Arkansas-Pine Bluff Director of Athletics, Dr. Lonza Hardy Jr., hired Cedric Thomas to take over the team’s football program just over a month ago. Today he is out of a job.
UAPB was forced to fire Hardy on Thursday by the University of Arkansas system, according to KATV.com. According to the report, several members of the board were unhappy with the win-loss records of some of those teams.
Hardy confirmed that he had been let go in a statement to the station.
“I am, of course, disappointed that I will no longer be a part of the resurgence of the athletics program that we have begun here at UAPB,” Hardy said in a statement. “I stepped into an athletics program six years ago that was on the brink of a second death penalty due to a lack of institutional control, a program that simply was not making the grade in the classroom and a program where winning consistently was prohibited due to a major lack of adequate resources, especially funding for scholarships. Today, I step out of a program in far superior shape than I inherited. For that, I am proud of what we have accomplished and I am particularly proud of the loyal and dedicated service of our student-athletes, our coaches and our staff.”
Hard Times For Hardy
Hardy, indeed, took over UAPB during trying times. The athletic department was in hot water for rules violations and academic violations that eventually resulted in probation.
The program did win its only SWAC Championship Game title in 2012 under Hardy, who previously served as AD at Hampton.
UAPB is also currently the top team in SWAC men’s basketball ball, ranked third on our initial D1 HBCU Hoops Power Rankings.