The University of Central Arkansas played Little Rock University on Saturday night in basketball, but it was football that displayed the fastest transition offense.
Two and a half days after Steve Campbell resigned as head football coach, Nathan Brown, the most prolific quarterback in school history and offensive coordinator under Campbell, was introduced at halftime as the new head football coach.
"This is my dream," Brown said., "I’ve put a lot of blood sweat and tears into this program. This is a destination for me."
Brown was the quarterback on some of former coach Clint Conque’s best teams at UCA. Ironically, the Little Rock athletic director is Chasse Conque, a son of Clint Conque who grew up in Conway throwing footballs with Brown.
Brown said the UCA job was something he had envisioned when Campbell took over from Conque. He was quarterbacks coach on Conque’s staff and had initially planned to follow him to Stephen F. Austin.
"Dr. Teague sat me down in his office, asked me to stay and told me he was going to bring in a good football coach," Brown said. "I told him I wanted to be the next football coach after that guy left. I was fortunate to coach under Steve Campbell. He’s been a positive mentor for me. He’ll never be replaced but I hope to keep the ball rolling."
He said that he didn’t seek the job to give Teague an easy and quick choice.
"I didn’t want Dr. Teague to make the decision out of convenience," said Brown, whose Bears were eliminated last weekend in the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs.. "I have Central Arkansas heart. I’m invested here. This is my alma mater and community. This is a special place. Our goal is not just to get to the second round of the playoffs but to play deep in December and play for a national championship.
"We’re going to win a lot of football games but also represent well our school and community."
Brown, a Russellville native, passed for a state record 10,558 yards and 100 touchdowns in his UCA career. He was inducted into the UCA Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2016, his first year of eligibility.
Brown, a Russellville native, who starred for the Bears from 2005-08, will be formally announced at a noon press conference Monday at the board room at Wingo Hall.
He has a wife Jessica, also a UCA graduate, a daughter Rylee and a son Luke.
"I’ll have to pinch myself to get off of this higH," he said. "I haven’t stopped smiling since (Saturday) afternoon."