WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) paid tribute to legendary Arkansas football coach Frank Broyles on the Senate floor.
Coach Broyles devoted his life to the University of Arkansas, serving as head football coach and longtime athletic director who helped turn the school into a sports powerhouse. He passed away last month at the age of 92.
“He made a tremendous mark on the lives of so many student-athletes during his years as a coach, athletic director and all-around ambassador for the University of Arkansas and our state,” Boozman said during a speech on the Senate floor.
The following are Boozman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to legendary University of Arkansas football coach Frank Broyles who passed away August 14th at the age of 92. He spent his life in service to the university, its student-athletes and our great state.
I was fortunate to have been recruited by and played for Coach Broyles as an offensive tackle in the late 1960s. For a kid from Arkansas this was a dream come true.
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.
He was an icon in Arkansas and a legend in collegiate athletics.
As head coach of the Razorback football team from 1958 to 1976, he turned the school’s program into a national powerhouse. During his tenure, Coach Broyles led the Razorbacks to seven Southwest Conference titles and a Football Association of America National Championship.
Coach Broyles had tremendous charisma and had a remarkable ability to attract and develop talent – both players and coaches.
He wasn’t afraid to seek out talent to support him and he had an innate ability to see the strengths in people. He would turn them loose to use those strengths to help the team, and those individuals, succeed. His recipe was to get great people around him to help the program win while helping those individuals get to where they wanted to be in their own professional careers.
The roster of assistants under Coach Broyles reads like a list of Who’s Who in NFL and college football. Great coaches such as Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Johnny Majors, Joe Gibbs and Raymond Berry were once Broyles assistants.
His legacy of producing great assistant coaches is recognized in an award named in his honor to recognize college football assistant coaches for the work they do. Since 1996, the Broyles Award has been given annually to the top assistant coach in college football.
Frank Broyles’ impact on the University of Arkansas went well beyond the football field. He implemented his vision for Arkansas athletics as the Athletic Director for more than three decades, helping the university’s men’s programs win 43 national championships during his tenure. When he retired from that position in 2007, he continued his devotion to the University of Arkansas working as a fundraiser at the Razorback Foundation.
Coach Broyles used his notoriety for his most important mission which he undertook in his later years.
He became a passionate advocate for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and educating Americans on caring for loved ones suffering from this disease when his wife Barbara lost her battle with Alzheimer’s in 2004.
He shared the experience of his family as caregivers to his beloved Barbara across Arkansas and brought his story to Capitol Hill where he encouraged lawmakers to be passionate about Alzheimer’s so we can find a cure. He told members they need to turn that compassion into passion to make a difference.
Coach Broyles spent his final years showing his passion for fighting Alzheimer’s and helping other families touched by the disease.
When his family was learning the best way to care for Barbara, they found there were limited resources available to caregivers looking for assistance. That’s one of the reasons they created the Broyles Foundation and were inspired to share what they had learned in caring for Barbara to help other caregivers. The culmination of that effort was a book, “Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers,” which has been translated into 11 languages and distributed across the country.
After years of advocacy on behalf of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their families, the disease that he fought so passionately to find a cure for, ultimately took his life as well.
One of the best ways we can honor Coach Broyles’ legacy is by continuing to fund research in search of a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Coach Broyles brought the same energy to fighting Alzheimer’s that he brought to college football and his work on behalf of the University of Arkansas on and off the field.
He made a tremendous mark on the lives of so many student-athletes during his years as a coach, athletic director and all-around ambassador for the University of Arkansas and our state.
I was one of the many who learned from the example Coach Broyles set. His leadership, faith and ability to attract talent and utilize it make our state a better place has been a tremendous influence on me.
I will be forever proud to be a Razorback and to have had the opportunity to play for 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, but we are so much better for what he gave us.
Press release – Senator Boozman’s Office