UCA Can Thank Conque for Historic Rise

I hope someone at the University of Central Arkansas sent Clint Conque a thank you note. The program owes its all-time winningest coach greatly after he announced Saturday he’s leaving for the same position at Southland Conference rival Stephen F. Austin.
In 14 years he transformed a hapless program into winners — not only at the NCAA Division II level, which is hard enough, but Conque also guided the Bears through a transition to NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) status in 2006..
UCA advanced to the FCS Playoffs in 2011 and 2012 and had a good chance this season if it hadn’t been for a nasty injury bug.
ConqClint Conqueue made the move look so easy, I’m not sure UCA administrators and fans realized how tough that really can be. As good as the Gulf South Conference is, the Southland is one of the better FCS conferences. There are some traditionally rich programs in that league, and to make the jump into that fray and knock heads with the best and move to the upper echelon instantly  is unheard of. Not many smaller schools enjoy overnight success moving up. In fact, some never make an impact.
The Louisiana native was a tremendous recruiter, especially in Louisiana and Texas, and by the time UCA was making the switch, he had already landed and developed talented players that played above the Division II norm. Current Bears quarterbacks coach and former Bears record-setting quarterback Nathan Brown comes to mind.
There was a structure and continuity in the staff that promoted winning, and the longer Conque stayed the better the facilities became and it all came together in a perfect storm of success.
Conque had a plan, and he he executed it to perfection.
There’s an impressive list of coaches longing for Conque’s old job. They understand that the foundation has been built to win national championships. That’s all thanks to Conque.

2 comments on “UCA Can Thank Conque for Historic Rise
  1. Al Davis says:

    You don’t have a clue. He left for more reasons than you will ever know. Write about something you know about.

    • PAUL J. says:

      Coach Conque was a great coach and motivator for the UCA football program. He built the program from the ground-up after the program struggled for several years under some questionable leadership and unorthodox coaching style under his predecessor. He didn’t have a whole lot to work with and therefore had to reestablish his own coaching style and philosophy. He also had to adjust to a new athletic director in the transition from Division II football to Division I-A and I am sure that wasn’t easy either. In my opinion, he was a huge success and asset to the UCA football program and will be greatly missed. Unfortunately, there is always more behind the story when a head coach resigns suddenly from such a successful program that he had built at UCA. I wish him all the best at his new position with Stephen F. Austin in Texas. PJW