CONWAY, AR (News release) - It took less than a week for the University of Central Arkansas to find its new head football coach.
Steve Campbell will be introduced at a 1 p.m. Friday news conference as the new Bears coach, inheriting a program that has won two Southland Conference titles, made two FCS Playoff appearances and had three seasons of at least nine victories since moving to NCAA Division I in 2006. Campbell replaces Clint Conque, who resigned last Friday after 14 seasons at UCA.
Campbell, who comes to UCA from a highly successful 10-year stint at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, brings to Conway a resume that features three national championships as a player or coach. He has experience in the Southeastern Conference, in the Southland Conference as a player and coach and a rich background in the talent-laden Mississippi junior college ranks.
Campbell, 47, led Delta State to an NCAA Division II national championship 2000 and MGCSS to another national title at MGCCC. Campbell’s teams at MGCCC won 87 games over 10 seasons, including the NJCAA national championship in 2007. Campbell is a Pensacola, Fla., native who played at Southeastern Louisiana and Troy, winning an NCAA Division II national championship as the starting center at Troy in 1987.
“Coach Campbell has a proven record as an outstanding coach and outstanding recruiter,’ said UCA director of athletics Dr. Brad Teague. “He has three national championships to his credit and he has vast recruiting ties throughout the southeast and the country. He has been highly successful everywhere he has been as a player and as a coach. He’s never had a losing season at any level of coaching, which is pretty remarkable.
“Coach Campbell’s abilities and talents are a perfect fit for the University of Central Arkansas. He is extremely excited about the opportunity to come to UCA and continue our success both on and off the field. He is a very impressive individual, as well as an outstanding football coach, and we’re excited to have him at UCA.’
Campbell began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Auburn University in 1988-89 under legendary coach Pat Dye, then went to Delta State as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator from 1990-92. Campbell was offensive coordinator at Nicholls State and then running backs coach and head coach at Southwest (Mississippi) Community College before taking over the Delta State program as head coach in 1999.
The Statesmen went 27-8 during Campbell’s tenure, including a 14-1 national championship season in 2000. DSU beat UCA 52-21 in Conway that year. Campbell was named the AFCA National Coach of the Year following that championship season.
From there, Campbell was offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Middle Tennessee State in 2002, and offensive line coach under Jackie Sherrill at Mississippi State in 2003. He took over at MGCSS in 2004 and won three state juco championships and led the Bulldogs to seven straight postseason trips.
MGCCC has finished ranked in the NJCAA Top 10 for eight consecutive seasons and has been nationally ranked for 115 straight weeks. Under Campbell, the program has produced 28 NJCAA All-Americans, 17 Academic All-Americans. Fifteen Bulldogs signed with four-year colleges after the 2013 season, including the No. 1 ranked junior college player in the nation. There are currently six Bulldogs who played for Campbell on National Football League rosters.
The news conference will be held at 1 p.m. Friday in the board room at Wingo Hall on the University of Central Arkansas campus.
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