Dr. Brad Teague, University of Central Arkansas athletic director, said he hopes to have a replacement for departing head football coach Clint Conque by Friday.
Conque, the winningest coach in UCA histoiry with a 105-58 record in 14 seasons, resigned Saturday to become the head coach at Stephen F. Austin, a fellow member of the Southland Conference who recently fired coach J.C. Harper after a 3-9 season.
Teague said there are potential recruits on campus this weekend and moving quickly to fill the void is crucial.
"I'm setting up interviews right now with people I know and people I don't know," he said. "I am amazed at the quality of people who are attracted to UCA. It's a great community, with great facilities and great academics and we've proven you can win here. If we get some good candidates in line and get mobile quickly, I think we can get this done by Friday."
He said Conque leaves on good terms.
"He had mixed emotions about it," Teague said. "He felt after 14 years it was time for a change. We certainly appreciated what he has done."
Conque led UCA to conference championships in both NCAA Division II and NCAA FCS in the Southland Conference. Three times he was a finalist for national coach of the year in the FCS and his UCA teams led the Southland in APR (a measurement of academic progress and graduation rates three straight years.
"It has been an incredibly rewarding experience at UCA," Conque said. "I feel we've left a legacy. My goal here was when I left was to leave the program better than when I came and to win some games and championships. It's an amicable situation. There are no smoking guns or mirrors. I have the utmost respect for the UCA administration and have made some incredible relationships with people and young men.
"I feel it's time to pick up the ball and go to a new challenge. The good thing is I've leaving behind some great relationships.
"There are some challenges but I like to embrace challenges and SFA has a lot of resources with a tradition of winning."
Conque's salary and package at UCA was worth about $175,000 to $180,000 after coaches shows and incentives. His base salary was $135,000. Conque's package at SFA is a five-year deal worth about $200,000 per year.
He said he has been given some good leeway on assistant coaching packages at SFA and will take some of the current UCA staff with him to Nacogdoches, Texas, but said he is not in a position to name individuals at this point.