr. Magen Bunyard, vice president for student life and dean of students.

Sims was named head football coach at the end of the fall 2015 semester. He additionally served three years as an assistant at HPU before being promoted to offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in 2012.

Sims’ offenses have been some of the best in the American Southwest Conference, setting a new HPU record for total offense in a game last season with 720 yards in a 54-53 road victory. He has coached current HPU career record-holder for field goals Joshua Martinez and wide receiver standout Colby Mica, who recently broke the HPU career receptions record.

Sims is a 2007 graduate of McMurry University with a degree in education and a minor in history. In 2010, he finished a master’s degree in sports management. As a player, Sims was a three-year letterman and two-time Academic All-Conference selection at quarterback at McMurry. After his college playing career was over, he served as a student assistant working with wide receivers and quarterbacks.

During his tenure at HPU, Sims has served as president of the Staff Council as well as on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Leadership Board. He has worked football camps around the state and spent extensive time working with the FCA as a camp counselor. He and his wife, Shannon, have two children, Sage and Finn.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, said Sims’ dedication to his sport is admirable but not to be compared with his devotion to God and his commitment to the students he coaches.

“Coach Sims’ priority is not just to win games, but to be a godly example in the lives of the young men he coaches,” said Dr. Ellis. “For this reason and many more, I am confident that he will do fantastic work as HPU’s next athletic director.”


Photo cutline: Hunter Sims, head football coach at HPU, has been named the university’s next athletic director.

Sims to be head coach at end of semester

By HPU Sports Information

BROWNWOOD, Texas – The Howard Payne University athletic department today announced that current assistant head coach Hunter Sims will take over as head football coach at the end of the semester.

Following the recent announcement that Howard Payne head football coach Roger Geise would be retiring at the end on the semester, the university made it clear today that it already had the new head coach in Hunter Sims.

“I am very excited for Hunter,” said Mike Jones, director of athletics. “I know he will do a great job and he is a perfect fit for Howard Payne and the football program.”

Sims spent three years as an assistant at Howard Payne before being promoted to offensive coordinator and assistant head coach in the spring of 2012. His first two years with HPU, he was the wide receivers coach and then worked as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator in his third season.

“Hunter Sims is a man of great character, wisdom and energy,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. “Since I came to Howard Payne, I have been impressed with his commitment to our football players and to the program, and I am confident that in his new role, Coach Sims will advance HPU football and bring honor to our university.”

Sims’ offenses have been some of the best in the American Southwest Conference, setting a new Howard Payne record for total offense in a game last season at East Texas Baptist with 720 yards in a 54-53 road victory. He has coached current HPU career record holder for field goals Joshua Martinez and wide receiver standout Colby Mica, who is on pace to break the HPU career receptions record.

Sims worked as a graduate assistant wide receivers coach with Angelo State University before coming to HPU. Also during that time, he helped coach defensive backs for the professional arena football team San Angelo Stampede of the IFL (Intense Football League).

As a player, Sims was a three-year letterman and two-time Academic All-Conference selection at quarterback at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. After his college playing career was over, he served as a student assistant at McMurry University working with wide receivers and quarterbacks.

He went on to play quarterback in the GFL (German Football League) for the Professional Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. He also played one season with the San Angelo Stampede and Frisco Thunder of the IFL.

While in Germany playing professional football, he was also the head baseball coach of the Schwabisch Renegades Baseball team (Men’s team 18 and up). Sims led them to the Landesliga Championship and was named Coach of the Year. Sims has worked football camps around the state and spent extensive time working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a camp counselor.

Sims is a 2007 graduate of McMurry University with a degree in Education and a minor in History and in 2010 he finished a master’s degree in Sports Management. He was married in the summer of 2011 to his wife, Shannon.

HPU head football coach Roger Geise to retire at semester’s end

BROWNWOOD – October 8, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Roger Geise announced recently that he will be retiring at the end of the fall semester after four seasons as Yellow Jacket head football coach and 11 seasons total with the university.

Mike Jones, athletic director, said it has been a pleasure to work with Geise.

“I appreciate all that he has done for HPU and our football program,” Jones said. “He is a great friend and I wish him the best in his retirement.”

In Geise’s first three seasons as head coach of the Yellow Jackets, he was 9-21 overall with back-to-back 4-6 records in 2013 and 2014.

“I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to work at Howard Payne over the past 11 seasons and will greatly miss all the student-athletes and co-workers that have become my friends and family over the years,” said Geise. “I am thankful for the opportunity that Dr. Bill Ellis (HPU president) and Mike Jones gave me and wish HPU a bright and blessed future.”

Geise joined the HPU coaching staff in 2005 as the defensive line coach. He then served as the Yellow Jacket defensive coordinator from the 2008 season until the end of the 2011 season. Geise’s 2005 defensive unit set an American Southwest Conference record for interceptions in a season, with 29.

Geise, who has more than 35 years of coaching experience, began his career in his native state of Pennsylvania in 1970. He joined the Louisiana State University staff in 1974 as a graduate assistant and served there for three years.

