Bulletin Staff Report
Howard Payne University Director of Athletics Mike Jones announced on Monday the promotion of defensive coordinator Steve Fanara to head football coach following the departure of former head coach Mike Redwine.
Redwine — who posted a 13-17 record in three years as HPU head coach — announced he would stepping down following Saturday’s season-ending 70-20 loss to No. 5 Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Yellow Jackets finished 1-9 overall and 1-7 in American Southwest Conference action.
Fanara joined the Yellow Jackets staff when Redwine arrived prior to the start of the 2005 campaign.
“I want to thank (HPU president) Dr. (Lanny) Hall, members of the committee and Coach Jones for allowing me the opportunity to represent Howard Payne University as its football coach,” Fanara said. “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’s faculty and staff are top notch and I look forward to working with each of them.”
Under Fanara’s direction in 2005, the Yellow Jacket defense improved significantly in several conference categories including total defense, rushing yards allowed, points allowed and pass efficiency.
The Yellow Jackets finished second in the ASC against the run, improving from 205 yards surrendered per game in 2004 to 110 yards allowed per game in 2005.
Fanara’s 2005 defense also set an ASC record for interceptions in a season with 29 in 10 games.
In 2006, the Yellow Jacket defense allowed 29.6 points and 372.6 total yards per game, while creating 21 turnovers. This season, Howard Payne gave up 40.9 points and 428 total yards per game, while forcing 22 turnovers.
“Coach Fanara is a quality, Christian individual who will provide excellent leadership for our football program,” Hall said. “I am pleased to have such an experienced leader to guide Yellow Jacket football into a new era.”
Fanara, 42, has seven years of head coaching experience at the high school level with stops at Ruskin, Warrensburg and DeSoto High Schools in Missouri.
Prior to joining the Yellow Jacket staff, Fanara spent the 2004 season as the head coach at Class 6A Oakville High School in St. Louis.
Fanara’s Warrensburg team in 2000 advanced to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. 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 of Coach Fanara as our new head football coach. I think he will do an outstanding job for us,” Jones said. “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 of coaching experience, 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,” Fanara said. “I am anxious to begin preparations for next season.”
Fanara earned his Bachelors’ degree in Physical Education and Biology at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. in 1988. He also holds a Master’s degree in Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
Fanara has been married to his wife Lesley for 13 years and they have three children — Jordan, 17, Lauren, 11, and Grant, 8.
The Fanara family resides in Brownwood.