PINE BLUFF, Ark. — A new era for Arkansas-Pine Bluff football is in full swing as the Golden Lions cap off spring practice this week.
With 14 practices under his team’s belt, first-year head coach Alonzo Hampton is ready to showcase his revamped program in Saturday afternoon’s Black & Gold Spring Game.
“It’s been fun, the guys are adjusting well,” said Warren native Hampton, who was introduced in January after spending last season as assistant head coach at Louisiana-Monroe. “They’re learning us as a coaching staff and coming together. But more importantly the players are buying in to what we’re teaching.”
UAPB had a down year in 2022, finishing the season 1-7 in SWAC conference play while losing head coach Doc Gamble mid-season. With a wealth of division 1 coaching experience, Hampton has been pleased by how his players have responded in the early goings of his tenure.
“You ask them to do things and when you watch it on film and they’re doing those things, it makes you feel proud,” Hampton said. “So we’re excited about the road that we’re taking and we’re just taking it step by step.”
The Golden Lions’ new-look coaching staff expects further change to the roster and to the depth chart leading up to the fall. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a championship program.
Happily sleep deprived thanks to film study, Hampton has embraced the learning curve and the process of turning around UAPB football.
“I feel good about what we got,” Hampton said. “We’re just still building the brand. So we’re going to continue to do that, find the players that want to be here, and find the ones that want to help us restore the pride.”
Hear more from Hampton on the veteran coach’s vision for the Pine Bluff program in Wednesday’s story from practice and in our story from his introduction in January.