New UCA Bears Football Staff in Place


New UCA Bears Football Staff in Place

CONWAY, Ark. – University of Central Arkansas head football coach Steve Campbell  introduced his new coaching staff to the Bears’ fan base at a reception Monday night at the Centennial Center.

Campbell, hired on Dec. 20 to head the UCA football program, introduced his 10 assistant coaches and new strength and conditioning coach to a crowd of more than 125 supporters. The new UCA Bears football staff, which has already hit the ground running in recruiting, includes:

Greg Stewart – Defensive Coordinator
• Served two seasons as defensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette
• Ragin’ Cajuns won 18 games, including two New Orleans Bowl titles
• Spent 20 seasons (in two stints) at Jacksonville State
• Jacksonville State led the OVC in scoring defense for 3 straight years from 2007-09, also led OVC in total defense, pass defense and pass efficiency defense in 2009
• Placed 33 defensive players on All-OVC teams after joining the league in 2003
• Has coached 13 All-Americans
• Coached on Jacksonville State’s 1992 Division II national championship team
• Four-year starter at nose guard for Troy State, played on two national championship teams

Nathan Brown – Offensive Coordinator
• All-American QB at UCA, threw for 10,558 yards & 100 TDs during his career
• Was UCA’s first player to play in the Senior Bowl and was a Payton Award finalist
• Won conference championships in 2005 (Gulf South) & 2008 (Southland)
• Was 30-10 (.750) as a starter
• QBs coach at UCA since 2010, coaching All-Americans Nathan Dick & Wynrick Smothers
• Bears have passed for more than 3,400 yards per season and 111 TDs under Brown’s tutelage over the last four seasons

Dan Augustine – Defensive Line/Special Teams
• Entering 6th season at UCA
• Has coached 14 All-Southland Conference players at UCA
• Coached a pair of NFL draft picks in defensive ends Larry Hart & Markell Carter and NFL free agent kicker Eddy Carmona, along with 2012 Southland Freshman of the Year Jonathan Woodard
• Has consistently had the Bears’ special team units and defensive line among the top of the Southland Conference
• From 2006-08 served as defensive line coach at Jacksonville State, coaching five All-OVC players including one who would sign with the New Orleans Saints. The Gamecocks led the conference in scoring defense each year, and in 2007 led the league in every major defensive statistical category

Pete Bennett – Wide Receivers
• Spent six seasons with Coach Campbell at Mississippi Gulf Coast
• Developed 3 All-American wide receivers
• Coached No. 1 junior college prospect D’haquille Williams, who signed with national runner-up Auburn in December
• Played at North Carolina Wesleyan (2004-05), then transferred to Florida Southern where he graduated in 2007

Harland Bower – Outside Linebackers
• Defensive Graduate Assistant at Troy in 2013
• Defensive Quality Control Coach at Rutgers in 2012
• Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Murray State in 2011
• Defensive Backs & Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach at Georgia Military College in 2010
• Began collegiate playing career at Central Michigan, then transferred to Georgia Southern for final three seasons
• Graduated from GSU in 2009 with degree in general studies and minor on criminal justice

Ron Carpenter – Safeties
• Spent last two seasons as defensive backs coach and special teams co-coordinator at Miami (OH)
• Coached 1st team All-MAC DB Dayonne Nunley
• Prior to Miami, served as Quality Control Assistant for Defense & Special Teams at Indiana, where he assisted in coaching the Hoosiers’ safeties and cornerbacks
• Played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and St. Louis Rams over seven seasons from 1993-99
• Served as scouting assistant for Tennessee Titans in 2000

Robert Cunningham – Asst. Offensive Line/Director of Football Operations
• Director of Football Operations/Recruiting Coordinator at UCA in 2013
• Graduate assistant at UCA from 2010-2012
• Lettered for the Bears from 2006-08, starting on the offensive line on the 2008 Southland championship team
• Earned bachelor’s degree in health and behavioral sciences and master’s in health sciences, both from UCA

D.J. Looney – Tackles/Tight Ends
• Offensive Line coach at East Mississippi CC for last two seasons, including NJCAA National Champions in 2013
• Helped guide Lions to 8th-ranked rushing offense in NJCAA in 2012
• Served as student assistant and graduate assistant on Dan Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State, his alma mater, where he was on staff for 2011 Music City Bowl win over Wake Forest
• Played at Mississippi State from 2006-10, playing in Liberty Bowl win over UCF and 52-14 win over Michigan in the 2010 Gator Bowl
• Served three years on SEC Student Advisory Council during playing career and was president of MSU’s Student Advisory Council in 2009 after serving as vice president in 2008
• Was a three-year member of NCAA Football Issues Committee
• Ranked as No. 11 center prospect in the nation by ESPN & 12th by coming out of Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Ala.

Mike McCarty – Running Backs
• Offensive coordinator at Holmes CC from 2011-13
• Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Bryant University 2009-10
• Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Elon in 2008
• Coached wide receivers at Arkansas State from 2004-07, including Sun Belt Championship & New Orleans Bowl appearance in 2005
• Associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Stony Brook from 2001-03
• Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Nicholls State, 1999-2000
• Wide Receivers coach at Troy 1997-98, coached team to Div. I-AA Playoffs in ’98
• Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Illinois State, 1996
• Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Hofstra, 1994-95
• Coached Hofstra to Div. I-AA Playoffs & No. 3 nationally in total offense in 1995
• Graduate Assistant at Oregon from 1988-90

Tommy Rybacki – Cornerbacks
• Was previously at Louisiana-Lafayette as defensive graduate assistant working primarily with defensive backs
• Spent six seasons on staff at Jacksonville State under Coach Stewart from 2005-2010
• Holds bachelor’s in history and master’s in public administration from Jacksonville State, also received master’s in education from Louisiana-Lafayette in 2013

Robert Stiner Jr. – Strength & Conditioning
• Assistant strength & conditioning coach for football at Mississippi State in 2013
• Interned at Louisiana State and Baylor working with football and Olympic sports
• Strength & Conditioning intern at Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs
• Master’s in Health & Phys. Ed. from Valdosta State
• Bacherlor’s of Science in Sports Administration from Belhaven College

“I’m very excited about the makeup of this staff,” said Campbell. “We have a lot of youthful enthusiasm and enough guys with great experience. We have guys that are tireless recruiters. And guys that put the best interests of the young people that they’re working with first. Guys that are good people first and also outstanding football coaches. We’re very excited about this staff.”

