University of Central Arkansas coach Clint Conque, after admitting to an inappropriate past relationship, apologized publicly Tuesday for his behavior and said he hopes the healing process with his family makes him a better person.

Conque, who is entering his 11th season, will remain as UCA’s head football coach. After the coach’s public apology, Dr. Brad Teague, UCA’s athletic director, and Dr. Allen Meadors, UCA president, issued public statements of support for Conque and his family.

Conque and his wife, Angele, have three sons: Chasse, a UCA graduate who is head of athletic development at Arkansas-Little Rock; Benton, a cadet at West Point; and Zach, a student at Little Rock Catholic.

“During a period of time in my life I made some poor personal decisions,” Conque said in his statement. “I had an inappropriate relationship in the past that I regret and these mistakes and missteps have hurt the ones that I love the most. While we have been dealing with these issues privately, I regret that we must now deal with this in a public manner.  

“I take sole and complete responsibility for my actions as my family and I continue the process of healing and rebuilding. I want to once again sincerely apologize first to my family, also to the university community, the administration, the university’s athletic staff and to our football staff and team. I will emerge from this a better man, husband, father and coach. I appreciate the support that I have received from the Board of Trustees, President Meadors, Dr. Teague and the university during this extremely difficult time.    

Conque, who recently was awarded a new five-year contract, added, “I would genuinely appreciate everyone extending Angele and my three sons the privacy and compassion needed to move forward in our personal lives. I look forward to the 2010 football season and the beginning of fall practice.”     

Teague said that Conque has been candid with him about his past mistakes and was supportive of issuing a public statement.

“He has been honest and forthright regarding his mistakes and has been working on rebuilding his relationship with his family,” Teague said. “We support his efforts in his personal life and truly hope these efforts are successful.     

“Coach Conque and his family have been a large part of our university and community for many years. It is our hope he can mend his personal relationships and we are confident that he will continue to maintain a great football program for our university. We look forward to having coach Conque and his staff lead our program this fall.”     

Teague added, “His issue is in the past and he has done everything correctly to assure me we are on course for a great fall campaign.” 

When contacted by the Log Cabin on Tuesday, Teague said the relationship occurred more than a year ago and that it did not involve a student. He said he didn’t know if any university-issued electronic devices were used during the relationship.

Teague said Conque initially approached him about the issue but citing it as a personnel matter, declined to say whether the coach had offered his resignation.

The Log Cabin Democrat has submitted a Freedom of Information request concerning any electronic communications between Conque and the person on university-owned or subsidized devices.

“Coach Conque was very upfront about it,” Teague said. “We decided to go public with the situation now because we wanted to end some rumors and innuendo that were going around and hopefully move on past this before football practice started in the fall.”  

Conque declined comment beyond his public statement.

Meadors said in a statement,” Coach Conque has done a lot for this university, the community, and for our football program over the past decade.  Coach Conque has admitted to making errors in his judgment regarding his personal life and he is working through this very personal matter with his family. We ask that everyone respects the coach’s privacy as he and his family work through this matter.    

“The university is moving forward and we are focusing on the upcoming academic year, and we look forward to a great and exciting football season.”

Conque, with a 73-43 record at UCA, is one victory short of tying Harold Horton as the winningest coach in school history.