College football has lost yet another all-time coach. Former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles died Monday at the age of 92. Broyles had been suffering from Alzheimer's, an illness that also took his wife in 2004.
The legendary coach was hired by Arkansas in December 1957. He coached in Fayetteville until 1976, winning a national championship in 1964. Broyles went 144-58-5 with the Razorbacks and won seven Southwest Conference titles. In all, he spent 57 total years working at Arkansas, also serving as athletic director and a fundraiser.
"We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who helped contribute to his charmed life. Whether you were one of his players, coaches, colleagues or friends, a Razorback fan or fellow caregiver, you were an integral part of his fairy tale story. To his family, he was quite simply, our hero," a statement from the Broyles family read.
"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," said Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long. "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."
Current Arkansas coach Bret Bielema commented on Twitter.
Few men have the vision & strength to guide so many. Coach Broyles is the standard of Arkansas leadership & all of College Football #WPS— Bret Bielema (@BretBielema) August 14, 2017
Born in 1924, Broyles played college football at Georgia Tech and served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-46. He spent his assistant coaching years at his alma mater as well as Baylor and Florida. He was Missouri's coach for one season in 1957, going 5-4-1.
"Frank Broyles made a lifelong impact on thousands of Arkansas student-athletes and millions of fans an alumni, all who knew him as Coach Broyles, while positively altering the course of the University of Arkansas and the entire state of Arkansas," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. "He fostered a unique loyalty to Arkansas athletics and promoted the Razorback brand nationwide. As the Razorbacks athletics director, he played a significant role in the history of the Southeastern Conference when he guided the transition of Arkansas to the SEC. He was a man of significant accomplishment who charted the course of a preeminent college athletics program for more than five decades and his legacy will continue to impact the University of Arkansas, the SEC and all of college athletics for many years to come."
In 1996, the Broyles Award was created in his name to recognize college football's top assistant coach. In 2007, the field at Arkansas' Razorback Stadium was renamed Frank Broyles Field. In 2017, a statue of Broyles was placed in front of the school's athletic center.
It is, in short, hard to imagine many coaches who had a greater impact on a single program than Broyles did at Arkansas.