FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After five decades with the University of Arkansas, former head football coach and director of men’s athletics, Frank Broyles announced his retirement today, effective Dec. 31, 2007. The announcement was made at the Board of Trustees meeting in the Student Union.
“After much thought and consideration, I have decided to retire as men’s athletic director effective Dec. 31, 2007,” Broyles said. “For nearly 50 years, I have considered it a privilege to serve this university as a coach and an athletic administrator. It is the only job I ever desired to have. I have been blessed to work with many outstanding coaches, student-athletes, administrators and officials during my tenure. I am grateful to them and to the Razorback fans for their support. I am proud of what we have accomplished together and look forward to continuing to lend my passion to this truly special place.”
Broyles came to the Arkansas in 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. In 19 seasons as Razorback head coach, Broyles amassed a record of 144 wins, 58 losses and five ties. In 1964, in just his seventh season, Broyles led the Razorbacks to their only national championship in football.
“We have been fortunate to have someone the caliber of Frank Broyles at the university for 50 years, guiding and leading the athletics program to national prominence,” Chancellor John A. White said. “He remains a consummate example of class, integrity and distinction and will be greatly missed as men’s athletics director.”
In 1973, Coach Broyles’ responsibilities grew as he was named UA director of athletics, a title he balanced with his head coaching duties until 1976 when he retired as Razorback head coach. 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.
“Frank Broyles’ name and legacy are among the greatest in college football,” University of Arkansas System President B. Alan Sugg said. “He has been the UA’s strongest ambassador for athletics and the university as a whole. Coach Broyles has left an indelible mark on all he has experienced in college athletics. He has established a winning tradition for our state and has taken the university to national prominence.”
Stanley Reed, chairman of the UA Board of Trustees, also had high praise for Broyles. “Frank has been a source of inspiration for countless young people, athletes, fans, alumni and citizens across Arkansas. He is a role model for how to do things right. Without question, he has been one of the most successful athletics directors in the history of sports.”
As director of men’s athletics, Broyles oversaw a program that claimed 43 national titles, 57 championships in the now defunct Southwest Conference and 47 Southeastern Conference titles.
“Winning for Coach Broyles is a way of life, and he instills that belief in everyone,” said Jim Lindsey, a trustee and former Razorback letterman. “His ability to motivate and inspire those around him makes him one of the greatest teachers I have known. His leadership and example extend beyond the playing field with his involvement with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Arkansas Athletes Outreach. Men like Coach Broyles are rare, and Arkansas has been fortunate to have him for so long.”
For more than a decade, Broyles has worked tirelessly to create athletic facilities on the UA campus that would give his coaches the best possible advantage to produce winning teams. From Bud Walton Arena, completed in 1993, to the newly renovated 72,000-seat Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Broyles has constructed athletic venues to rival any university in America. His commitment and vision have resulted in constructing several nationally acclaimed facilities including Baum Stadium at George Cole Field, John McDonnell Field and the Fred W. and Mary B. Smith Razorback Golf Center.
“The construction of these world-class athletic facilities is a wonderful example of Coach Broyles’ dedication to the university, and what is equally amazing has been his ability to raise the funds for those facilities,” White said. “All of the improvements made to our athletic facilities have been paid for through private donations without one dollar of tax revenues. Because of his work, every sport has premier facilities—from football, to track, to baseball, to golf, to tennis, and on and on.”
Coach Broyles has garnered prestigious accolades and awards throughout his career. A member of the inaugural class of the UA Sports Hall of Honor, he also was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Broyles was again honored by the National Football Foundation in 2000 as the recipient of the John L. Toner Award for outstanding achievement as an athletic director.
Another remarkable tribute to Coach Broyles was the establishment of an award named in his honor in 1996. Known for his long-standing success with his assistant coaching staffs, the Broyles Award names the country’s top assistant coach. During his coaching tenure, assistants under Broyles who went on to the head coaching ranks have combined to win five Super Bowl titles, five national titles, more than 40 conference championships and more than 2,000 victories.
In 1982, Coach Broyles chaired the “Campaign for Books” at the university, and more than 100,000 volumes were added to the University Libraries. He was co-chair of the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century that raised $1.046 billion for the university and has been a generous personal benefactor to the university’s academic programs. In recent years, Coach Broyles has been active in raising funds for victims of Alzheimer’s disease, which his late wife, Barbara, succumbed to in 2004. Broyles has made numerous appearances in front of both the state legislature and the United States Congress to encourage further research and funding. He also co-authored a book to help families deal with loved ones suffering from the disease. More than 90 thousand books have been distributed in Arkansas and adjacent states at no charge to families. Plans for national distribution of the book are already underway.
“With his announcement this morning, Frank is leaving a legacy that has spanned decades and touched countless lives,” White said. “No one has done more for this university than Frank Broyles, and we are much stronger institution because of his incredible five decades of leadership.”
White has asked Coach Broyles to continue to assist him with university fundraising after his retirement in December. “Coach Broyles can be an invaluable resource in the development program for academics and athletics, and we look forward to continuing to benefit from his expertise,” said White.
Chancellor White said the search for a new director of men’s athletics will begin immediately with the hope of facilitating a seamless transition.