PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Athletics announced Monday that it would not renew the contract of current football head coach Monte Coleman when it expires on December 31, 2017. Coleman has served as head football coach for the Golden Lions since 2008.
According to a press release from the university’s athletics department, the Golden Lions went 40-70 in 10 years under Coleman, including capturing UAPB’s first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference outright championship in 2012 with a 10-2 record. Since that championship season, however, the Golden Lions experienced consecutive losing seasons of 2-9 in 2013, 4-7 in 2014, 2-9 in 2015, and 2-9 this season. Director of Athletics Lonza Hardy Jr. said it was time to make a change and move the program in another direction.
“I thank Coach Coleman and his staff for the hard work they put forth over the years as he tried to build a formidable program at UAPB,” said Hardy. “We wish him all the best as he now looks to the next chapter in his career. As for UAPB, it was simply time for us to make a change and start the process of returning Golden Lion football to prominence.”
UAPB alumni were fiery over the continuous football losing steak and were seeking moves from athletic director Lonza Hardy Jr., with the potential of a new coaching staff in the change of a better program for the upcoming seasons. They took their anger, frustration, and thoughts to social media in hopes that the administration jerk in making adjustments.
A search commitment has been formed and has the goal of naming a new head coach prior to the start of the December holiday break. Until then, Ted White, offensive coordinator, will oversee the program. The assistant coaching staff will remain intact and continue the program’s recruitment efforts.
“Our search committee will identify and interview prospective coaches who are committed to the mission and vision of our University, the welfare of our student-athletics, both academically and athletically, and have innovative ideas and game strategies. We need someone who will put a premium on winning consistently,” said Hardy.
For any questions or concerns, please contact UAPB Sports Information Director Habtom Keleta at (870) 575-7949.
PINE BLUFF, AR– After the Golden Lions has taken their fourth straight homecoming loss against Alabama A&M on Oct. 15 with the score of 40-7, the Lions traveled to Baton Rouge against Southern with a loss of 17-49 and then proceeding to Grambling and losing 0-70.
The alumni are fiery over the continuous football losing streak and now seeking moves from UAPB’s Athletic Director Lonza Hardy with the potential of a new coaching staff in the change of a better program at the university for the upcoming seasons.
Last January, head coach Monte Coleman agreed on a two-year extension prior to his previously signed three-year contract.
In 2012, head coach Monte Coleman led the Lions to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship in which they won. Afterward, the Lions football program went down hill as their record was 2-9 in 2013, 4-7 in 2014 and 2-9 in 2015. Overall, Coleman was 37-52 since taking over as head coach on November 26, 2007.
According to a source, the Golden Lions are now being recognized as the most penalized football team in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, following their past season of having too many interceptions. The squad has been called for 77 penalties through seven games this season, six more than Tennessee State and North Carolina Central. The Lions have more penalties than all but 12 teams in all three division of NCAA.
After the 0-70 loss against Grambling State, alumni have taken a stand in making noise towards wanting to see a new coach to take the helm and transforming the program. One alumnus took to Facebook in sharing his distress regarding a change in coaching staff.
“On the UAPB/Monte Coleman stuff, let’s look at some facts. Over the last three seasons, this guy is 7-22. His teams have lost four straight homecoming games. Over the last four seasons, UAPB has played on national television eight times, the team has won only two of those games (ESPNU, ESPN3, CSNH, and OVCTV). This year (2016), UAPB has been outscored 126-295. Monte Coleman’s squads season in and season out have stuffed countless losing steaks. For example in 2013, a seven-game slide. In ’14, 4 straight. In ’15, an eight-game debacle. And currently, in ’16, a given game losing streak. During his ear, the stadium has never been filled to capacity. In 2015, the athletic department attempted to lure fans into the stadium through “free” admission, it didn’t work. Tonight, as I post this, no other football team in the country, besides Grambling State University, scored 70 points. And to boot, Coleman has used the lame excuse that he does not have enough scholarships players. In my opinion, a statement like that is a disservice to the walk-on players and those who are on partial scholarship. When you make a public statement like that, you are simply saying, “You guys are no good.” That is like marrying a partner — while viewing your neighbor’s spouse — waiting on the divorce. UAPB fans, alumni and supporters should divorce this coaching crew with the quickness.”
During the annual homecoming alumni assembly on Oct. 14, Athletic Director Lonza Hardy announced that the Department of Athletics needed assistance to fund its goal of $320,000 in fulfilling 63 scholarships so that the student-athletes can excel further and complete against other teams in the SWAC.
“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who make excuses and those who find a way. We are committed to get rid of that competitive disadvantage,” said Lonza Hardy.
Another alumnus expressed this statement; “Flood the inbox if you have complaints about the athletic department. Ranting in a group that no one can make a decision about is useless: email@example.com. It’s called a movement and not a whisper!”.
Coleman played sixteen seasons with the Washington Redskins from 1979 to 1994. He was recently inducted into the Redskins Ring of Fame on December 20, 2015.
The alumni have a replacement choice in mind as to who they want to become the next head football coach at UAPB, which is Alonzo Hampton, who is currently the DB and special teams coach at the University of South Florida (USF). Hampton previously served as a volunteer coach (2006) and became cornerback coach (2007-09) at UAPB. He was later named a defensive coordinator.
The Lions currently stand with the record of 1-7 (overall) and 1-5 (in the SWAC). With only one winning game this season with a 45-43 upset over Alcorn State which ended in triple overtime and three games left in the season ( 2 away, 1 at home). Will the UAPB alumni, fans and supporters voices finally be heard in possible coaching changes in the Department of Athletes for a overturn of the football program?