BELTON, Texas — For the first time since 2010, when UMHB begins its next softball season, it will do so with a new head coach.
Head coach Larry Hennig announced his retirement Friday, after 10 seasons leading the Crusaders.
In his time in Belton, Hennig's program went 249-149 overall and went 161-67 in American Southwest Conference action.
“My time at UMHB has been amazing. The support from the administration has been wonderful,” Hennig said in a statement. “Most of all, I will miss the players and I have the utmost respect for what they have done for me and my family. They have proven themselves to be winners on and off the field and given me memories for the rest of my life. But, it is someone else’s turn to be the head coach."
Assistant coach Melissa Mojica was promoted to take the reigns from Hennig after spending five seasons with the program.
Since arriving in Belton, Mojica and the Crusaders never missed the American Southwest Conference Tournament.
"I am so incredibly thankful for him and the opportunity he has given me here at UMHB,” Mojica said in a statement. “Coach Hennig has been my coach, mentor, colleague and friend for almost 20 years. I am proud to be taking over a program that has gained respect and success under his leadership.
"I have big shoes to fill but I am excited for this opportunity and ready to get to work. I appreciate everything Coach Hennig has taught me and I am looking forward to implementing that knowledge as a head coach. UMHB has been so good to me these past five years and I am grateful to have this opportunity to continue in my new position. I am extremely lucky to be able to take over this program with the support of my players, administration, and family. The 2020 season ended with this team ranked in the top 10 in the country. Our plans are to pick up where we left off and get to work to be the best. We have a great group of returning players and outstanding recruits coming in and the future is bright."
Mojica played for Hennig at Temple College, where Hennig spent 12 seasons as the head coach before moving to UMHB. After playing her final two seasons at Baylor, Mojica returned home to West where she was an assistant at West High School for nine years before heading to Belton.
In her time at TC, she was named a 1st-team All-American and played in the NCAA Tournament both years at Baylor, getting a hit in the Lady Bears' first postseason win. While at West, she helped the Lady Trojans win six district championships and four state tournaments.
Hennig finished his collegiate coaching career with a 768-352 record in 22 seasons. Before jumping to the college ranks, Hennig was a baseball coach at Temple High School and principal at Troy Middle School.
"I’m excited about the decision to promote Melissa Mojica to that position and provide the continuity that the returning players and incoming recruits deserve," Hennig said. "The success of the program is in good hands and I’m happy for her to be given the opportunity.”
The Crusaders finished the 2020 season ranked 10th in the NFCA Top 25. UMHB was 12-3 when the remainder of the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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