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Matt Taphorn enters his third stint in Conway, and his first season as an assistant coach for the Bears, in 2018.

Taphorn returns to Central Arkansas following a season spent at UNC-Wilmington, where he helped lead the Seahawks to one of the best seasons in recent history with a second-place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Taphorn initially came to Conway as a player and quickly cemented himself as a mainstay in coach Ross Duncan’s lineup, ending his career four years later after 48 starts and a pair of All-Missouri Valley Conference nods. He wrapped up his playing career following 4,346 minutes played, good for the third-most in program history at the time and still the seventh-highest mark in the UCA record book.

Taphorn made his debut on the Central Arkansas coaching staff in 2016, serving as Director of Operations for what was the Bears’ most successful season at the Division I level to that point, helping guide them to a 7-7-3 overall mark and a 4-3-1 record in league play.