UCA rolls over Conque contract

University of Central Arkansas Athletic Director Vance Strange announced Tuesday that head football coach Clint Conque’s contract will be rolled over and extended through the 2008 season.

“This was a challenging season because of injuries,” Strange said, adding, “I felt that Coach Conque provided the leadership and pulled the Bears together for a strong finish.”

President Lu Hardin stated, “Clint Conque is an outstanding coach, and I am confident he will take us to a Gulf South championship in the next few years. We have a great deal of momentum going into the fall with the passing and overall leadership of Zak Clark, the strong ground game of Willie Hopson and Kentrel Rogers, and a roster of excellent student-athletes. I am excited about the fall of 2004.”

Conque, who will be starting his fifth season at UCA, said, “My family and I love the city of Conway and the University of Central Arkansas. This is certainly one of the premiere jobs in Division II, and I look forward to continue working with the fine young men that are part of this program,”

Conque has led the Bears to one NCAA playoff appearance, a Capital City Classic victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and two consecutive Governor’s Classic wins over arch rival Arkansas Tech in addition to back-to-back top 25 finishes in 2001-2002.

This year’s team started with two straight wins before injuries all but decimated the Bears. A mid-season losing streak included setbacks to nationally-ranked Valdosta, North Alabama and Southern Arkansas. In all three games, the Bears had second-half leads. Late in the season, Conque changed the makeup of the Bears from pass-oriented to a strong running game, and they responded with three straight wins.