Bulletin Staff Report
The Howard Payne University athletic department has announced the hiring of Jose Mata as head softball coach. Mata was the head coach of the Lady Jackets from 2000-02 and returns after spending four years in the high school ranks.
Mata’s most recent coaching stop was at Class 3A Hillsboro High School, where he spent the last three seasons. Mata served as head softball coach the first two seasons and this past year he was the girls athletic coordinator and head girls basketball coach.
“We are excited to have Jose return to HPU,” said Howard Payne director of athletics Mike Jones. “He was successful when he was here before and I anticipate he will continue the success of the last few years. He understands the direction of our athletic department and the quality we expect on the field and in the classroom.”
In 2006, Mata led Hillsboro to an area playoff championship. Before Hillsboro, Mata served as the head softball coach at Early for two seasons, leading them to district and area titles in 2003.
“I’m excited about coming back to Howard Payne,” Mata said. “I’m privileged and blessed to come back to a school like Howard Payne. We look forward to building on the success the program has already had.”
During his first stint at Howard Payne, Mata compiled a 58-55 record and eclipsed 20 wins in both the 2001 and 2002 seasons. In 2001, Mata led HPU to its first winning season in the history of the program.
Before coming to Howard Payne the first time, Mata was the head girls and boys basketball coach for Lingleville High School for four seasons.
Mata and his wife Julie are members of the First Baptist Church of Stephenville. They have one son, Gabriel Joseph, who is 9 years old.
Mata is replacing Angela Froboese, who on July 19 was named the first head coach of the Southwestern University softball program, which will not play its first game until the spring of 2009.
In her four seasons at Howard Payne, Froboese compiled an 85-65 overall record and a 67-37 mark in conference play.
The Lady Jackets won a program-record 28 games this past season and made their second straight trip to the American Southwest Conference championship tournament.