Tabor College has hired Bryan Howard as head coach of the Bluejay softball program.
Howard will inherit the defending Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champion team that returns several key players, including Madison Byrd, an honorable-mention All-American and first team All-KCAC pitcher; Madison Primrose, All-KCAC second team; and Hannah Jones and Taylor Kather.
Karen Harris, the Bluejays’ assistant coach for the past four seasons, became interim head coach following Suzanne Unruh’s resignation in mid-August.
“Karen has given solid leadership in the interim time frame and we are thankful for her,” said Shawn Reed, Tabor’s interim athletic director.
Howard comes to Tabor from Tulsa University, where he was an assistant to head coach John Bargfeldt. Howard worked with hitting, infield and first base for the AAC three-time defending conference champion Golden Hurricane.
Prior to Tulsa, Howard was the head softball coach at Northern Oklahoma College. During his second season there, Howard led the Jets to their first Top 20 ranking while setting several offensive school records.
Howard was the head high school softball coach at Washington Public Schools from 2009-14 and at Mustang High School from 2014-15. During this time, he established a record of 243-81. His teams won three Oklahoma state titles and he was named “Coach of the Year” eight times.
Howard said he chose Tabor College because it was a good fit for him and his family.
“I was looking for a Christian community that was a four-year situation, and Tabor is a successful program,” he said. “The entire process has been about the fit. I grew up in a small town and in a Christian home and Tabor suited that.”
Reed said, “We are very excited that Bryan Howard will be leading our softball program. Coach Howard has been a successful coach at every level and we are confident that our softball program will continue to compete for championships under his leadership.”
Howard graduated from Henryetta High School in Oklahoma before earning a bachelor degree in General Studies /Physical Education in 2009 from Northeastern State University. In 2017, he earned a master’s degree in Sports Management from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
Howard is married to Ashton. They have two children, Kristan and Tymber.
Coach Howard will begin his Tabor duties in early November.