Courtesy: University of North Texas
T.J. Hubbard enters his sixth season as head coach of the North Texas softball team after serving as an assistant coach for the Mean Green from 2003-07.
In each of his five years at the helm, Hubbard has led the Mean Green to greater success and 2012 was no different.
The 2012 team won eight of its last 10 games to secure the program's second winning season at 28-26-1. Faced with one of its toughest schedules, North Texas struggled against the nationally-ranked teams but won the majority of its games at home and set a program best in conference play.
North Texas entered the conference tournament in Boca Raton, Florida on a six-game winning streak as the No. 4 seed. After dropping the opening game against WKU, North Texas responded with two wins and lost in the semi-finals to top-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette. The third-place finish tied a program best.
The 28 wins were the second-most victories compiled in a single-season in school history and the 26 losses the second fewest. Only the 2010 team accomplished more than the 2012 squad. In conference play, North Texas set a program record with 13 wins.
The Mean Green continued its great play at home at Lovelace Stadium in 2012. North Texas posted a 15-5-1 record in Denton and a 14-4-1 mark at Lovelace Stadium. The five losses are the fewest at home in program history and the 14-4-1 is the best winning percentage at its home stadium.
In 2011, North Texas set a school record for home wins with 17 and won the Courtyard Classic at Lovelace Stadium. The Mean Green also defeated three nationally-ranked teams (Baylor, Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette) at home.
Since the Mean Green started playing at Lovelace Stadium in 2007, North Texas has posted an 81-61 record at home.
Hubbard picked up his 100th career win in 2011, becoming the first softball coach at North Texas to accomplish that feat.
One of Hubbard's first recruiting classes as head coach finished their collegiate careers in 2011 and left their mark as one of the most impressive classes in school history.
Mallory Cantler set the career doubles and multiple-hit records in 2011. She left North Texas holding five career batting records and four batting season records. Cantler is listed in the top 3 of 11 career records. Mariza Martinez set the career runs record in 2011. She left North Texas holding two career batting records. Martinez is listed in the top 3 of 14 career records.
Under Hubbard's tutelage as both a head and assistant coach, 13 North Texas players have been named all-conference, seven have been selected to the Sun Belt All-Tournament Team and 15 players were named conference player of the week in the last nine years.
Cantler became the first North Texas softball player to be named to the all-conference team all four years. She was a three-time first-team performer and was named to the second team in 2011.
For the first time, the Mean Green had three players named to the All-Sun Belt team in 2010. Cantler was named to the first team, while Martinez was named to the second team a second straight time. Ashley Lail became the first North Texas pitcher to receive all-conference honors after being named to the second team.
The 2010 season was one of the best in school history.
North Texas recorded many firsts in 2010: its first winning season (29-20), the most wins in school history (29), a school-record 52 home runs. The Mean Green also picked up big wins against nationally-ranked opponents: No. 15 Texas and No. 24 Baylor. North Texas posted its highest finish in the Sun Belt (third) and tied its best finish in the conference tournament (2-2, third).
Under Hubbard, North Texas has continued its emphasis on offensive production and stellar defense. North Texas has hit 42 or more home runs in six of the nine years of the program. The Mean Green set a team record in 2010 with 52 total home runs.
In 2009, North Texas became the fastest team to reach the 20-win mark, posted the second-most wins and the best winning percentage in school history.
The Mean Green has also become a force on the base paths. In 2009, NT stole the second-most bases in school history with 56. Mariza Martinez and Megan Rupp stole the second-most bases in individual school history with 16. Martinez left the program as the school's all-time stolen base leader.
Also in 2009, Martinez became the first North Texas player to be named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Central Region First Team.
In his first season at the helm of North Texas in 2008, Hubbard led the Mean Green to a then school-record 27 wins and its best finish at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
Susan Waters was one of the Mean Green's most decorated players. As a senior in 2007, she was one of the nation's home run leaders, finishing 14th in home runs per game (.30). Her 17 home runs was one shy of tying her single-season school record. The two-time first-team All-Sun Belt honoree left the program holding 13 single-season and 15 career records, including the career home run record.
Katya Muller was a two-time first-team All-Sun Belt honoree at shortstop. She left North Texas in 2008 as the program's leading hit leader.
Hubbard has been a part of Mean Green softball from the very beginning. Hired as an assistant coach in August of 2003, Hubbard helped field the very first North Texas team in 2004.
As an assistant, Hubbard worked primarily with the hitters and the infield. In 2007, the Mean Green was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA in double plays per game (0.60). NT finished tied for first nationally in total double plays with a school-record 35 turns.
From the start in 2004, Hubbard and North Texas has taken pride in its defense. In 2004, North Texas was ranked second in the NCAA with 30 double plays while averaging 0.38 double plays per game, which was tied for 10th in the nation. The Mean Green in 2006 finished first in the Sun Belt Conference with 23 double plays, while its 0.38 per game average was ranked 28th in the NCAA. In 2008, North Texas finished 47th in the NCAA with a 0.33 per game average.
Prior to his arrival at North Texas, Hubbard was the assistant softball coach at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma. In 2003, Hubbard helped lead the Lady Trojans to a 64-16 record, a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region II championship, and a third-place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship.
Hubbard has coached six NJCAA All-Americans and had three players named to the NJCAA All-Tournament team. In addition, the Seminole State College coaching staff was the 2003 NJCAA Coaching Staff of the Year Runner-Up.
Hubbard is a 2002 graduate of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Okla., where he received his bachelor's degree in exercise science and sports management.
He was a three-year letterman for the Eagles baseball team as a second baseman. He transferred to OWU from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. While at Oklahoma Wesleyan, he competed on OWU's inaugural team in 1999. In 2000, Hubbard helped lead the Eagles to a post-season bid where they finished second in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.