Monte Coleman is a former professional football player who played for sixteen seasons with the Washington Redskins. He also led the UAPB football team to its 2012 ESPN televised victory against Jackson State University.
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Monte Leon Coleman was born on November 4, 1957, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In 1975, Coleman graduated from Pine Bluff High School and enrolled at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway, then a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school. Coleman walked onto the football team, despite not having played high school football. He played safety his first three years, setting a school record of 22 interceptions. In his senior year, he converted to linebacker. In the 1979 NFL Draft, Coleman became the first player from Central Arkansas to be drafted into the NFL when the Washington Redskins chose him in the 11th of 12 rounds with the 289th overall selection.
Coleman played for the Redskins from 1979 to 1994. He is currently ranked second behind Darrell Green on the all-time list of games played by a Redskin, having played in 217 games. Coleman, Sammy Baugh, and Darrell Green are the only three men to have played at least 16 seasons with the franchise. Coleman’s 56.5 sacks are the Redskins’ fourth-highest all-time total. He played in four Super Bowl games, winning three: Super Bowls XVII, XXII, XXVI.
Over the years, Coleman has received many awards for his achievements on the football field. In 1993, he made “the All-Madden Team.” In 1996, Washingtonian Magazine selected him to receive the Washingtonian of the Year Award. In 1998, he was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins. In 2007, he won the Elijah Pitts Award Conway athletic lifetime achievement award, named after the Conway native and Green Bay Packer football legend. On December 20, 2015, he was inducted into the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame.
Coleman was employed at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) for two seasons (2006 and 2007) as the defensive coordinator before he was named Head Football Coach on November 26, 2007. On December 8, 2012, Coleman coached the UAPB football team to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship. During the televised game, UAPB defeated Jackson State University 24-21 in the championship game at Birmingham, Alabama, on ESPN. Coleman served as head football coach from 2008 to 2017. During his tenure at UAPB, Coleman helped produce many top SWAC athletes, including 33 All-Conference performers, two Defensive Players of the Year honorees, and two Freshman of the Year award winners.
Written by: Ninfa O. Barnard