Howard Payne University director of athletics Hunter Sims on Monday announced the hiring of UT-Rio Grande Valley assistant Yannick Denson as the new head coach of the HPU women’s basketball program.

“We are beyond blessed to have Coach Yannick Denson join our athletics staff,” said director of athletics Hunter Sims. “He is a proven winner, he has been a part of multiple Division I conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. I am excited to watch his leadership grow our successful women’s basketball program and to see him reach our student-athletes spiritually.”

Denson comes to Howard Payne after winning a TAPPS state basketball championship at Legacy Christian Academy in Beaumont, Texas, helping Westbury Christian Academy in Houston to the state championship game and one season as an assistant at UT-Rio Grande Valley.

“I would like to thanks Dr. Bill Ellis, Dr. Megan Bunyard and Hunter Sims for their help and confidence in me with the future of Lady Jacket basketball,” said Yannick Denson. “I am excited about the future of HPU women’s basketball. I plan to hit the ground running to continue and build on the rich tradition of women’s basketball at Howard Payne.”

At Legacy Christian Academy he led his team to the 2017 TAPPS State Championship, (34-2 overall record) and a runner-up finish in 2016. There he coached McDonald’s All-American Alexis Morris. Denson earned the 2016 Super Gold Girls Basketball Coach of the Year ward after leading his team to a 23-9 record in 2015-16.

Denson served as the assistant coach at Westbury Christian in Houston in 2014-15, helping the team to a runner-up finish in the state tournament.

At UTRGV, Denson worked as an assistant with all facets of the program including serving as video coordinator and extensive work as a recruiter for the program.

Denson had worked with UTRGV head coach Larry Tidwell before, as a student assistant during Tidwell’s final four years at Lamar University in Beaumont from 2009-13.

At Lamar, Denson was a part of a Southland Conference Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009-2010 and another conference championship and WNIT tournament appearance in 2013-2014.

Denson has additional coaching experience as the coach and coordinator for Golden Triangle Elite AAU Basketball in Beaumont, a position he has held since 2010.

He was also the head coach of the Lamar club basketball team from 2009-12, leading his team to the national tournament in 2010 and 2011.

Denson graduated from Lamar with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2014.