Less than 72 hours after Steve Campbell announced his departure from the University of Central Arkansas, the Bears have found their next head football coach--and they didn't have to look far to find him.
Russellville native Nathan Brown, 31, served as the Bears' starting quarterback from 2005-2008, passing for a state-record 10,558 yards and 100 touchdowns. Brown was introduced as the Bears' next head coach at halftime of Saturday night's basketball game between the Bears and Little Rock Trojans at the Farris Center in Conway.
Brown takes over for recently-departed head coach Steve Campbell, who led the Bears to a 33-15 record, including a 24-3 Southland Conference record, over the past three seasons. Campbell, named the 2017 Southland Coach of the Year, accepted the head coach position at South Alabama earlier this week.
“This is my dream,” Brown said., “I’ve put a lot of blood sweat and tears into this program. This is a destination for me.”
After graduating from UCA in 2009 with a degree in business management, Brown was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent and spent a short stint as a member of the New Orleans Saints.
Brown returned to UCA in 2009 and rejoined the Bears as the team's quarterbacks coach. In 2014, Brown became the team's offensive coordinator behind Campbell. In 2016, Brown was inducted into the UCA Sports Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
In 2017, the Bears amassed a 10-2 record, claiming the Southland Conference championship with a perfect 9-0 conference run and earning the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
"This program is second to none in the country," Brown said. "Our goal is not to win just Southland Conference championships and make the second round of the playoffs. Our goal is to be national champions, play deep into December and go win national titles like we've done before."