Nate Allen is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Allen is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has authored three books about the Razorbacks.
There will always be a place for Broyles
Frank Broyles, surrounded by his family, calls the hogs to close the evening during the 'Coach's Quarter: A Celebration of Coach Broyles' Life and Career' banquet at the John Q Hammons Center in Rogers on Saturday June 7, 2014.
FAYETTEVILLE -- On July 1 Frank Broyles, for the first time since 1957, can't report to a Razorbacks-related office.
He will still have a place to go. A very important place.
After Broyles retires June 30 as the University of Arkansas' athletic director emeritus, the former Razorbacks football coach (1958-76) and athletic director (1973-2007) will report to Caregivers United, said Donita Ritchie, his secretary of 35 years who also is retiring.
Caregivers United is the organization that Broyles and his daughter Betsy Broyles Arnold -- the organization's day-to-day chief executive who is assisted by her daughter, Molly Arnold Gay -- co-founded to provide aid, advice, encouragement and hope to Alzheimer's caregivers.
Barbara Broyles, Frank's wife and mother of their six children, died in 2004 at home four years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Frank and daughters Betsy and Linda were her primary caregivers.
Frank Broyles was visibly identified with many charities and fund-raisers, both for UA academics and athletics, but Houston Nutt -- who was signed by Broyles as a quarterback in 1976 and hired by Broyles to coach the Razorbacks from 1998-2007 -- said Broyles also quietly assisted former Razorbacks who graduated long after their graduations could count in the Razorbacks' graduation rates.
"Here is what you don't see," Nutt said. "The calls like this: 'Coach Broyles, I only need nine hours to graduate, and I know I haven't gone to school in eight years.' 'Come on. Go to class. We'll pay for it. Come on.'
"And he did it over and over and over again."
A MIZZOU MOMENT
No doubt there are still backers of the University of Missouri who can recite the late St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports editor Bob Broeg's column that Frank Broyles "fled in the night" to Arkansas in December 1957 after only one year as Mizzou's head coach.
But Russ Sloan, a Missouri Tiger under three coaches (Don Faurot, Broyles and Dan Devine), said at last Saturday's tribute that Broyles' Mizzou tenure "shows the impact one man can make in one year."
"Coach, you recruited the greatest freshman class that the University of Missouri ever had," Sloan said. "Three years later [Devine's 10-1 Orange Bowl champions of 1960] they were one play from winning the national championship."
Sloan noted that from Broyles' first Mizzou spring practice through his final game that only tackle Merv Johnson ran first team start to finish.
Johnson, who also attended last weekend's tributes, came with Broyles to Arkansas as a graduate assistant in 1958. He established an offensive line coaching career that ought to merit lifetime achievement recognition linked to the Broyles Award, which annually honors an outstanding assistant coach.
In 38 years that included assisting Broyles at Arkansas, Devine at Missouri and Notre Dame and Barry Switzer and Bob Stoops during portions of their Oklahoma Sooners tenures, Johnson contributed to four national championship teams -- one each for Broyles at Arkansas and Devine at Notre Dame and one each for Switzer and Stoops at Oklahoma.
Those four coaches who Johnson assisted had a combined record 634-182-18.
Sports on 06/14/2014