ABILENE, Texas – McMurry University has named 19-year coaching veteran Lance Hinson as the War Hawks’ new head football coach. Hinson comes to Abilene after spending the past nine seasons as the head coach at The University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kan.
Hinson – a native of Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall High School) and graduate of the University of North Texas – becomes the 22nd head football coach in school history.
Hinson is the first hire for new McMurry Director of Athletics Sam Ferguson. And Ferguson believes he has found the perfect fit for McMurry University and its football program.
“We were blessed to have had a tremendous pool of applicants for this position,” Ferguson said. “But Lance Hinson’s name quickly rose to the top of the list. I believe he is truly committed to the NCAA Division III philosophy and shares the mission and direction for the University set out by President (Sandra) Harper; one which focuses on academics and desires to give our scholar-athletes an optimum collegiate experience, while preparing them for ‘real life’ afterwards.
“Lance is a well-respected coach on the field, while also demonstrating that he is able to build and grow a quality program. He has successfully taken on challenges during his coaching career and has worked tirelessly toward positive results, both in the classroom and on the field.
“We look forward to his leadership for our program during this important transitional time.”
Hinson has been the head coach at USM since 2005 and, prior to that, was an assistant with the school from 2002 through 2004. He joined the program during its embryonic years – in just the third season of the program’s existence – and has been the architect in building it into a well-respected team.
In his first season as head coach with USM, Hinson was named Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) “Co-Coach of the Year,” leading the Spires to the team’s first ever four-game winning streak and a 5-5 record. The 2005 season featured a defense that posted three shutouts and finished nationally ranked in the top-10 of eight different categories. Hinson received his second KCAC “Co-Coach of the Year” following the Spires’ 2011 season, posting a 7-2 conference record, finishing second in the KCAC.
Hinson’s coaching career began in the state of Texas, as an undergraduate - and eventually graduate - assistant at the University of North Texas in 1993. He was responsible for defensive ends and linebackers. The 1994 UNT squad went 8-2-1 and earned the Southland Conference Championship, as well as a berth in the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs from 1997-2001, Hinson was an assistant at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. At Baker, Hinson coached tight ends, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. The 2000 season at Baker ended with the Wildcats going 9-2 and winning the KWTO Bowl over Campbellsville (Ky.) and finishing No. 15 in the nation for the NAIA.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to not only come home, but to come home and coach at a university that is so rich in tradition,” Hinson said. “I can't wait to start coaching these kids and share with them the passion and love I have for this game. It is truly a blessing to be a part of the McMurry family."
Hinson earned his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas (1996), as well as a master’s from Baker University in 2000. Hinson has two children, son Jake and daughter Holly.