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Monte Coleman

Executive Director, retired.

A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas Monte Coleman played for the Washington Redskins for 16 seasons. Despite not playing high football, Monte walked-on at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, where he became the first UCA player in history to be drafted into the professional ranks. In his first three seasons at UCA, he played safety, where he set a school record with 22 career interceptions, but was converted to linebacker in his senior season of competition.

After his stellar collegiate career, Coleman was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the 11th round of the 1979 NFL Draft and he was the 289th overall selection.

Coleman’s 16-year NFL career spanned over 3 decades – – the 70s, the 80s and the 90s, all with the Redskins making him one of the only three players to play at least 16 seasons with the franchise along with Sammy Baugh (16) and Darrell Green (20). In addition, he is on the all-time list of games played as a Redskin with 217, behind former teammate and NFL Hall of Famer Darrell Green.

To add to his accomplishments with the Redskins, Coleman saw action in four Super Bowls (XVII, XVIII, XXII and XXVI), winner three of them. Coleman was named as one of the 70 Greatest players in Redskins history and he was named to the All-Madden Team in 1993. In 1996, Coleman was elected and featured in the Washingtonian Magazine as a recipient of the Washingtonian of the Year Award. Just three years later, he was selected by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 50 athletes in Arkansas sports history.

Coleman has been also been enshrined in two Hall of Fames as he is a member of the UCA Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and has received UCAs highest honor – the Distinguish Alumnus Award. In 2015 Coleman was enshrined in the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame. 

Coleman took over the reins as head football coach in 2008 at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, after serving the previous two seasons (2006, 2007) as the defensive coordinator. During his tenure at UAPB, Coleman has produced 33 All-Conference performers, two Defensive Players of the Year honorees and two Freshman of the Year award winners. 

The 2012 season for UAPB would be a historic one for Coleman and his Golden Lions, as they went 10-2, setting the record for the most wins in a season, winning their second SWAC Western Division title and their first ever outright SWAC Championship. 

Coleman joined SOAR as Executive Director in August of 2019 and retired in June of 2023. 

Anita Smith

Program Director



I’m Anita Smith currently the program Director for Students of Achievement and Responsibility “S.O.A.R”. My leadership skills allow me to successfully coordinate academic support and recreation activities for local middle/high school students who are experiencing academic challenges. I have collaborated with school districts in identifying students who would best benefit from this program. Not only do I provide support and activities for academics but the whole child including physical and spiritual.


I have worked in education for over 37 years. My love for helping student’s is to set the achieve goals can be traced to my time spent working for the Head Start program where I helped families begin their journey toward self-sufficiency. My philosophy in life has been to reach for the stars. Its my desire that all students grow and become successful in every area of their life. Its why I believe firmly in the affirmation recited daily by students and staff at S.O.A.R: “We start each day with a new opportunity. I won’t follow the crowed… I will change my self, push myself… Never stop pushing forward.” I have and open-door policy and encourage everyone interested in the S.O.A.R program to please call or come by. I can be reached at or cell no. (870) 592-2795

Michael Garlington

Student Life Manager

Hello, My name is Michael Garlington. I was born in Conway, Arkansas and attended Conway High School as a part of the 2015 graduating class. I went on to attend the University of
Arkansas at Pine Bluff where I graduated in 2019 with my Bachelors degree. During my time at UAPB , I majored in Secondary Education focused on Social Studies. I graduated with my Masters in School Leadership, Management, and Administration in May of 2023. I have spent the last 5 years in education and have dedicated much of my working life to pushing , educating,and elevating students to be the best and most successful that they can be. I believe that all
students need structure and discipline as well as having high expectations for them to meet. I truly believe that it is better to set a high expectation for students and they miss than to set the
expectations too low and they meet them. All believe that all students can learn and grow , it just takes the right push. At SOAR , I have dedicated my time to pushing students to be the best they can be each and every day.

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