ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ Director of Athletics Dr. John Neese has named Brad Bankhead as the 10th head men’s soccer coach in the history of the school.

Bankhead served as the head coach at Mary Hardin-Baylor for 16 seasons before taking an administrative role this past year as Associate Athletics Director and NCAA Compliance Officer. He is also currently a member of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Championship Committee.

“I’m excited about many things but at the top of the list is to get back on the field as a soccer coach where I can have a huge impact on 18-22 year old lives,” said Bankhead. “Where we can use soccer to prepare them for a life of servant leadership after soccer. We are going to work hard to be the very best soccer team we can become and we are going to do it with passion.

As the head coach for the Cru, Bankhead had a 169-86-26 record. The Cru won back-to-back ASC Championships in 2017 and 2018 under Bankhead and UMHB also claimed the ASC regular season title in 2009 and 2021. He coached four All-American selections, 16 all-region honorees and more than 100 all-ASC award winners.

“Another big thing that brought me back to Hardin-Simmons is that it is home,” said Bankhead. “I played here, coached here, my wife is from here and I have the desire to take the program to big heights. Coach (Dan) Heger did amazing things with this program and the other coaches before him. The foundation is firm and we want to build on that and be competing for championships.”

A native of Burkburnett, Bankhead is a 2000 graduate of Hardin-Simmons and was a four-year letterman and three-time All-ASC selection. He won a pair of conference titles at HSU.

Bankhead served as a volunteer assistant coach with the HSU men’s team in 2000 while finishing his degree. He then spent a year as the men’s assistant at Cumberland College in Kentucky. He came back to Abilene and was the head boys coach at Abilene High while also spending time as a volunteer with the HSU women’s program. Bankhead compiled a 57-33-9 record with the Eagles and won the District 3-5A Championship in 2005 and won district Coach of the Year honors.

He holds an Advanced National Diploma and a National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He also spent one summer playing for the Colorado Springs Stampede in the Professional Development League.

Bankhead and his wife, Shannon, have three children: Mallory, Morgan and Max.

He replaces Dan Heger who retired after 20 years as the Cowboys’ head coach.