UA unveils Frank Broyles statue

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 179 views 

A crowd gathered in front of the Broyles Athletic Center on Friday morning (Nov. 23) for the dedication of a statue honoring former University of Arkansas head football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles.

The statue stands seven and a half feet and weighs more than 700 pounds, according to a press release from the UA Athletic Public Relations Office.

Dr. Gary Renegar sculpted the statue based on photos of Coach Broyles during his 19-year coaching career at the University of Arkansas. The 30-minute ceremony included remarks from UA Chancellor David Gearhart, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long, former Razorback football student-athletes Jim Lindsey and Ken Hatfield as well as Coach Broyles.

Broyles served the University of Arkansas for more than 50 years as a head football coach and athletic director. Broyles stepped down from his position as athletic director on Dec. 31, 2007 and has been working with the Razorback Foundation as Athletic Director Emeritus since that time.

“I have lived a charmed life,” Coach Broyles said. “It has been a privilege to be here at the University of Arkansas for more than 50 years. I am blessed to have been part of a great university, a remarkable athletic program and a wonderful state for so long. I am deeply appreciative of this honor and believe the statue will serve as a tribute to all of those who have played a part in the tremendous accomplishments of the Razorback program and the University of Arkansas.”

Broyles came to the Arkansas in December 1957 after assistant coaching positions at Baylor University, the University of Florida and Georgia Tech and a head coaching position at the University of Missouri.

Broyles first served as the Razorbacks’ head football coach in 1958 before taking over the reins of the Arkansas athletics program in 1973. He served in dual roles until 1976 when he retired as Razorback head coach. As head coach, he compiled a record of 144-58-5 in 19 seasons, was named the AFCA national coach of the year in 1964 and Southwest Conference coach of the year six times.

Arkansas won the 1964 national championship and won seven SWC titles. His teams earned 10 bowl bids, and he coached 20 All-Americans and 88 All-Southwest Conference selections. Soon after his retirement from coaching, Broyles made a move to the broadcasting booth working along-side legendary sports announcer Keith Jackson with ABC’s college football coverage for nine years.

As men's athletics director, Broyles oversaw a program that claimed 43 national titles, 57 championships in the Southwest Conference and 48 Southeastern Conference championships, and earned 22 football bowl bids.

During his tenure as athletic director, Broyles oversaw the construction and renovation of all athletic facilities on campus including the renovation of Donald. W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and the construction of Bud Walton Arena and Baum Stadium. The more than $215 million invested in facilities was paid through private donations which Broyles helped raise.

The recipient of numerous awards, Broyles was a member of the inaugural class of the UA Sports Hall of Honor, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and was again honored by the National Football Foundation as the recipient of the John L. Toner Award for outstanding achievement as an athletics director in 2000. Broyles has served on the NCAA Football Rules Committee (1969-74), as AFCA President (1970) and on the NACDA Executive Committee (1989-91).

He has been named to the halls of fame for the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Gator Bowl, Georgia Tech and the state of Georgia.

In 1996, Broyles was honored with an award named in his honor, the Broyles Award, which is awarded to the country's top assistant football coach. Broyles was also the recipient of the 2007 NACDA/NIT Athletics Director Award and was inducted into the NACDA Hall of Fame in 2008.

The field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium was named Frank Broyles Field on Nov. 3, 2007.