The first coach on board was former UCA All-American quarterback Nathan Brown, who will be the new offensive coordinator for the Bears after serving as quarterbacks coach at UCA the past three seasons. Brown holds nearly all the passing records at UCA, including more than 10,000 career passing yards and 100 touchdown passes, and was the Bears’ first invitee to the Senior Bowl and a Payton Award finalist.

“I’m excited to have Nathan with us,” said Campbell. “He has a tremendous football knowledge as well as an impressive background at UCA. He’s an integral part of what we want to do here. I’m really looking forward to working with Nathan. He’s a young star in football coaching and we’re glad to have him on our staff.”

Also returning from the most recent staff is defensive line and special teams coach Dan Augustine, who was originally set to follow Conque to Stephen F. Austin, but decided to return to UCA because of previous ties with new defensive coordinator Greg Stewart. The pair coached together at Jacksonville State.

“It’s great to be able to keep Dan,” Campbell said. “He’s done a great job here with the defensive line and working with special teams. I got to know Dan through his recruiting the junior colleges in Mississippi. You could always tell when he came through that he had a great rapport with the coaches and the players and was very well respected. He has a good understanding of the inner workings at UCA. He’s an outstanding coach and we’re glad to get him back on board here.”

Robert Cunningham, a former offensive lineman for the Bears and last year’s director of football operations and recruiting coordinator, also returns. Cunningham played on the offensive line at UCA from 2006-2009 and will be assistant offensive line coach and director of operations in 2014.

“He’s been invaluable so far during the transition,” said Campbell. “He was an great football player here and has been very helpful during this move. We’re excited about being able to keep him on board.”

The Bears’ new defensive coordinator is veteran Greg Stewart, who last coached at Louisiana-Lafayette under former UCA assistant coach Mark Hudspeth. Stewart has an extensive background at Jacksonville State and served under Campbell as defensive coordinator at Delta State in the late 1990s.

“I’m very excited to have Greg join us as defensive coordinator,” said Campbell. “He has a wealth of experience at this level. He’s coordinated an FCS team that beat an SEC team. He was the defensive coordinator for two bowl wins at ULL. He brings a wealth of experience and a great energy to that position.”

“We played together at Troy on the 1987 national championship team. We butted heads every day. I was the center and he was the noseguard, so we went at it a lot.”

Mike McCarty will coach running backs, coming to UCA from Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss. He coached previously on Steve Roberts’ staff at Arkansas State from 2004-2008.

“Mike was the offensive coordinator at Holmes Community College,” said Campbell. “He has coordinated in the Southland, as offensive coordinator at Nicholls State, and also at Hofstra and Illinois State. So he brings a lot of experience at this level. He’s a great recruiter, he’s very organized and he’s an outstanding football coach.”

Pete Bennett comes with Campbell from Mississippi Gulf Coast and will coach receivers for the Bears. Bennett is a Florida native like Campbell and played at North Carolina Wesleyan and later graduated from Florida Southern.

“Pete was my wide receivers coach for the last six years at Gulf Coast,” said Campbell. “He’s an outstanding recruiter and excellent receivers coach. He’s developed three All-American receivers there at Gulf Coast. He did an outstanding job with those guys and we look for him to do the same here at UCA.”

D.J. Looney, a former Mississippi State offensive lineman, will coach tackles and tight ends for the Bears, coming to UCA from East Mississippi Community College. Coming out of high school in Birmingham, Ala., Looney was rated the No. 11 center prospect in the nation by and 12th by

“D.J. will coach our tackles and tight ends. I’ve known him as a coach for last two years while he was the offensive line coach at East Mississippi CC, where they won the NJCAA national championship this year. He does an outstanding job of coaching and recruiting. I think he’s a rising star and great young football coach that we’re glad to have on staff.”

Coaching the cornerbacks for the Bears will be Tommy Rybacki, who coached previously at ULL and Jacksonville State.

“Tommy was the corners coach at ULL,” said Campbell. “Tommy is an outstanding young coach with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. He also worked with Coach Stewart at Jacksonville State, and worked with Coach (Mark) Hudspeth the last couple of years at ULL. He’s an excellent secondary coach with a lot of energy and one that can help us in a lot of different areas.”

Campbell has tabbed Robert Stiner as the team’s new strength and conditioning coach. Stiner come to UCA from Mississippi State, where he was assistant strength coach.

“Robert was one of the assistant strength coaches at Mississippi State, which just won the Liberty Bowl,” Campbell said. “He’s worked in the SEC the last two years in the Mississippi State strength program and also in the LSU strength program. He has great experience on his resume. He’s an outstanding young coach with a lot of enthusiasm, and I’m really looking forward to him working with our guys in the weight room and in the offseason development program.

“He brings a lot of experience as well as youth and enthusiasm to that position.”

The Bears, under Campbell and his new staff, will open the 2014 season at Texas Tech on Aug. 30 in Lubbock, Texas.

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