HBCU News

UAPB alumni fiery over continuous football losing streak and raise voices for a new head football coach

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UAPB Head Football Coach Monte Coleman.

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: chancellor@uapb.edu. 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.

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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?

Let’s see what the end of the season will bring.

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