Growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, when I thought of the Arkansas Razorbacks I thought of their head coach Frank Broyles.
Today, August 14th 2017, the great Frank Broyles passed away at the age of 92. He was a great one and I will forever miss him.
Broyles was a Southern boy born and raised. Growing up in Decatur, Georgia Broyles, like most great coaches, Quarterbacked the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Quarterbacks are generally natural leaders and good athletes and it seems a lot of the great coaches around played Quarterback at least some time in their playing days.
At Georgia Tech, Broyles led the team to a lot of success. He was their Quarterback leading them to several bowl games while they were in the Southeast Conference. In the Orange Bowl, Broyles set passing records that lasted until Tom Brady of Michigan came along and broke them. His records lasted an amazing 50 years.
Broyles was drafted, but the NFL did not work out and obviously he quickly got into coaching. He started off at Baylor as an assistant and then moved with his head coach to Florida. From there,
Broyles returned to his school, Georgia Tech, as the Offensive Coordinator.
It’s natural that talent comes out early and Broyles was only an assistant for 10 years before being hired as the head coach at Missouri.
Posting an average 5-4-1 record with the Tigers, he was there all of one season when the Arkansas Razorbacks came calling.
Frank Broyles may have been born to be the Arkansas head coach and he succeeded there with flying colors.
His biggest rival was Texas and head coach Darrell Royal. The Texas Longhorns hired Royal in 1957 to save their program and the Hogs hired Broyles a year later. They were the biggest rivals, but they were the best of friends as well. The hate spews mostly between the fans of both schools, not from the coaches, or the players. They respected each other greatly. They came in at almost the same time, and they both retired together in the exact same time. Their last game was the last game of the season when both teams had had miserable seasons. Arkansas came into Austin with a 5-4-1 record and Texas had a 4-5-1 year and the Longhorns prevailed 29-12.
Incidentally, as a long time football fan, the first college game that I remember was the Texas vs Arkansas game in 1967. Texas was having a mediocre year and again so was Arkansas. The Pigs had
a 4-5-1 record in 1967 with Texas posting a disappointing 6-4 season. Texas had supposed wunderkind Super Bill Bradley at Quarterback, but he never worked out as a Quarterback even though he played Defensive Back for the Philadelphia Eagles for years.
The two programs were very similar while Frank Broyles and Darrell Royal were coaching them.
In 19 seasons as the Razorback head coach, Frank Broyles led them to a 144-58-5 record with a national championship in 1964. He also led the Hogs to 7 Southwest Conference championships.
After he retired, Broyles got into broadcasting. His Southern accent is one nobody could forget and he called mostly games in the South with the legendary Keith Jackson.
He was also the Arkansas Athletic Director up until 2007, when he retired.
Goodbye Frank Broyles, you will be missed.