HPU head football coach Braxton Harris leaving university

Special to the Bulletin
Braxton Harris is leaving his job as Howard Payne University's head football coach.

Howard Payne University issued the following press release Monday morning:

The Howard Payne University athletic department today announced that head football coach Braxton Harris will be leaving HPU. The Howard Payne administration will begin the search to find a replacement immediately.

Harris has been the head football coach at Howard Payne University for the past three seasons leading the Yellow Jackets to a 5-5 record in 2019.

“We are thankful for Coach Harris’ leadership and elevating the status of the HPU football program,” said Hunter Sims, director of athletics. “We wish him lots of success in the future.”

The HPU football team will report back to campus on Jan. 7 with its first practice on Jan. 9. With the fall 2020 season moved to the spring semester due to COVID, the Yellow Jackets will have their first game at home on Saturday, Feb. 6 versus Texas Lutheran University, a noon start time.

Harris came to Howard Payne in January of 2017 after serving three seasons as Texas Lutheran University’s assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator.

Since at Howard Payne, Harris has taken the Yellow Jackets from a 1-9 record to a 5-5 season in 2019. That season, he coached six ASC All-Conference players, had nine All-Conference selections in 2018 an increase from two in 2017. Harris also added a D3football.com All-American to the HPU ranks in defensive end and special teams player Brady Wade.

His Yellow Jackets have excelled in the classroom with 13 Academic All-Conference athletes in 2019, Ten in 2018 and seven in 2017.

Harris was also instrumental in the creation of the Strength and Conditioning Department at Howard Payne in 2018.

In his time at Texas Lutheran, Harris helped guide a previously 0-10 program to a 25-5 record over three years and three consecutive conference championships (2013, 2014 and 2015).

Harris came to Texas Lutheran from Waco High School, where he served as the varsity safeties coach. Prior to his time at Waco High, Harris was the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at NCAA Division III power University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

Harris played as a quarterback at UMHB from 2003 to 2005 and was a part the NCAA Division III national finalist team of 2004.

Harris graduated from UMHB in 2008 with a bachelor of science in education and with a master in education administration in 2009.