Steve Roberts resigns as ASU football coach

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Arkansas State University announced in a Monday afternoon news conference that its head football coach Steve Roberts will not be back for a 10th season. Roberts' resignation is effective 5:00 PM Tuesday.  Dr. Lee says Roberts will be paid by the university through Tuesday and will receive an undisclosed amount of money through the Red Wolf Club.  No interim coach has been named.

Dr. Dean Lee said Roberts told him this morning he was resigning after a 45 minute conversation between the two men.  Lee described the meeting as "emotional" at times and said, "Steve is a good man, and was a positive influence on our kids."

Roberts and Athletic Director Dr. Dean Lee met Monday morning for a scheduled end of season review.  Roberts was also absent from a weekly Sunbelt Conference coaches' conference call Monday morning. 

The Red Wolves finished the season Saturday with a heartbreaking 31-24 loss to Florida International, ending the season at 4-8.  Roberts just finished his ninth season as the head coach at ASU.  He finished two seasons with six wins, the most in one season during his tenure. 

Roberts came to ASU from Northwestern State and was previously the head coach at Division II South Arkansas in Magnolia.  He had several high marks for the program off the field including high academic grades in the classroom.

ASU released the following comments from Steve Roberts:

Q: How do you feel about where the program is now compared to when you arrived?

A: "I am certainly proud of a lot of positive things that have occurred over the last nine years. From a competitive and academic standpoint to the retention of kids and the development of relationships, we made tremendous strides in a lot of areas that I'm very proud of."

Q: What are some of the major accomplishments you feel were made with the football program during your tenure?

A: "Just really from returning the program to a competitive level and raising expectations. We set major attendance records, had some big wins and some disappointing losses. Obviously, we did some great things academically. We've had a lot of kids that have come through our program who are going to be extremely successful because of their participation in football at Arkansas State."

Q: Have you had an opportunity to visit with the coaching staff and the players, and what was your message to them?

A: "My message to players and coaches was that I'm extremely grateful for the effort they put forth helping this program achieve. Continue to believe and give great effort in the classroom, present yourself in a way that leads to a positive image, prepare to win in all aspects of life and good things will happen."

Q: What is the next step for you personally and professionally?

A: "That will obviously be something that we will pray about as a family – wait on God's direction for our family and move on from there."
Additional Steve Roberts Quotes:

"The 10 years and nine seasons that we've been here have certainly been full of challenges, but also great rewards, and the biggest reward is the relationships that we've been able to make while we're here."

"I am very thankful to the Jonesboro community for their support throughout the years and want you to know that I poured my heart and soul into this program and these kids to give us the best opportunity to succeed. For the community's support, my family and I are grateful."

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