FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebration of its 1964 national championship, Razorback Athletics has announced plans to erect a monument in tribute to the University of Arkansas’ 1964 football team while honoring the legacy of the Razorback, one of the most iconic mascots in all of sports.
The “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument will consist of six Razorbacks, accented by custom lighting and a water feature. The bronze monument would be placed along Razorback Road on the northwest corner of the lawn of the Fred W. Smith Football Center, just south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The full monument will be approximately 20 feet high and 30 feet wide.
A timeline for construction will be based on the raising of private support given specifically to the “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument.
In 1909, Arkansas head football coach Hugo Bezdek spoke to a gathering of fans at the Fayetteville train station after the football team returned from a win over LSU in Memphis. Coach Bezdek proclaimed that his team played “like a band of razorback hogs.” The nickname took and in 1910, University of Arkansas students formally adopted the Razorbacks as the official school mascot.
On Thursday night, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long unveiled a bronze maquette model of the monument to more than 70 members of the 1964 national championship team. The 1964 Razorbacks recorded an 11-0 season, culminated by a 10-7 win over Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl. Arkansas finished as the only undefeated team in the nation that season and was awarded the national championship by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Helms Foundation.
“We look forward to honoring our 1964 national championship team with a monument befitting their accomplishments and the tremendous tradition of the Arkansas Razorbacks,” Long said. “The monument will serve as a lasting tribute to the legacy of this special team while providing a focal point on the western edge of the University of Arkansas campus. Our hope is that Razorback fans will join with us with their support to make this truly magnificent monument a reality for all to enjoy.”
Designed as a complete work of art, the monument includes six Razorbacks representing individual characteristics indicative of the University of Arkansas and the Razorback Nation.
Passion – Passion is exhibited every day by the unbridled enthusiasm and unwavering support displayed by players, coaches, fans around the state and throughout the world.
Courage – Whether facing seemingly insurmountable odds on the field, in life, or willfully taking on challenges as individuals, teams or collectively as Arkansans, Razorbacks display an uncommon determination to proceed without fear.
Victory – Our No. 1 goal, it represents the ultimate accomplishment in all aspects of the Razorback experience. It can be achieved through wins, championships, individual and team accomplishments, graduation, personal growth and the positive impact on society.
Integrity – Above all else – it defines who we are not simply what we have accomplished. Representing more than ourselves, Razorbacks embody the fullness of character and help demonstrate the promise of humanity.
Unity – From every corner of the state, across our great nation and to the far reaches of the world, we are unified by the tie that binds from generation to generation. Seamlessly blending passionate fans of an athletic program, the students and faculty of the state’s flagship university and the citizens of our state, the Razorback serves as a point of pride for all native and new Arkansans.
Relentless – So eloquently captured by the words of our fight song, Razorbacks display a Never Yielding pursuit of excellence. That unwavering drive not only inspires our continued commitment, it embodies the very fabric of who we are.
The monument was designed by master sculptor Dick Idol. Idol says that when completed the “Wild Band of Razorbacks” monument will be “the finest mascot based sculpture in North America.”