Geise entered the high school coaching ranks in Texas in 1977 through which he coached for more than 25 years.

In 2005, Geise was inducted into the Romanoski Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Roger and his wife, Sandra, live in the Mercury area where they have a ranching operation.


Photo cutline: Roger Geise, HPU head football coach, will retire at the end of the fall semester.

Serving God By Serving Others: HPU’s Xavier McFalls leads ministry to athletes

A version of this article originally appeared in the spring 2015 issue of HPU’s Link magazine.

Xavier McFalls feature for webBROWNWOOD – May 15, 2015 – During his freshman year at Howard Payne University, Xavier McFalls stood before his football teammates and told them something that perhaps few young men have the courage to say to one another.

“I told them I love them and God loves them,” he said. “It was definitely intimidating. My knees were shaking, but I think it was important for them to hear that.”

McFalls was a fairly new Christian at the time but felt God encouraging him to speak out about his new-found faith. Now a senior, he continues to answer the call by leading the athlete discipleship ministry through HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry.

McFalls gets to know student-athletes from all sports and helps them get involved in Bible studies, worship services and other various events on campus. He also leads devotionals and helps disciple younger players to become spiritual leaders on their teams.

“I help them learn how to play as Christian athletes and how to ask themselves if they’re glorifying God through their actions,” he said.

Discipleship is important to McFalls, as he spent a lot of time around godly mentors in his hometown of Amarillo. These individuals helped him see the importance of surrounding himself with good Christian influences.

“I wanted to know more and more about God and I wanted to go to a Christian university,” he said.

He learned about HPU through recruiting letters from the football program and scheduled a campus visit.

“It felt like home,” he said. “I knew that I belonged here.”

He entered the university in the fall of 2012 as an exercise and sport science major. That semester, through the encouragement of Christian influences at HPU, he made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ during Encounter Week, the university’s fall revival.

He sought new ways to grow in his service to Christ. At HPU, McFalls is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is an intern with the college ministry at Brownwood’s Coggin Avenue Baptist Church. He also regularly hosts a Bible study in his apartment on campus.

McFalls has had the opportunity to participate in several mission trips during his time at HPU. For the past two years during Spring Break, he has traveled with a team from HPU to take part in the annual Beach Reach ministry at South Padre Island. He has also participated in two mission trips through Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions and recently traveled to Alaska for a mission experience with his church.

Keith Platte, director of HPU’s BSM, has known McFalls for two years.

“Xavier is one of the leading examples on campus of how to be a follower of Jesus,” Platte said. “He has a fervor for service, a burden for those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ and a willing attitude.”

Though the idea of being so outspoken among his peers was originally daunting, McFalls said he’s had a good response.

“They respect me because I understand them,” he said. “I spend time with them, live life with them and love them where they are in their lives.”

Platte said that McFalls is a good example to other believers because of his authenticity and faithfulness.

“When he is asked to share his faith, he makes no excuses,” Platte said. “He does it because he sees the need, and because God calls him to obedience in that.”


Photo cutline: HPU student-athlete Xavier McFalls is pictured on the HPU campus.

Saturday deadline to register for HPU’s George “Pat” Bell Memorial Golf Tournament

BROWNWOOD – April 23, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s athletic department will host the George “Pat” Bell Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 2, with check-in beginning at 8 a.m. Interested players must register their teams by Saturday, April 25.

The event, a four-man scramble, will be held at the Brownwood Country Club with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Cost is $400 per team and prizes will be given for longest drive and closest to pin. Additional prizes will be given to members of the first-place team and a drawing will take place among remaining teams for second- and third-place prizes. All participants will receive a complimentary gift.

The university recently renamed the annual tournament in memory of George “Pat” Bell, former HPU golf coach.

Bell was the Howard Payne women’s and men’s golf coach from 1997 to 2001. During his time at the helm of the HPU golf program, he coached HPU Sports Hall of Fame golfer Tim Pavlas, who won American Southwest Conference men’s individual championships in 1999 and 2000.

Even after Bell stepped down as head coach of the Yellow Jacket program in 2001, he continued to be an advocate for HPU. Bell passed away in February 2015 at the age of 87.

This is the third year of the tournament and the first year it will be hosted by the Brownwood Country Club.

Teams may register online at and pay online or by check. Make checks payable to Howard Payne Athletics and mail to HPU Athletics – Golf Tournament, 1000 Fisk St., Brownwood, TX 76801. Checks may also be delivered to HPU’s Mamie D. McCullough Athletic Center at 1310 Hawkins Street in Brownwood.

HPU’s Daniels, champion team to be honored during Saturday’s basketball games

Nat Champ Team Photo for webBROWNWOOD – February 19, 2015 – Several Howard Payne University basketball standouts have been inducted into the American Southwest Conference Hall of Honor and will be honored in between the women’s and men’s basketball games this Saturday, February 21, at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Meia Daniels, 2008 HPU graduate and current head women’s basketball coach for the university, and the members of the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team were inducted into the ASC Hall of Honor in December. According to the ASC, the team holds distinction as the first to win an NCAA Division III team title for the conference.

