Arkansas Pine Bluff fired head coach Doc Gamble amid a five-game SWAC losing streak and 18 months after leading the Golden Lions to the SWAC West Division championship and appearance in the conference title game.
The process of bringing in a new coach is always a time of both uncertainty and optimism for a program. The right hire can reintroduce winning to a downtrodden program and even elevate it to new heights.
UAPB is a program that’s only featured three winning years since 2005, with the last coming during the 2021 spring season.
As the search begins for the next leader of UAPB football, here are some possible candidates that should be on the school’s list.
Alvin Parker – Virginia Union
The 23-year coaching veteran was very successful during his time at Elizabeth City State, where as an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, he helped guide the Vikings to five CIAA Northern Division champions during a six-year period and a win in the 2012 Pioneer Bowl.
His return to Virginia Union, where he was previously an assistant coach under Willard Bailey, has proven to be a fruitful one. Parker has compiled a 28-13 overall record and 24-6 in CIAA play. This season, the Panthers are 7-0 and ranked No.10 in the AFCA and No.12 in the D2football.com polls, respectively.
Chennis Berry – Benedict College
In just his second season at Benedict, Chennis Berry has transformed the Tigers from a .500 team to one that is currently 8-0. Before assuming the helm at Benedict, Berry was an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southern under then-head coach Dawson Odums. In 2016, the Jaguars ranked 5th in the nation in scoring, at 39.8 points per game, and 11th nationally in total offense.
Richard Hayes Jr. – Fayetteville State
In his five seasons at Fayetteville State, Hayes has compiled a 38-21 record, winning CIAA Coach of the Year in 2018. Of the eight times, the Broncos have been in the CIAA Championship game, Hayes led them there from 2017 to 2021.
Mark Hall – Chowan
Longtime Chowan offensive coordinator and quarterback/wide receivers coach Mark Hall became the Hawks’ head coach three seasons ago. All that’s happened since is Hall leading the program into the Division II national rankings. Chowan currently has a 5-3 record and sits second in the CIAA’s Northern Division with a 5-1 record.
Quinton Morgan – Langston
Since Morgan was promoted to head coach in 2015, he has compiled a 47-14 record. He guided the Lions to a perfect 10-0 record in 2017, earning them the Central States Football League Conference title and an NAIA postseason appearance. The Lions have appeared in the postseason in three of his six seasons as head coach. Through six games this year, Langston is 5-1 and 4-1 in the SAC. Morgan is 52-15 overall.