Coleman: Length of extension agreed on

Monte Coleman said Tuesday he and Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic director Lonza Hardy Jr. are still talking about a contract extension for the Golden Lions’ head football coach, but he added both sides have come to an agreement about an aspect of a new deal.

“We have come to an agreement on a five-year deal,” Coleman said. “The thing we haven’t worked out is logistics.”

Coleman, who has completed the fifth and final season of his original contract, did not go into specifics of the “logistics.”

No official announcement from the school has yet been made regarding a likely extension. Attempts to reach Hardy on Tuesday was unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Coleman received some good news from a Washington, D.C., sports club Tuesday.

A day after it was announced UAPB defensive end Brandon Thurmond will compete in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game, it was learned he and Coleman will receive individual honors from The Pigskin Club. The organization selected Thurmond as its SWAC Player of the Year and Coleman as the conference’s coach of the year.

The two have been invited to the club’s 75th annual awards dinner, to be held Feb. 8 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington. For Coleman, it will be a return to the city where he spent all 16 seasons (1979-94) of his professional football career, helping the Redskins win three Super Bowls as a linebacker.

“I’m very excited and excited to be going back to the Washington, D.C. area,” Coleman said. “I’m amazed. I’m glad. This has truly been a good year for us.”

Coleman led UAPB to its first 10-win season (10-2) in school history and the program’s first outright SWAC championship. The Golden Lions won four more games than in the previous season, which was the coach’s first winning campaign.

The SWAC awarded Coleman its own coach of the year honor by virtue of UAPB’s win in the Dec. 8 conference championship game over Jackson State.

Thurmond’s list of awards and accomplishments this season is growing. His award from the Pigskin Club follows the SWAC’s and Boxtorow defensive player of the year honors he’s already received. He and offensive left tackle Terron Armstead will play in Saturday’s Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. (3 p.m. on NFL Network).

“It’s a blessing to get all of these accolades and it feels good to be recognized for all of the hard work,” Thurmond said in a press release. “I give God all the praise and glory.”

The Pigskin Club is one of the oldest sports organizations in the U.S., according to the release. For more than 70 years, it has recognized and honored coaches and athletes from all levels of competition and those who have made significant contributions in the business and civic arenas.

It was also recently announced UAPB was ranked No. 1 in the final American Sports Wire Black College Poll with 33 first-place votes and 167 voting points. It is UAPB’s second final No. 1 ranking this season, following its top finish in the Boxtorow Football Championship Subdivision HBCU coaches’ poll.

UAPB finished No. 2 in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network poll, which is the official poll that determines the black college national champion.