Passing of Frank Broyles: Reaction

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Reaction to the Monday passing of legendary Arkansas Razorbacks coach Frank Broyles is coming in from across the state and the nation.

Just less than a month ago it was announced that the long-serving U of A athletic director, who retired in 2007, was in failing health.

University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long:

“The Razorback Family has lost its patriarch and Arkansas has lost one of its most beloved figures. Coach Frank Broyles was a legendary coach, athletics director, broadcaster and a tireless advocate for those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. In his more than 50 years of service to the University of Arkansas and intercollegiate athletics, his vision and leadership allowed the Razorback program to flourish and in turn enrich the lives of thousands of young men. In the process, he brought unprecedented national attention to Arkansas. His passion for the Razorbacks was infectious, his spirit was indomitable and his vision helped transform a program, a university and an entire state. His legacy in our state is unmatched.

“I will forever be grateful for the generosity, graciousness and unwavering support he extended to me when I came to the University of Arkansas. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Razorback nation are with his wife Gen, his children and the entire Broyles Family.”   

Razorback Football Coach Bret Bielema:

"Few men have the vision & strength to guide so many. Coach Broyles is the standard of Arkansas leadership & all of College Football #WPS"

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR):

“Outside of family, the people who had the greatest influences on my life were my coaches and teachers. Perhaps none more so than Frank Broyles.

Coach Broyles was larger than life, always doing what he thought was best for the University of Arkansas. As a coach and longtime athletic director for the university, his devotion to the school, and the young men and women who attended it, helped put young Arkansans on a path to success while turning the University of Arkansas into a sports powerhouse. In his later years, his passionate advocacy on behalf of those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease raised awareness for the devastating impact it has on those affected and their caregivers, as well as funding for research.  

I will be forever proud to be a Razorback and to have had the opportunity to be one under Coach Broyles.

Coach Broyles was fond of saying there are two types of people in this world: givers and takers. Live your life as a giver, not a taker. We lost a giver today, but we are so much better for what he gave us.”

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR): 

“Today, college football lost one of the greats. Few people could match Frank Broyles’s dedication to the University of Arkansas: 57 years of devoted, distinguished service. In that time, he not only led teams to multiple Southwest Conference titles and a national championship; he also built an athletic department that was the envy of the South. Everyone involved in Arkansas athletics today owes him a huge debt of gratitude. I join Razorback fans in extending my deepest condolences to the Broyles family and the University of Arkansas.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson:

“This is a day we knew would come, but it is still a great loss to learn of the passing of Coach Broyles. My first memory of Frank was cheering on the Hogs with my dad, but that was just part of his great legacy. He was an Arkansas treasure who devoted his life to others—from student-athletes to his support of Alzheimer’s research. He was an example for young people to follow, and that alone reflects a life well lived.”

Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin:  

"Arkansas lost a legend today, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Broyles family during this difficult time. I first met Coach Broyles in 2005 when he was raising money for Alzheimer's research, and over the years I had the honor of spending some limited but meaningful time with him. He was the consummate gentleman and kind. Coach Broyles was a visionary, a leader, a champion, and a tireless fighter for Alzheimer's research. His imprint on Arkansas is deep, wide, and indelible."

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on the passing of Frank Broyles: 

"As a University of Arkansas alumnus, I understand fully the tremendous impact Coach Frank Broyles had on Razorback athletics and our state. The legacy he leaves behind, his devotion to Razorback fans everywhere and the  countless lives of young men and women he touched along the way are things that make us all proud. Heaven will have no louder cheerleader for the Razorbacks than Coach Broyles. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family and the University of Arkansas community. WPS!"

Jerry Jones, player on 1964 Arkansas national championship team; Dallas Cowboys President and General Manager; NFL Hall of Famer

“This is an immeasurable loss of a man whose personality and presence touched millions of athletes, students, coaches and fans for more than seven decades—a man whose spirit and impact on lives will continue to be felt for generations to come.

Coach Broyles was a life changing influence for me both from a personal and professional perspective.

“He taught me, and he taught all of his players, how to be prepared for the fourth quarter, both on the field and in life. He then displayed to all of us how to handle that fourth quarter with the care and devotion he so lovingly provided for his wife Barbara as she faced Alzheimer’s in her final years.”

“He was the singular most important man of sports in the history of the State of Arkansas, and his impact on the game of football across our country was just as significant.

As a coaching innovator, he introduced the I formation to the game. He brought mathematical concepts to the strategy of football by always looking for numerical advantages in blocking schemes. He also artfully shaped the early careers of so many assistant coaches who moved on to build successful programs of their own as head coaches.

The Frank Broyles Award is so aptly named, because no one knew how to identify and develop quality assistant coaches better than Coach Broyles. To mention just a few, men such as Barry Switzer, Johnny Majors, Jimmy Johnson, Fred Akers, and Doug Dickey all benefited from his teachings and talent.”

“He was a man with a wonderful mind and a charming personality to match. He combined those gifts to become a game-changing ambassador for college football, sharing his insight and wisdom with millions of viewers on ABC’s Saturday afternoon games. He did so with a common and colorful touch that could reach and educate all fans—regardless of the level of their own personal knowledge of the sport. His voice and his presence on television made a huge contribution to the growth and popularity of our sports on the college level.”

“As an athletic director, he was a visionary, a pioneer, and a leader among his peers.

He first developed the concept of priority seating for football and basketball games, based upon financial donations to the program. That sent collegiate athletics onto the path of being self-sustainable, and capable of subsidizing all of the athletic teams at a major university.”

“Outside of my father, Frank Broyles was the most influential man in my life. My thoughts and sincere best wishes are with his family today, and our loss, is shared by millions.

Coach Broyles’ name, his legacy, and spirit will continue to guide and grow collegiate athletics in this country for as long as young men and women aspire to compete and prosper from all of the virtues and life lessons that athletic competition provides.”

Statement from President Clinton:


"I got to know Frank Broyles well in late 1977, his first year as athletic director for the University of Arkansas and my first year as attorney general, when I represented him and Coach Holtz in the well-known and controversial Orange Bowl case which culminated in one of the greatest victories in Arkansas football history. I worked with him throughout my tenure as governor, and we kept in touch afterward. He was a leader of character, intelligence, and determination, and on his watch Arkansas became a leader in many sports. A big part of his legacy came later in his efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer's and his support for families struggling with it, including his work with the US Senate special committee on Alzheimer's which Hillary helped to form. I’ll always be grateful to have known him and called him my friend."

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