Howard Dobson enters his fourth season at the helm of the Golden Eagle softball program. Dobson took over the reins on June 27, 2007, as the program's fifth head softball coach.
Dobson has instilled a blue-collar attitude in his teams. That is to work harder than anyone else and play each inning hard and with heart.
That blue-collar work ethic has seen the Golden Eagles improve in just about every offensive and defensive category over his first three seasons as the mentor of the program, including overall victories and wins in league play. The team's batting average has continued to show improvements each season as the Golden Eagles' power numbers for home runs and runs batted in also improved. As for pitching, the staff era has continually dropped each season and the team's strikeout numbers continue to rise, while walks decreased.
The improvement in those numbers can best be described in the recruiting prowess of both Dobson and his staff to bring in quality student-athletes and they have certainly done that over his three years, as well as the quality teaching that he provides to his squad.
During the course of those years, Dobson has coached seven All-Conference USA first or second team players and two All-Freshman team players. He also had a player earn first team all-region honors and was named the preseason Player of the Year.
Dobson has been named as one of 24 coaches named to the 2011-2012 Women's National Team coaching pool.
Those student-athletes have captured the school's CHAMPS team award for top program for community service during the academic year. The program has won the award in each of the last three years.
Dobson, who worked five seasons as assistant coach at Oklahoma prior to his arrival in Hattiesburg, came to Southern Miss after helping the Sooners complete one of the most successful seasons in school history, finishing with an overall record of 55-8 and winning the Big 12 tournament championship for the third time in school history.
In his tenure at OU, Dobson played a key role in continuing Oklahoma's national reputation as an offensive force and softball powerhouse. Since his arrival in 2003, the Sooners have made two College World Series appearances (2003, 2004), four Super Regional Tournaments (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) and five-straight regionals (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and have been one of the top two teams in the Big 12 Conference in hitting average and have topped the conference every season in scoring. In addition, Dobson has coached seven players who garnered All-America honors and worked with 15 NFCA All-Midwest Region performers and 20 All-Big 12 honorees.
Prior to Oklahoma, the Orange, Texas, native helped establish Houston's softball program in 2000. In the program's first year, Dobson helped guide the team to a fifth-place finish in Conference USA. The 2002 team led the league in hits (480), runs scored (279), slugging percentage (.448), RBIs (244) and home runs (47), just missing the conference record of 49. During his two years at Houston, Dobson coached 10 all-conference honorees, including the 2002 Conference USA Freshman of the Year.
Dobson served as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana for two seasons before joining the Houston staff. With his help, two Lady Lions garnered all-region accolades.
Dobson began his softball coaching career at McNeese State as a volunteer assistant coach. At McNeese State, he worked with the Southland Conference's 1999 Hitter of the Year.
Prior to that, he served as an assistant coach at Barbe High School in Louisiana where he led the team to the state 5A title and directed one of its players to Miss Softball Louisiana honors. While at Barbe, seven of his players went on to compete at the Division I level, including nationally renowned programs LSU and DePaul.
Dobson also has gained valuable experience working at the collegiate skills camps during the summer and coaching on the international level. In the summer of 1999, his international team won the German Open with one of its players named tournament MVP.
A former all-conference performer at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, Dobson went on to finish his collegiate baseball career at McNeese State where he graduated with a degree in health and human performance and English in 1997.
Dobson and his wife Katharine have a five-year old son, Trip.