Last Updated: August 11, 2015
Fresno State announced Monday that Eric Hubbard has been named the head coach of the Bulldogs' nationally ranked equestrian team.
The hiring became effective on July 1, 2015 with approval from the California State University Board of Trustees after serving as the programs interim head coach since December 2013.
He has led the Bulldog equestrian team to new heights since taking over as interim head coach. Back on March 28, 2015 Fresno State won the United Equestrian Conference (UEC) championship, and his Bulldogs were ranked as high as No. 5 nationally during the 2014-15 season. In April, Fresno State capped off the season by reaching the quarterfinals at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championships where the ‘Dogs fell to eventual national champion South Carolina.
Under the tutelage of Hubbard and assistant coaches Kimberly HewsonBudnik and Courtney Cruse, freshman Rachel Williams was named the UEC Horsemanship Rider of the Year while two other Bulldogs won the UEC Rider of the Month Award last season. Williams and Taylor Brown were both named All-Americans by the NCEA in 2015. Brown is a two-time All-American recipient under Hubbard’s guidance, while Williams represented Fresno State in the Sun Circuit Horsemanship Invitational back in February.
Hubbard's Bulldogs have registered some big wins while he was interim head coach. In February of 2014 his team defeated No. 2 Baylor and in 2015 defeated three teams ranked in the top 6.
He originally came to Fresno State in January of 2013 as the western coach.
Hubbard has a passion for the horse industry, one which was built in him since he was a little kid. He was born and raised in Idaho living on his family's farm where they raised beef cattle and had a lot of horses. Hubbard grew up on horseback and throughout his schooling years he went up through the 4-H ranks and eventually into national level horse shows.
Hubbard competed for three years in the IHSA for the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). After graduation he stayed at CSI for two more years working as a coach for the sport that he love.
In the spring of 2002 he moved to coach at Sewanee, The University of the South. There he was the associate riding director and an assistant coach for the western team. He worked for the Tigers from 2003-05 before moving out to California.
Once in California, he began working as a professional horse trainer. He would train the horses as well as amateur and youth riders two times a week while he received his American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and American Pinto Horse Association (PtHA) judging card. In doing so, Hubbard became qualified to judge equestrian competitions.
Hubbard has extensive riding, coaching and training experience. As a rider in the IHSA in 2001 he led his team to a Western Reserve National Champion in American Quarter Cup (AQHA) while being named National Champion in Open Reining and Open Horsemanship. In 2001 and 2002 he won the All-Around competing in both the English and western events. As a professional trainer, he has had World and Reserve Champions along with multiple riders finishing top 10 at the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) and APHA World Show and has had several named.
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