Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears

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Central Arkansas Bears and Sugar Bears
Logo
University University of Central Arkansas
Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Division I FCS
Athletic director Brad Teague
Location Conway, AR
Varsity teams 17
Football stadium Estes Stadium
Basketball arena Farris Center
Baseball stadium Bear Stadium
Nickname Bears/Sugar Bears
Colors
     Purple       Gray
Website www.ucasports.com

The University of Central Arkansas participates in the NCAA Division I's Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA football) as a member of the Southland Conference. The athletic program is supported by the efforts of a diverse group of over 400 male and female student-athletes. Its men's teams are called the Bears and the women's are the Sugar Bears.[1]

Teams[edit]

The University of Central Arkansas sponsors eight men's and nine women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[2]

Gulf South Conference to Southland Conference[edit]

From 1993 to 2006, UCA competed in the West Division of the Gulf South Conference. In 2005–2006, UCA's men's athletic teams won that conference's All Sports Trophy. However, on July 1, 2006, UCA began the transition to Division I and joined the Southland Conference, with the Bears also becoming Associate members of the Missouri Valley Conference for men's soccer.

Estes Stadium west side with players in action.

In 2008, the UCA Bear Football Team defeated more Southland Conference Opponents than any other conference team and were declared "Unofficial Southland Conference Champions." (The Southland Conference nor the NCAA would recognize UCA as the champions due to the transition period from Division II.)

NAIA[edit]

Prior to moving to Division II, UCA competed in NAIA Division I for most sports, winning the national football championship three times (1984 {co-champs}, 1985 {co-champs} and 1991) and finishing runner-up once (1976). Between 1979 and 1992, UCA won or shared 13 out of 14 Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference championships (AIC) and went to the playoffs 12 times in that span. A number of former Bears have found success in the NFL, including Tom McConnaughey, Jacob Ford, Landon Trusty, Willie Davis, Tyree Davis, Dave Burnette, Curtis Burrow, Andre Collins, David Evans, and most notably Monte Coleman.

Scottie Pippen[edit]

Former National Basketball Association player Scottie Pippen played basketball at Central Arkansas. Pippen was a 6'2" walk-on his first year at UCA, but by the start of his sophomore year, he had grown to 6'7" and would be a starter for the next three seasons. Pippen was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 5th pick in the 1987 NBA draft, and then traded to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice. Pippen won six NBA championships (1991–1993 and 1996–1998) while playing for the Bulls (1987–1998). While still an active player, Pippen was voted as one of the NBA's Top 50 Players of All-Time, and the Chicago Bulls retired his jersey number (#33). His jersey at UCA is also retired, and hangs in the rafters. Pippen also played for the Houston Rockets (1998–1999) and the Portland Trail Blazers (1999–2003). Pippen is retired, and lives with his family in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Ultimate[edit]

The schools men's and women's Ultimate teams are small but growing quickly. They are a part of the Ozarks conference of the South Central region of the D-1 division that is governed by USA Ultimate. Other states that are also in the Ozarks conference are: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming and Eastern Mexico. The Ultimate Team is independent of the other athletic departments.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]