Someone once said the line between football and faith in Texas is thin at best, so here’s a little football news fresh from the inbox. HPU has a new head football coach. Defensive coordinator Steve Fanara has been promoted to lead the team.
So, HPU alums, what’s this mean for Yellow Jacket football? And for the sake of my school pride, let’s try to avoid any Baylor references …
Here’s the official release:
Steve Fanara Named New Head Coach of Howard Payne Football
BROWNWOOD, Texas – November 13, 2007 – Howard Payne University Director of Athletics, Mike Jones, announced Monday the promoting of defensive coordinator Steve Fanara to Head Football Coach following the departure of former head coach Mike Redwine.
“I want to thank Dr. Lanny Hall, members of the committee and Coach Jones for allowing me the opportunity to represent Howard Payne University as its football coach.” said Steve Fanara. “This has been a dream of mine for quite some time and I can’t think of a better place or time for this to happen. The University faculty and staff are top notch and I look forward to a working with each of them.”
Steve Fanara recently finished his third year as the defensive coordinator at Howard Payne. During the 2005 season, under his direction the HPU defense improved significantly in several conference categories including total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. The Yellow Jackets finished 2nd in the ASC in rushing defense improving from 205 yards per game in ‘04 to giving up just 110 yards per game in ’05. Fanara’s defense also set an American Southwest Conference record for interceptions in a season with 29 in 10 games.
“Coach Fanara is a quality, Christian individual who will provide excellent leadership for our football program. I am pleased to have such an experienced leader to guide Yellow Jacket football into a new era.” said Howard Payne University President, Dr. Lanny Hall.
Prior to joining the Yellow jackets, Fanara spent the 2004 season as the head coach at 6A Oakville High School in St. Louis. Fanara, age 42, has been a head high school coach for seven years with stops at Ruskin, Warrensburg and DeSoto High Schools in Missouri. His 2000 Warrensburg team advanced to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade at that school. The team was led by 1,000-yard rusher Germaine Race who is now playing for the San Diego Chargers.
“I am very pleased with the selection on Coach Fanara as our new Head Football Coach. I think he will do an outstanding job for us.” said Mike Jones, Howard Payne Director of Athletics. “His years of experience and integrity are a good fit for HPU and we look forward to many good years as he leads our football program.”
Fanara, who has 22 years in coaching, has also spent time at the collegiate level with MidAmerica Nazarene, Olivet Nazarene, Southwest Baptist University and The United States Military Academy Prep School. He has served as the recruiting coordinator at two schools and has held both offensive and defensive coordinator titles.
“I am excited about the future of Howard Payne football and feel that we have a group of quality young men. I am anxious to begin preparations for next season.” said Steve Fanara.
Fanara earned his Bachelors’ degree in Physical Education and Biology at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri in 1988. He also holds a Masters degree in Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University. Steve and his wife, Lesley, have three children, Jordan-17, Lauren-11, and Grant-8. The Fanara family resides in Brownwood.