Bulletin Staff Report
Howard Payne University President Dr. Lanny Hall announced that the university will be receiving a significant gift from Brownwood’s TexasBank to be used for the basketball program.
The gift will make possible the purchase of a portable basketball floor and portable goal systems to be used in the Brownwood Coliseum.
“On behalf of Howard Payne University, I want to express deep gratitude to TexasBank for this very generous grant which will greatly enhance our basketball program,” Hall said. “The new floor and goals will be enjoyed by players, spectators and the entire community for decades to come. We are most grateful.”
TexasBank is a community bank committed to serving all customers in Brown, Comanche and Erath counties and all contiguous counties. The bank has been a supporter of Howard Payne since its founding in 1985. The gift was made known to the university by Vice Chairman and CEO C. Norman Tinkler, a 1975 graduate of HPU. Tinkler was an active member of the Yellow Jacket basketball team during his time at HPU.
“TexasBank is very proud to provide this grant to Howard Payne University to upgrade its basketball equipment,” Tinkler stated. “Our desire is to help continue the momentum that has been building over a number of years through the success of the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
“HPU is such an important partner, both in business and in our community. Its success is vital to the continuing growth that Brownwood and surrounding areas are experiencing. We are committed to helping HPU achieve its goals.”
For more than four decades, Howard Payne University basketball teams have played their games in the Brownwood Coliseum. The facility opened in 1964 and HPU reached an agreement with the city of Brownwood to play its collegiate basketball games in the facility.
The portable floor that the men’s and women’s basketball teams have been playing on is actually 10 years older than the coliseum itself. As a result of countless basketball games played on it, the floor has had to be sanded and finished multiple times through the years to the point at which further refurbishment is not possible. The floor to be acquired meets 2007 NCAA standards and should have a lifetime of at least 50 years.
The portable basketball goals currently in use were made in Brownwood in the early 1960s. The goals are very out of date, as the backboards on these homemade goals are 5x6. NCAA standard goals are now 4x6. The gift given by TexasBank will secure the purchase of two new NCAA regulation goals.
Despite the use of outdated equipment, the HPU basketball teams have had enjoyed great success in recent years. For two consecutive years, Howard Payne has been able to host the American Southwest Conference championship basketball tournaments at the Brownwood Coliseum. The men’s tournament was played here in 2006 and last year the women were hosts.
The Lady Jackets captured the ASC championship at the coliseum and advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament’s ‘Sweet 16’ for the first time in school history. They also had the best record in school history at 28-2. Lady Jackets head coach Chris Kielsmeier was named the ASC West Division Coach of the Year and the South Region Coach of the Year. Moreover, Howard Payne set an NCAA Division III all-time attendance record for any women’s basketball game — 4,020 — in its second-round NCAA tournament win.
During the 2005-06 season, the Yellow Jackets won the ASC West Division title and head coach Charles Pattillo was named Coach of the Year in the ASC West.