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CAC hires Malvern's JD Plumlee as head football coach

Ryan Howard resigned his post this month

NORTH LITTLE ROCK - Exactly two weeks removed from the sudden resignation of Ryan Howard as head football coach, Central Arkansas Christian announced Wednesday morning that the school approved the hiring of Malvern's JD Plumlee for the position. 

“We are excited to come be a part of the rich tradition at CAC,” Plumlee said in a press release from the school. “We believe in the mission of Mustang Mountain, and we want to help continue to grow the good work that is established here.”

Plumlee compiled a 35-25 record with the Leopards in five seasons and won a Class 4A state championship in 2022 over Harding Academy. 

New CAC head football coach JD Plumlee (Photo courtesy of CAC)

New CAC head football coach JD Plumlee (Photo courtesy of CAC)

Over the course of his coaching career that covers two decades, Plumlee has served as an assistant at Lakeside and Malvern, as well as Harrison and Russellville, where he was offensive coordinator on the 2016 5A state championship team.

“Coach Plumlee’s outstanding success and results on the football field speak for themselves,” CAC athletic director Hayden Cruce said in the release. “He has won championships in multiple classifications across Arkansas, but his most impressive attribute is his ability to lead and inspire excellence in his colleagues, student-athletes, and community.

“We are extremely proud to have Coach Plumlee and his family join the CAC community.”

Plumlee accepted his first head coaching job at Fountain Lake in 2018, where he went 6-5, but left after one season to take over at Malvern.

Following back-to-back two-win seasons, CAC went 9-3 and won the 4A-4 conference title outright. The Mustangs also advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015. 

(Cover photo by Jimmy Jones) 

– Kyle Sutherland | @k_sutherlandAR