December 24, 2011

Howard Payne hires from within

More news about: Howard Payne

Howard Payne announced the hiring of Roger Geise, current assistant head football coach, as the new head coach of the Yellow Jacket football team.

Geise joined the HPU coaching staff in 2005 as the defensive line coach. He then served as the Yellow Jacket defensive coordinator from the 2008 season until now. He replaces Steve Fanara, who was cut loose earlier in December after compiling a 9-31 record in four seasons.

“We are very pleased that Roger Geise has agreed to become the head football coach at Howard Payne University,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “He is an exceptional leader of young men, has a great rapport with our student athletes and I believe he is the best person to lead this program going forward. We are very excited for the future of Yellow Jacket football under Roger's guidance.”

Geise has coached 16 All-Conference defensive players in his time at HPU. His 2005 defensive unit set an American Southwest Conference record for interceptions in a season, with 29.

Geise, who has more than 35 years of coaching experience, began his career in his native state of Pennsylvania in 1970. He joined the LSU staff in 1974 as a graduate assistant and served in that position for three years. He coached Dan Alexander and A.J. Duhe, who went on to have lengthy careers in the NFL.

“I am honored that the Howard Payne administration has faith in me and what we want to do in the future in building the HPU football program,” said Roger Geise. “I have some mixed emotions, having worked with Coach Fanara (previous head coach) for the past six years. I wish him the best in the future.”

Geise entered the high school coaching ranks in Texas in 1977. He coached at numerous schools and served as athletic director and head football coach at Johnson City, Sabine and Lohn High Schools. He has coached more than 25 years in the Texas high school ranks.

“Coach Geise already has a long, distinguished football career, and we are fortunate to have him lead our team,” said Dr. Bill Ellis, university president. “But, Coach Geise is more than just a great football coach – he is a man of faith with a deep commitment to the educational mission of our university.”

Geise earned his bachelor's degree from Lock Haven where he was a four-year letterwinner. He also holds a master's degree from LSU. In 2005, Geise was inducted into the Romanoski Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Roger and his wife, Sandra, live in the Mercury area where they have a ranching operation.

“I want to extend my congratulations to Roger Geise on his appointment as the new head coach of our football program,” said Brent Marsh, vice president for student life and dean of students. “Coach Geise has already proven his commitment and dedication to the program by earning successive promotions over the years, and I am confident that he will capably lead the Yellow Jacket football team to many victories both on and off the field.”

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