Golden Lions open with ‘teaching day’
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Coach Monte Coleman had his players start with the basics when the Golden Lions opened fall practice Thursday afternoon.
Coleman said it was “just a teaching day,” which focused on fundamentals like position alignment. It’s a return to the basics for a team that has finished last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in each of the past three seasons and was voted in the conference’s preseason poll to finish last again this season.
“We were 1-10 last season,” Coleman said. “We have to have major progression across the board. We have to be smart, physical and technically sound, and that’s across the board.”
While other Arkansas college teams began practice last Saturday, UAPB starts classes five days later, which set back the 28 days of practices the NCAA permits its college teams to have before classes start.
Other than the fundamental work, Coleman said UAPB also went through 7-on-7 drills. Junior quarterback Brandon Duncan, who passed for 2,229 yard, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2016, entered fall practice as the starter.
“Brandon threw the ball well,” Coleman said. “He’s reading his keys. Being over there with the defense, I didn’t hear [offensive coordinator Ted] White yelling at him. So he must have been doing all right.”
Coleman, a former UAPB defensive coordinator who is entering his 10th season as head coach, announced he relinquished his role as defensive coordinator over the offseason to Santos Carrillo, who was the team’s defensive line coach last season, his first with the Golden Lions.
Before UAPB, Carrillo spent three seasons at Murray State, where he coached the defensive line, linebackers and served as the assistant head coach in 2015.
UAPB will practice in full pads Tuesday, and its first game will be against NCAA Division II opponent Morehouse College on Sept. 2.