Team members include Daniels, Stacy Blalock, Stephanie Brewer, Makiesha Davis, Mionca Hall, Elaine Hobbs, Hope Hohertz, Kimberly Hoffman, Sarah Pfiester, Daphnie Pippins, Katy Sarem, Tiffany Warner, Chris Kielsmeier (then head coach), Lindy Hatfield (then assistant coach) and Traci Ortiz (then student manager).

“These young women and their coaches brought national attention to HPU and the Brownwood community during their record-setting season,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “We hope the community joins us Saturday as we honor their achievements.”

Tickets to the game are $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens and $1 for children ages 12 to 18. Children under 12 receive free admission.

Meia Daniels
A four-time all-conference honoree and three-time West Division Player of the Year, Meia Daniels capped her Howard Payne women’s basketball career with a NCAA Division III national championship, selection as the WBCA Division III Player of the Year (2008) and as a finalist for the Women’s Collegiate Sports 2008 Athlete of the Year award. Daniels is one of two women to twice earn American Southwest Conference Female Athlete of the Year honors, claiming the league’s highest student-athlete honor for both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years.

A point guard, Daniels is one of two women’s basketball student-athletes to have been named to the All-ASC team in each of her four seasons (2005, ’06, ’07, ’08). She also earned All-West Division First-Team honors all four seasons and was three times voted ASC West Division Player of the Year (2006, ’07, ’08). Daniels was the 2005 ASC West Division Freshman of the Year. Howard Payne made four straight ASC Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament appearances during Daniels’ collegiate career, winning the conference title three times (2005, ’07, ’08) with Daniels selected the tournament most valuable player in her junior and senior years (2007, ’08).

Daniels was named Most Valuable Player of the 2008 NCAA Division III Women’s Final Four and selected to the All-Tournament team. The WBCA named Daniels as an all-American in 2008 and honorable mention all-American in 2007. Her list of collegiate honors included WBCA and all-South Region awards, including South Region Player of the Year citations as a junior and senior (2007, ’08).

As a player, Daniels was part of an HPU program that posted a 109-12 record and made four trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Both Howard Payne and American Southwest Conference records bear Daniels’ name. She still holds seven Howard Payne career, season and game records and currently holds two ASC career marks – games played (121) and field goals attempted (1,694) – and five conference season records – points (649), field goals made (215) and field goals attempted (479). Daniels lists second all-time in career scoring in the ASC and at Howard Payne (2,118).

Daniels holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and criminal justice from HPU (2008) and a master’s degree in organizational management from Wayne State College Nebraska (2010). Following graduation from HPU, Daniels spent two seasons as a women’s basketball graduate assistant coach at NCAA Division II Wayne State College (Neb.). She helped guide WSC to a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship in 2010.

Daniels is a member of the Howard Payne University Athletics Hall of Fame, both as a student-athlete and as a member of the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball national champion team. Daniels is presently assistant director of athletics/senior woman administrator and women’s basketball head coach at Howard Payne.

The 2007-08 Women’s Basketball Team
The American Southwest Conference claimed its first NCAA Division III national team championship when the 2007-08 Howard Payne University women’s basketball team capped a perfect 33-0 season with a 68-54 win over Messiah College for the 2008 national title. It was just the fifth time a team had gone undefeated in claiming the Division III women’s basketball championship. The HPU women’s basketball team was the only collegiate basketball team, men’s or women’s at any level, to finish the 2007-08 season with an undefeated record.

In addition to winning the first national team title in the ASC, the 2007-08 team also recorded the first national team title for Howard Payne since the institution joined the NCAA in 1996. The 2007-08 women’s basketball national championship team was inducted to the Howard Payne University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Howard Payne’s championship season included an American Southwest Conference title and West Division championship. The Lady Jackets led Division III women’s basketball in home attendance average and extended their Brownwood Coliseum home win streak to 36 games. The HPU win streak vs. ASC opponents stretched to 34 games. Only four of the season’s 33 games were decided by 10 or fewer points, and HPU led NCAA Division III women basketball in scoring margin (27.8 pts. per game).

The 2007-08 Lady Jackets established three ASC season records that still stand: points (2,485), free throws made (671) and free throws attempted (885). During the season, Howard Payne earned the first No. 1 national ranking for women’s basketball in school history.

In addition to team accolades, the 2007-08 Howard Payne team produced numerous national, region and conference individual award winners, including WBCA Division III National Player of the Year and All-American, Meia Daniels; WBCA and National Coach of the Year, Chris Kielsmeier; WBCA Honorable Mention All-American, Stacey Blalock; and three all-region picks, Daniels, Blalock and Kim Hoffman. The conference postseason awards list included HPU players on the all-ASC team, all-West Division first, second and defensive teams; West Division freshman team; and ASC All-Academic team. ASC West Division awards were presented to Daniels (Player of the Year), Blalock (Defensive Player of the Year) and Kielsmeier (Coach of the Year).


Photo cutline: Meia Daniels and the members of the 2007-08 HPU women’s basketball team were inducted into the ASC Hall of Honor and will be honored during HPU’s basketball games this Saturday.