The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff announced Monday that it will not renew the contract of Monte Coleman when it expires on December 31, 2017. Coleman has served as head football coach for the Golden Lions since 2008.
The Golden Lions went 40-70 in 10 years under Coleman, including capturing UAPB's first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference outright championship in 2012 with a 10-2 record. Since that championship season, however, the Golden Lions experienced consecutive losing seasons of 2-9 in 2013, 4-7 in 2014, 2-9 in 2015, 1-10 in 2016 and 2-9 this season. Director of Athletics Lonza Hardy Jr. said it was time to make a change and move the program in another direction.
"I thank Coach Coleman and his staff for the hard work they put forth over the years as he tried to build a formidable program at UAPB," said Hardy. "We wish him all the best as he now looks to the next chapter in his career. As for UAPB, it was simply time for us to make a change and start the process of returning Golden Lion football to prominence."
A search committee has been formed and has the goal of naming a new head coach prior to the start of the December holiday break. Until then, Ted White, offensive coordinator, will oversee the program. The assistant coaching staff will remain intact and continue the program's recruitment efforts.
"Our search committee will identify and interview prospective coaches who are committed to the mission and vision of our University, the welfare of our student-athletes, both academically and athletically, and have innovative ideas and game strategies. We need someone who will put a premium on winning consistently," said Hardy.