Quinn Grovey was one of the most exciting signal callers in UA history and over 20 years later he’s still a part of the program through radio signals on Saturdays in the fall.
Grovey, who grew up in Duncan, Okla., was a was a high school standout and was named the player of the year in Oklahoma his senior season when he rushed for 700 yards and passed for 900 despite missing two games. He led his teams to records of 12-2, 14-0 and 9-4 and two state championships. Grovey had his choice of colleges, but narrowed his selection to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
“It was a tough decision for me because I was coming from Oklahoma,” said Grovey. “I felt like Arkansas was home because of the coaches, players and facilities. Looking back on my decision now, I would make the same choice 10 out of 10 times.”
When Grovey came to Arkansas, he redshirted as a true freshman before starting three games at quarterback in 1987 as a backup to Greg Thomas. During the 1987 season, he led the Southwest Conference in completion percentage (61.3) and his efficiency rating was second (126.1). He finished the year completing 38-of-62 passes for 495 yards.
In the 1988 season, he took over as the starter and was a consensus All-SWC selection after leading the league in several categories. He passed for 966 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 515 and seven touchdowns.
In 1989, he finished second in all-SWC voting to Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware of Houston. The matchup against Houston during the 1989 season was one of the most memorable games for Grovey. Arkansas had lost to Texas the week before and needed to win to keep its conference championship hopes alive. Houston entered the game after defeating SMU, 95-21. In the contest, Grovey accounted for five touchdowns, which still is tied for the second-highest single-game total ever by a Razorback. Grovey led Arkansas to a 45-39 victory and finished with 79 rushing yards and three touchdowns and was 11-of-14 passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns.
“It is still one of the games I remember best,” Grovey said. “We had to get it to get to our goal of getting to the Cotton Bowl and we did it on a tough stage. It was something we really had to come together for.”
Grovey led the Razorbacks to back-to-back Southwest Conference titles in 1988 and 1989. He is the only Arkansas quarterback to guide the Razorbacks to multiple Cotton Bowl berths. He was a four-year letterwinner from 1987-89 and a three-year starter. He passed for 4,496 yards and rushed for 1,746. He has been named to the Arkansas All-Century Team and his name appears multiple times in the Arkansas record books.
“It means an awful lot to come to a fine university and find yourself in the record books,” Grovey said. “It is humbling because you know how important it is to the fans of Arkansas. I take pride in it for that.”
Following his collegiate career, Grovey briefly played in the Canadian Football League. Today he is living in northwest Arkansas with his wife (Stacy) and stepchild (Kelsey). He came back to the region in 1994 for a job in the corporate office at Wal-Mart and left the organization for his current position as divisional human resources manager at Home Depot.
“What I learned in football helps me in my job today,” said Grovey. “My position encompasses a lot of different issues. In football, I learned how to be a leader and deal with different people. I also learned how to have tough conversations when things aren’t going right. I understand how to put people in the right place and that if you are going to be successful at anything you have to do it together.
The 2008 season was the 11th for Grovey with the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network where he co-hosts the football pre-game and post-game shows and provides insight as the in-game commentator for the sideline reports.
“For me being able to do the radio is an awesome blessing,” said Grovey. “I think you are starting to see a change in the game with NFL coaches coming in and bringing their schemes. The game is much different with the changes in size and speed. I’m happy I played when I did and not today, it is probably much safer for me to be on the sidelines.”
Grovey’s name has been a part of the program since the mid-1980s and today his career on and off the field serves as a guide to Arkansas’ current athletes while his excitement for the future shows.
“If you do what you are supposed to do with all the prestigious alumni and companies that are in the area you really have a great opportunity for your future,” said Grovey. “With the fan support here you have the chance to brand your name and that goes along way after school. I feel great about this program. Coach Petrino and his staff have done a great job and you can see with the things they are trying to do that they know what they are doing. It will be a matter of time before it really starts to come together.”
Grovey by the Numbers
The chart below shows where many of Quinn Grovey’s final numbers currently rank in the Arkansas record book:5 touchdowns responsible for vs. Houston, 1989 – T2nd6.38 average yards per play in a career – 2nd (min. 500 plays)18 touchdown passes in 1990 – T3rd21 career rushing touchdowns – 11th23 touchdowns responsible for in 1990 – 3rd