The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions are ready to announce their next head football coach on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

This has been a drawn-out process, as UAPB athletic director Lonza Hardy Jr. initially said that they would like to have a coach in place by the end of the semester. Hardy and a search committee formed by the university analyzed more than 60 applications for the job, and they were able to cut it down to three finalists.

The finalists were Eric Dooley of Prairie View, Scott Maxfield of Henderson State and Cedric Thomas of Alcorn State.

Each finalist had a designated time for a meet and greet session with the community, supporters and media members. After Maxfield appeared at UAPB, he was soon granted a five-year extension by Henderson State, and he elected to stay put as their head coach. Dooley, Grambling’s wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator, was a hot commodity, and UAPB was never his only option to be a head coach.

Days after interviewing and holding his meet and greet session with the Golden Lions, Dooley committed to fellow Southeastern Conference members Prairie View A&M as their new head coach.

Thomas is the last finalist standing, but there's been no official word on who the Golden Lions will announce as their next head football coach.

Thomas is a UAPB alum, and he's been the defensive coordinator at Alcorn State since 2012.

The announcement is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday in the STEM Ball Room on the campus of UAPB. The community is invited to come out for the press conference.