FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former University of Arkansas head baseball coach and Razorback Foundation Interim Executive Director Norm DeBriyn will participate in the “A” Walk of Honor on Friday prior to Arkansas’ football game against Missouri at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
DeBriyn will retire from the Razorback Foundation on January 8, 2016. DeBriyn joined the Razorback Foundation in 2002 after 33 seasons as the head baseball coach at the University of Arkansas.
“As he nears the completion of more than four decades with the University of Arkansas and the Razorback Foundation, it is our privilege to honor Coach Norm DeBriyn with this special recognition,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “From a hall of fame coach to a dedicated administrator, Coach DeBriyn has always been one of our program’s finest ambassadors. His impact on our baseball program is unmistakable. Although often working behind the scenes, his tireless efforts with the Razorback Foundation has been instrumental in the continued growth in the support of all Razorback student-athletes. We are appreciative of his dedicated service and look forward to honoring him on Friday.”
DeBriyn has been associated with the Razorback program for more than 45 years, including 33 years as a coach and 12 years with the Razorback Foundation. Hired as the head baseball coach in 1970, DeBriyn guided the Razorbacks to two Southwest Conference titles, one Southeastern Conference title, one SEC Western Division title, 15 NCAA Tournament appearances and four NCAA College World Series appearances. The Razorbacks had their best national finish in school history under DeBriyn in 1979 as they finished runner-up in the College World Series.
Upon his retirement following the 2002 season, DeBriyn ranked 14th all-time in career wins among NCAA Division I head coaches with a record of 1,161-650-6 and a career winning percentage of .641. He currently ranks as the UA’s all-time victories leader. As a head coach, DeBriyn coached 19 All-America selections, six Freshman All-Americans, 58 All-Conference selections and 48 All-Conference Tournament selections. DeBriyn was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1999 and SWC Coach of the Year in 1978, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989 and 1990.
He has been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor, the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Hall of Fame and the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2014, he was presented the Lefty Gomez Award, one of the most prestigious awards in all of amateur baseball, by the ABCA. Named after the great Lefty Gomez, the award is presented by the ABCA each year to an individual who has distinguished himself amongst his peers and has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally and internationally.
“Running through the A” is one of the Razorbacks’ most storied football traditions. While “Running through the A” is a tradition reserved only for members of the Razorback football team, Razorback Athletics created a program in 2010 to honor those individuals or groups who have played a significant role in the support of Razorback Athletics.
Honorees are invited to participate in this unique pre-game experience and are recognized on the video board and over the public address system as they walk through the “A” formed by the Razorback Marching Band. After completing the walk, honorees help complete the “A” before welcoming the Arkansas Razorback football team on the field just prior to kickoff.
Previous honorees have included members of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, former Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles, the Jerry and Gene Jones family, Dave and Jane Gearhart, the Willard and Pat Walker family, Bob and Marilyn Bogle, Tommy May, Boyce Billingsley and Rick Massey.