Release of film great way to honor Frank Broyles

Posted: August 12, 2018 at 3:15 a.m.

A statue of Frank Broyles is shown on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

It will be an iconic Tuesday. It is Frank Broyles Day in the state of Arkansas.

One year ago this Tuesday, the man who spent more than half a century at the University of Arkansas as head football coach and athletic director passed away. He was 92.

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Even though UA Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek had never been to Arkansas before his hiring in December, he has nothing but respect and admiration for the man he has heard so much about.

"Frank Broyles is one of the true iconic figures in the history of Arkansas and intercollegiate athletics," Yurachek said in a statement. "His passion for this program, this state and the Razorbacks was truly remarkable."

To commemorate the day set aside to honor a life dedicated to the UA, the athletic department has commissioned a 14-minute film about the life and legacy of Broyles.

Frank Broyles, Arkansas Legend is a work of love and respect from the men who wrote and produced the film that won a Broadcast Education Association Festival King Foundation Award in April.

It was written by Larry Foley, professor and chairman of the UA School of Journalism. Scott Bull, who played quarterback for Broyles, narrates the film. Kevin Trainor, UA senior associate athlete director for public relations, was the executive producer.

It was produced and edited by Jim Borden, who by all accounts found some amazing footage of Broyles.

The film will debut on the UA's website Tuesday, but it likely will be available on numerous sites within days.

Broyles was one of a kind. When he came to the UA it was a small land-grant school isolated in the Boston Mountains. Where others saw small roads and mountains, Broyles saw potential.

He became a power player in the Southwest Conference and the SEC. In meetings, he was known to take his shoes off, and when he had something to say he would stride up and down the room, commanding attention.

When he appeared before the masses, which he did eloquently and simply, a part of his shirt tail would be out.

He never wanted to be seen as a guy who lived in an ivory tower.

As the UA head coach, he was 144-58-5 and won seven SWC championships while leading the Razorbacks to 10 bowls. In 1964, the Hogs went undefeated and were declared Grantland Rice national champions, an honor recognized by the NCAA.

When he became an administrator, Broyles set out to improve the basketball and baseball programs, hiring Eddie Sutton and Norm DeBriyn. Both laid successful foundations.

In the 1980s, Broyles became a household name when he teamed up with Keith Jackson on ABC's game of the week. He accompanied the basketball team to Japan in 1984, and when returning through Seattle the man in charge of customs recognized Broyles' voice and ushered the entire official party through the process.

He broke racial barriers in 1985 when he hired Nolan Richardson, who won a basketball national championship in 1994.

Broyles built Bud Walton Arena, renovated and enlarged Reynolds Razorback Stadium, made Baum Stadium state of the art, and hired John McDonnell to build a world-class track and field program.

In his later years, he dedicated his life to his beloved first wife Barbara. When she died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, he started the Frank and Barbara Broyles Foundation to educate and prepare caregivers of Alzheimer's patients.

Frank Broyles' legacies are many, and Tuesday will an iconic day.

Sports on 08/12/2018