- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 20, 2010

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (AP) - Veteran Central Arkansas football coach Clint Conque confessed Tuesday to an “inappropriate relationship” and said he has apologized to his family.

Conque released a statement Tuesday asking for privacy and apologizing to the school community. He did not offer details about the relationship.

Conque is entering his 11th season as the Bears’ coach, with a 73-43 record at the school. He recently signed a new five-year contract.

Athletic director Brad Teague said in a statement of his own he looks forward to having Conque and his staff leading the team this fall. Conque said he takes complete responsibility for his actions.

“During a period of time in my life I made some poor personal decisions,” Conque said. “I had an inappropriate relationship in the past that I regret and these mistakes and missteps have hurt the ones that I love the most.”

Teague said he agreed to have Conque go public to end any speculation before the start of the season.

“He has been honest and forthright regarding his mistakes and has been working on rebuilding his relationship with his family,” Teague said. “It is our hope he can mend his personal relationships and we are confident that he will continue to maintain a great football program for our university.”

Central Arkansas president Allen Meadors released a statement asking for respect for the coach’s privacy. He said the university is moving forward.

The athletic department is celebrating the end of its transition period from Division II to Division I’s Football Championship Subdivision. The Bears actually finished atop the Southland Conference in football in 2008 but weren’t eligible for the FCS playoffs.

Conque is one win shy of Harold Horton’s school record. His success on the field, combined with an entertaining offensive system, have made Conque a popular coach in central Arkansas. He’s made several speaking appearances in Little Rock to promote his program, which plays in Conway, about 30 miles from the state capital.

“I will emerge from this a better man, husband, father and coach,” Conque said.