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Howard College announces several new head coaching hires in June

New coaches will be leading the Hawks' softball, rodeo and baseball teams.


Howard College has announced several new head coaching hires throughout the month of June.

Here is a look at who will be leading the Hawks' softball, rodeo and baseball teams.

Ashley “A.C.” Lopez – Softball

Credit: Howard College

Lopez was previously named the interim head coach in December after serving as an assistant coach for the Hawks for two full seasons. 

Lopez played centerfield for the HC Hawks in 2015 and 2016. In her time with the team, the Hawks claimed two conference championships, two regional championships and two trips to the NJCAA Division I Softball National Tournament, finishing fourth in the nation in 2015. 

After graduating from HC, she attended Eastern New Mexico University for university studies with an emphasis in business and health physical education. While at ENMU, she started as a center fielder for two years. She then worked at ENMU as a graduate assistant coach for outfielders. 

“This is a dream come true,” said Lopez. “Thanks to President Sparks and Dr. Burchett for believing in me and giving me this chance to coach the Hawks. I am so excited to officially get started as the head coach and put my own mark on this program. Our goal is to keep the winning tradition alive and well in Big Spring.”

Justin Jenkins – Rodeo

Credit: Howard College

Jenkins, a Big Spring High School alumnus, brings more than 30 years of rodeo experience to the Hawks’ team, which started in college while he attended Howard College. 

He is the owner and trainer at Jenkins Performance Horses, co-owner of Lone Star Hatters and an assistant production supervisor at Conoco Phillips. 

His volunteer work includes time as a member of the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo board, the Texas High School Rodeo Association board and the American Junior Rodeo Association board. 

Jenkins actively competes in calf roping, steer roping and team roping. 

“I am very honored to be selected as the rodeo coach for Howard College,” said Jenkins. “This opportunity is a dream come true for me and I am ready to step into the arena and continue the legacy and tradition of excellence that is known in Howard College Rodeo.” 

Jake Carlson – Baseball

Credit: Howard College

Carlson is returning to Howard College after coaching the Hawks from 2012 to 2015. 

He played college baseball at Nicholls State University. After graduation, he worked with teams as a hitting and outfield coach, recruiting coordinator, base running coach and infield coach. 

He brings over 19 years of coaching experience, including time at Howard College, Louisiana Monroe, the University of Texas in San Antonio, Texas A&M University, Blinn College, Odessa College, Coffeyville Community College and Nicholls State University. 

Throughout his time coaching on the junior college level, Carlson coached 60 players who went on to play division 1 baseball, six All-Americans and over 40 players that have been selected in the MLB draft. 

While at Texas A&M, he was a part of the SEC Tournament Championship, two regional championships, two super regional appearances and a trip to the college world series. 

“I am so excited to be returning to Howard College and taking over the Hawk baseball program,” said Carlson. “I have a high level of respect for the history and tradition of the program and am looking forward to putting my stamp on things and having a winning program.”

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