Arkansas-Pine Bluff football coach Monte Coleman neither confirmed nor denied a report that his son Kyle is transferring from Arkansas State to his program.
Asked about the report, which appeared Thursday in The Jonesboro Sun, Monte Coleman sounded as if he was puzzled by the news, but he didn’t give either an affirmative or negative answer.
“I can’t even discuss it at any time,” the coach said.
The Sun reported that first-year A-State coach Blake Anderson confirmed Kyle’s intention to transfer, adding that academics did not play a role in his decision. A-State sports information director Jerry Scott told The Commercial he also received word from Anderson about the transfer, but he hadn’t spoken with either Kyle or anyone from UAPB.
A message left for Kyle was not returned.
If he does indeed join his father’s Golden Lions, he’ll be eligible to play this fall because UAPB competes in the Football Championship Subdivision, one level below Arkansas State’s Football Bowl Subdivision.
A 2011 Watson Chapel graduate, Kyle lettered the past three years at A-State and helped the Red Wolves win the past two GoDaddy Bowls in Mobile, Ala., and at least a share of the last three Sun Belt Conference championships.
The younger Coleman played in all 13 of the Red Wolves’ games this past season and started in 11 of them, according to The Sun. Among his 51 tackles were two sacks and three stops for losses to go with three fumble recoveries and two pass breakups.
Coleman picked A-State after playing on three straight state semifinal teams at Watson Chapel. He was the Wildcats’ starting quarterback and safety during his senior year.
During his time in Jonesboro, Coleman bounced around positions, going from receiver to safety to linebacker. He had more than twice as many tackles this past season as in 2012.
“I thought he was best suited as a free safety,” Monte Coleman said in an August interview with The Commercial. “When they recruited him, he had never played a lot of defense.”
But if Kyle sticks with the linebacker role in Pine Bluff, he’ll be part of a solid group that includes Watson Chapel classmate Antonio Jenkins and Willie Duncan III, who capped off his freshman season with 17 tackles against Prairie View A&M.
Coleman has also played for a different head coach each season at A-State. Hugh Freeze left for Ole Miss in 2011, Gus Malzahn bolted for Auburn the next year and Bryan Harsin was hired by alma mater Boise State last December.
A-State defeated UAPB 62-11 in the 2013 season opener for both teams. It was also the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
With the loss, Monte also lost a bet with Kyle and had to drive for a month his vehicle, which has A-State tags on it.