CONWAY, AR - Ron Carpenter and Harland Bower are the final two pieces to the University of Central Arkansas football coaching staff puzzle, new head coach Steve Campbell announced Wednesday.
Carpenter, most recently the cornerbacks and special teams coach at Miami of Ohio, played six years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Jets and the St. Louis Rams, where he won a Super Bowl ring in 1999.
Carpenter, who will coach the safeties at UCA, was a standout for the Miami Redhawks, earning first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors three times.
“Ron has lot of experience recruiting in the St. Louis/Kansas City areas,’ said Campbell. “He played in the NFL for six years, so he brings a lot of experience, playing and coaching, to our secondary. We’re very excited to have Ron on board.’
Bower, who will coach outside linebackers, is a former Georgia Southern player and was at that school when UCA beat the Eagles 34-31 in overtime in the 2006 season finale in the Bears’ first year at the NCAA Division I level. Bower spent the past season as a graduate assistant at Troy University, and also spent one season on the Rutgers University staff and one on the Murray State staff.
“Harland played at Georgia Southern, so he has some quality playing experience at his level,’ said Campbell. “He also has some solid recruiting ties. He is an excellent young coach that we’re really excited about. He has a lot of enthusiasm and energy and a wealth of connections in recruiting.’
Campbell’s staff consists of three coaches retained from the previous staff and eight newcomers.
“I’m very excited about this coaching staff,’ Campbell said. “I’m very pleased with the guys we were able to get on board. It’s a group that really works well together.
“We have outstanding men of character, which was one thing we wanted to do, to hire good people to work with our football players. I feel like we were definitely able to do that, and at the same time get a great deal of football experience, with championships and success, to go along with that.
“I really like the makeup of this staff. good mix of youth and enthusiasm and experience.’
There will be a meet-and-greet reception featuring Campbell and his staff at 6 p.m. Monday at the Centennnial Center at Centennial Valley Country Club. There is free admission and refreshments.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting more of our fan base Monday night,’ he said. “So far the reception has been tremendous. The people have been very receptive, friendly and supportive. I can’t wait to meet even more of them next week.’