Less than a week after former UCA head football coach Clint Conque’s departure, Athletic Director Brad Teague introduced Steve Campbell to take over as Conque’s replacement.
During his 15 seasons as a head coach, he has compiled 126 wins and 38 losses, has never had a losing season and has won two national championships.
He started his head coaching career in 1997 at Southwest Mississippi Community College, where he went 12-8 (.600) including the school’s first winning season.
From there, he went to Delta State University where he had previously held the positions of the offensive line and strength and conditioning coach. He won the Division II National Championship in his second year there in 2000 and recorded a 27-8 (.771) record in his three years as head coach.
In the 2000 championship game, Delta State set championship game records of 63 points, 649 yards and 36 first downs.
Conque said he has known Campbell for a long time and once coached against him when Delta State came to play UCA at home.
“He had a great team when I took over at UCA in 2000,” Conque said. “We held it close at half, and then they flexed their muscles and took over the game.”
Campbell has spent the last 10 seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he posted an 87-22 (.798) record and won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship at MGCCC in 2007. In 2013, MGCCC averaged 444.4 yards and 37.5 points per game.
Campbell has coach six players who are currently on National Football League rosters. The players include Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody, San Fancisco 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock, Indianapolis Colts running back Vick Ballard and New Orleans Saints defensive tackle John Jenkins.
Ballard said “Central Arkansas is getting one hell of a coach!” in a Dec. 18 tweet.
Campbell’s teams have supplied several players to top Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Series.
Teague said Campbell showed the qualities he was looking for in hiring a replacement for Conque.
“We wanted someone who is a good person, someone who demonstrated much success and had a deep desire to be at UCA,” he said.
Campbell said he will bring a different type of offense to UCA.
“We will have a no-huddle spread, high tempo offense with a lot of play action plays and will run the ball more,” he said.
In 2005, MGCCC led the NJCAA with 306.1 rushing yards per game.
Campbell’s teams have been ranked in the NJCAA Top 25 for 115 straight weeks, dating back to Sept. 2005, and finished in the Top 10 in eight straight seasons.
Campbell said UCA’s talented football players helped with his decision to come to the university.
“The talent helped,” he said. “A lot of great leaders and some of the best players are returning.”
At a 12 p.m. teleconference meeting Friday, the UCA Board of Trustees approved Campbell’s four-year contract. The contract gives him an annual salary of $165,000. An additional $20,000 will be paid from the UCA Foundation, Inc. for a total annual salary of $185,000.
Campbell officially begins his tenure Jan. 1, 2014 and the contract will go until Dec. 31, 2017.