Football coach Buck James speaks out on leaving Bryant Hornets, taking over at Conway


CONWAY, Ark. – A major name in central Arkansas football recently made headlines after leaving one of the state’s most dominant programs for new challenges at a nearby school.

Buck James won five state championships as the head coach at Bryant High School, but now the former head Hornet is taking over up the road as the head coach of the Conway Wampus Cats.

For the long-time coach, the decision to leave the Saline County powerhouse program was not an easy one.

“I will always have Bryant in my heart,” James said. “What they were able to do for a football program; what they did for me, and my family is something that I will treasure for the rest of my career and the rest of my life.”

James took to the field to get his first look at the Wampus Cats during their 7-on-7 tournament Monday.

“This is my first day here,” he said. “I’m just here to evaluate what’s going on and what I could do to put my stamp on it.”

After Day 1, Coach James is already excited for the young team’s potential.

“There’s a good football team coming back.” James said. “They are talented skilled players. They have some big lineman, they have talented secondary, and it looks like they are young. It looks like a football team that can grow and get better as the season goes on.”

For a coach used to being at the top of the ranks in Arkansas, the mission for his new team is clear from the beginning.

“I don’t know if I’m the difference maker, I just want to give a chance and try for these kids and this community to do the best job I can to try to make this program the best in the state,” James said.

Conway starts its 2023 campaign on August 15 at home against Morrilton. The final game on their regular season schedule is Bryant.


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