Presenting a pre-holiday and post coaching carousel batch of David’s Appetizers, assorted musings and observations from the sports scene:

CATCHING UP

University of Central Arkansas coach Clint Conque and his assistants have been moving heavily into recruiting by playing catch-up.

UCA fell a bit behind some rival schools because of participation in the NCAA FCS playoffs.

One of the major needs for the Bears is running back. They reportedly made a major stride in that situation by gaining an oral commitment from Conway running back Jeff Anderson.

AND RELIEF

Tim Horton, UA running backs coach and recruiting coordinator, was reported as one of the finalists for the Appalachian State head coaching post as longtime head coach Jerry Moore has retired. Horton had previously served on Moore’s staff at Appalachian.

Apparently, Appalachian State has gone another direction and Horton, who certainly has ambitions of becoming a head coach some day, could now stay put at the UA. That should bring a big sigh of relief from most Razorback fans. Horton, who has deep Razorback roots and understands the state and the culture and has a great relationship with high school coaches, was their top priority of members of the current staff being retained. He appears to be a great complement to new coach Bret Beliema’s recruiting philosophy.

Reportedly, relationships with high school coaches in Arkansas had been damaged by Bobby Petrino, who often disconnected himself from the lower ranks of his profession.

MALZAHN

One story concerning Auburn and Gus Malzahn is high Auburn officials told him when he left for Arkansas State that they might get back to him in three years, the time they figured they would need to move on Gene Chizik in relieving him of his head coaching duties.

Malzahn was open to that. However, Chizik flamed out quicker than the Auburn higher-ups believed and they decided to go to Malzahn quicker.

BUT

However, ASU ended up luring a young, up-and-coming coach from the University of Texas (Bryan Harsin), who seems to be a good fit for the Red Wolves. The UA got Beliema from Wisconsin, who is doing and saying all the right things so far to get Razorback fans really excited.

And, it’s probable that the UA will be able to keep Horton. And Clint Conque, who is always mentioned in coaching searches in some form or fashion this time of year, remains entrenched at UCA.

All’s well that ends well? It seems that way for now.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net)