Broyles Era Finally Ends (Editorial)

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 67 views 

The announcement of Frank Broyles’ retirement as athletic director at the University of Arkansas after nearly 50 years marks the end of era.
His reign — yes, the “so let it be written, so let it be done” kind of reign — was unequaled by any other person in the state. And Arkansans must never forget the good legacy he leaves, which far outweighs the fact he should have retired at age 65. Or 75.
For such a man of vision, and he truly was, it’s surprising he couldn’t see it would have been better to have stepped aside years earlier and not be what amounts to forced out. He simply overstayed his time.
Razorbacks fans have had a hard time of late. Change is needed and it has to come at the top.
Certainly, few people in Arkansas have been more beloved than Broyles. He brought national prominence to the state in a positive manner.
His record as athletic director is one of impressive leadership. He built a tradition of athletic excellence, giving the state’s flagship school some of the best facilities in every sport, from baseball and basketball to football and track, and leading it out of the Southwest Conference, which was set to fall apart, and into the Southeastern Conference in 1991.
Yes, he made mistakes — usually in the form of meddling too much with coaches, according to those who should know. He won the battle to move one football game per season from Little Rock to Fayetteville, but the state paid a high price in terms of regional infighting. And, of course, there was the disgraceful testimony he gave during the trial that resulted from the firing of Nolan Richardson.
But Broyles loves Arkansas and the state has returned that love for nearly 50 years. Most will remember the good times, not how his tenure ended, and that is as it should be. It was a relationship that was mutually beneficial.
It will be difficult, to find anyone of his caliber to replace him.
For most of us, Broyles will always be the greatest. He says he will still be there to serve the university as a fund-raiser. That’s good. There’s no one better. And we will remain grateful to him.