Clint Conque knows that coaching a Division I football program in the state of Arkansas means competing with the University of Arkansas for recruits. And on Monday afternoon, Conque jokingly let members of the Little Rock Touchdown Club know he wasn't happy about one University of Central Arkansas target who recently got away and signed with the Razorbacks.
Conque, who's entering his 14th season with the Bears, needled Hog fans in the crowd about losing former UCA commit Corliss Marshall of Osceola to Arkansas and quipped that he'd gladly take one of Arkansas' prized recruits in return.
"I'd like to have Alex Collins on my team," Conque said of the Razorbacks star freshman running back, generating laughter from a crowd of about 150 members.
Conque noted he's seen the talent level in Arkansas high school football improve dramatically. In total, 26 players from the state play for UCA.
On the field, Conque, who has won nine games in each of the past two seasons with the Bears, said his team is looking to bounce back after last week's 59-28 loss to McNeese State. UCA takes on Nebraska-Kearney this Saturday in Conway.
Conque also spoke of the Bears' forthcoming games against high-profile Football Bowl Subdivision teams, particularly at Texas Tech and Auburn. UCA lost 38-24 at Colorado on Sept. 7.
A question was posed concerning a fear that Football Championship Subdivision teams will stop playing the FBS teams due to major college football teams losing to smaller programs recently.
Conque was confident that the current situation won't change.
"I do see FCS programs continuing to play these [FBS] games," Conque said.
The university's facilities were a brief topic as Conque explained the two-year-old luxury boxes at Estes Stadium are sold out for the next 10 years. The Bears also recently signed a five-year contract with Adidas for new uniforms and equipment, he said.
Read more about this story in Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.