UTEP Softball Hires Utah Valley’s T.J. Hubbard as Next Coach
A month after the athletic department fired Tobin Echo-Hawk, the UTEP softball program made its decision on its next coach.
T.J. Hubbard is the latest hire by UTEP Athletic Director Jim Senter following three seasons as the head coach of Utah Valley. He posted a 52-86 overall record and a 24-23 record in the WAC.
The hire was first reported by justinsworldsb.com.
“We welcome T.J., his wife Kara and their daughters Sophia, Audrey and Emma to the UTEP family,” Senter said in a release. “He rose to the top of our list of candidates with his nine years of head coaching experience and his proven track record of turning around programs. His extensive recruiting connections in the state of Texas also made him an ideal fit for us. Throughout his coaching career, he has fostered a culture of integrity, discipline and hard work, and his student-athletes have excelled both academically and athletically. We’re excited about the new era of UTEP Softball.”
“It is an incredible honor and privilege to accept the head coaching position at The University of Texas at El Paso,” Hubbard said. “I want to thank President Heather Wilson, Jim Senter, Jon Teicher and Julie Levesque for this incredible opportunity and for all their efforts throughout the process. I can’t wait to get to El Paso and meet our players and staff. I look forward to working together to build a program that we can all be proud of, a program that will annually compete for the Conference USA Championship.”
In 2018, Hubbard and Utah Valley ended the season second-place in the WAC (10-4), which wrapped up the best finish in program history. He was named WAC Coach of the Year and coached back-to-back WAC Pitchers of the Year (2017 & 2018). The squad made it to the regional round of the National Invitational Softball Championship postseason tournament in 2018 as well.
Utah Valley was 15-31 in 2019.
Prior to his head coaching stint with Utah Valley, Hubbard was an assistant coach at Kansas for a year. He has head coaching experience too, having coached North Texas for six years and ended with a 161-161-1 record. Other assistant coaching jobs for Hubbard include Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas and Seminole State College.
Echo-Hawk was set to begin her seventh season as head coach for the Miners before being relieved of her duties in November. She ended her tenure (2014-19) with a 104-207 record, 57-87 in C-USA play and never compiled a winning season during her time. UTEP made the C-USA Tournament only twice in six years.
Hubbard will inherit a young bunch with the Miners, including Kasey Flores and Pate Cathey, who were C-USA All-Freshman players last year.