Nathan Brown was recruited and became one of the greatest football players in University of Central Arkansas history under coach Clint Conque, now the head coach at Stephen F. Austin.
He has served as offensive coordinator under Steve Campbell, the new coach at South Alabama.
"Both were phenomenal coaches but on two different ends of the spectrum," Brown said of his mentors during his initial news conference Monday as UCA’s latest head coach.
"Coach Campbell fit more of the ‘ole ball coach’ while coach Conque was a bit more of a CEO type and run a clean program," Brown said. "I want to be a ball coach because I think that make great football team, but I also want to bring the structure and organization that coach Conque brought. Both were two great tutors."
"Offensively, we are going to continue to do what we’ve done," he said. "Run a balanced attack. Teams that play late in the year and play for national championships are running the football. It’s cold, wet and windy. You’ve got to run the football and we’ve got the backs and pedigree to do that.
"Defensively, I want to be a sound defense and keep the structure we’ve recruited to. I want to be aggressive. If you play defense that bends but not breaks all the time, it will break at some point. One of the most important things is special teams. You have to have good special team players. A lot of our front-line guys will be on special teams."
Brown played one year with Memphis coach Mike Norvell as one of his prime receivers. Norvell, as a grad assistant, later coached with Norvell. Both young coaches are members of the UCA Sports Hall of Fame.
"I knew Mike would be a great coach because it was evident as a teammate of his, he had a coach’s mind," Brown said. "When I was a redshirt freshman, he thought like a coach, played like a coach and spoke to me like a coach. When I was a junior or senior, I think he could see I had a coaching maturity about me and coaching was probably in my future. That probably opened him up to me even more.
"Maybe not in my wildest dreams would we both become head coaches, but wow, what a legacy for UCA, especially with another alumnus, Charlie Strong, at South Florida."