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FCS school promotes from within for new head coach

Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday announced the hiring of Charles "Doc" Gamble as the Golden Lions' 21st head coach.

Gamble has been on UAPB's staff for the past two years as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

“We are excited to officially name Doc Gamble as our head football coach,” said UAPB AD Chris Peterson. “He has played an integral role in the growth and improvement of our program in recent years and it was important for us to keep that momentum going. Doc is ready for this next step in his career, and we are confident he will continue the ascension of our program to become a consistent SWAC contender.”

Gamble replaces Cedric Thomas, who stepped down in February to become the defensive backs coach at Southern Miss.

A Cincinnati native, Gamble began coaching as a student assistant at Tennessee-Martin. He officially joined the profession at Withrow High School in Cincinnati, his alma mater. He coached previously at Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, Alcorn State and Kent State.

"It's an honor to be named head football coach at Arkansas At Pine Bluff," Gamble said. "I'm appreciative and thankful to the university administration for this opportunity. In coming here with Cedric Thomas two years ago, we felt as a staff we could rebuild the program, and due to the hard work and dedication of the players, a great foundation has been laid. Our staff will remain diligent in our effort to put our players in the best position for success in the classroom and in competition to have a team and program that Golden Lion Nation will continue be proud of."

After inheriting a team that went 2-9, UAPB went 2-9 again in 2018 before jumping to 6-5 last fall. It was the program's first winning season since 2012.

Gamble's hiring closes the FCS head coaching carousel, which saw 15 jobs change hands after the 2019 season.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.