Clint Conque becomes the 19th head football coach in Stephen F. Austin program history
Dec. 19, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin Director of Athletics Robert Hill has announced the hiring of Clint Conque as the Lumberjacks' 19th head football coach. Conque comes to SFA from Central Arkansas where he served as head coach of the Bears for the past 14 seasons and brings with him nearly 30 years of coaching experience.
"Our goal was to find someone who had previous head coaching experience and a successful record," Hill said. "Coach Conque not only has a proven record as a head coach, he also has had great success in the Southland Conference. He is familiar with SFA, and he recruits heavily in Texas. He is the perfect package."
Conque Press Conference Photo Gallery
• Coach Conque's Press Packet - Dec. 19, 2013
Conque brings with him to Nacogdoches an impressive coaching resume built on success, posting an overall career record of 105-59 (.640) during his 14 seasons at Central Arkansas. He departs as the all-time winningest coach in Bear program history while becoming just the second collegiate head coach in the state of Arkansas to amass 100 career victories, sitting behind only legendary Razorback coach Frank Broyles.
"First and foremost, I am excited about the opportunity to come to Nacogdoches and help build upon the great tradition of SFA football and their athletics," Conque said. "I've always felt SFA could be one of the crown jewels in the Southland Conference. I appreciate the opportunity provided to me and my family by Dr. Baker Pattillo and Robert Hill, Steve McCarty and the Board of Regents. Hopefully, we can bring a consistent winner to Nacogdoches and build something that our students, alumni and fan base can be proud of. It's just a tremendous opportunity."
Central Arkansas established itself as one of the top teams both regionally and nationally during Conque's tenure, capturing the Southland Conference title in 2008 and 2012, advancing to the FCS playoffs in both 2011 and 2012. UCA also made a pair of NCAA Division II playoff appearances during Conque's time in Conway, including advancing to the quarterfinals in 2005, before the program made the transition to the FCS level following the 2005 season.
During the eight seasons in which Central Arkansas competed in the Southland Conference, Conque has posted a 33-16 record in SLC play (.673), being named the Southland's Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2012 in addition to the same honor in 2005. The NCAA FCS Region 5 Coach of the Year in 2008, Conque has also been a three-time finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award with his teams boasting seven top-25 finishes since 2001.
Under Conque's tuteledge, his players have been recognized for their efforts on the field time and time again. During his coaching career, 126 players have been recognized as all-conference selections with 37 earning All-America honors as 31 former players have gone on to play professionally, including 12 signing NFL contracts with an additional six playing in the CFL.
Conque's UCA teams won eight or more games in eight of his 14 seasons in Conway, including an 11-3 mark in 2005 that tied the program record for wins in a season as the Bears advanced to the Division II national quarterfinals. Central Arkansas reached the 10-win plateau again in 2008 as the Bears posted a 10-2 mark. Known for his high-tempo offenses, Conque's teams have consistently ranked among the national leaders in both scoring and passing offense as the Bears have finished in the top-10 nationally in passing offense five times and scoring offense four times.
His focus hasn't been solely on the field, however, as Conque's teams have boasted some of the highest APR (Academic Progress Rate) scores in the region with three Academic All-Americans during his coaching career.
Before taking over the helm of the Central Arkansas program in 2000, Conque spent seven seasons at Louisiana Tech (1993-99) in a variety of roles. Conque oversaw the Bulldogs' running backs, receivers and special teams before ultimately serving as the offensive coordinator in 1999 as Louisiana Tech led the nation passing offense and was second in total offense en route to an 8-3 record.
Prior to his time in Ruston, three seasons at Samford University (1990-92) as the running backs coach, helping guide the Bulldogs to back-to-back NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances in 1991 and 1992, posting a 22-4 record during that span. Conque began his collegiate coaching career at McNeese State (1987-89), spending three seasons coaching the Cowboys' running backs and outside linebackers.
A graduate of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, La., Conque was an All-American linebacker at Nicholls State Universityin Thibodaux, La., picking up first team honors by the Associated Press. He also was named a second team LSWA All-Louisiana selection as a senior as Conque was selected to Nicholls' Silver Anniversary Team in 1997 and in 2005 was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career at Nicholls, Conque landed with the Los Angeles Raiders only to have his career cut short by injury in 1983. He then returned to Nicholls and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Colonels before spending a pair of seasons coaching in the high school ranks.
Conque is married to the former Angele' Jackson as the couple has three sons: Chasse (and his wife Lisa), Benton and Zach. He also became a grandfather as twins Julianna and Sydney were born to Chasse and Lisa in 2012.
What They're Saying About Coach Conque:
PETE CARMICHAEL • Offensive Coordinator, New Orleans Saints
"Coach Conque is an outstanding football coach and is an excellent recruiter. One thing I found unique about him was his complete understanding of all phases of the game. Every program he has been at has been successful, which is how I would characterize him as a coach. He is going to make SFA proud for choosing him to be their coach and leader. I'd be very honored to be on the same staff as him someday."
CHRIS HATCHER • Head Coach, Murray State University
"Clint is a great person and an outstanding coach that will represent himself in a first-class manner. He did a phenomonal job at Central Arkansas, and there is no doubt that he will have Stephen F. Austin as a force to be reckoned with in the Southland Conference."
TRAVIS BUSH • Assistant Head Coach, University of Houston
"As a coach that had to prepare to face Coach Conque's teams, I've always admired the job he's done both from a coaching and recruiting standpoint. I got to know him and his family on a personal level when we were in the process of recruiting his son (to UT-San Antonio) and can't say enough about the type of man he is. He's going to bring great energy and will do a great job at SFA."
MIKE NORVELL • Deputy Head Coach, Arizona State University
"Coach Conque is a tremendous leader and motivator of his teams. He always seems to get each team to play a little better than everyone thought they were initially capable of play. While he was always innovative in what we would do schematically, he would always fit it around the skills and talents of the players on the team. I know he will bring great success to SFA and will have them competing for championships soon."
BUSTER FAULKNER • Offensive Coordinator, Middle Tennessee State University
"Coach Conque gave me an opportunity and helped me learn what it means to be a coach. He's one of the best out there at mentoring his players and knows what it takes to win. He is a top notch coach and I have a great deal of respect for him and for how he runs his program."
TIM HORTON • Assistant Coach, Auburn University
"Coach Conque is an outstanding coach who has won consistently at a high level. He has a great offensive mind and will do wonderful things at SFA."