FAYETTEVILLE — When Arkansas takes the field on Thursday night for its football season opener against Florida A&M, each player will be sporting a tribute to former head football coach and athletics director Frank Broyles.
Within the classic Razorback on the side of Arkansas’ helmets will be the initials JFB, for John Franklin Broyles. The special tribute will be included on the helmet for the Florida A&M game, the first since Coach Broyles, 92, died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, on August 14, 2017.
For each of the remaining football games during the 2017 season, a special helmet decal will adorn the Razorback helmet. The decal shows the signature profile of Coach Broyles with a football headset and the initials JFB.
“Coach Frank Broyles was an icon in the world of intercollegiate athletics, broadcasting and a leader in the advocacy for Alzheimer’s caregivers,” athletics director Jeff Long said. “But for those in Arkansas, he will always be remembered as a Razorback. As we continue to pay tribute and celebrate his remarkable legacy, we will honor his memory with his initials within the Razorback logo and a season-long decal that will serve as a reminder of the indelible mark he has left on our institution, our state and the entire Razorback nation.”
“As we start the 2017 football season, we carry on our hearts and our minds the passing of Coach Broyles,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. “We will do everything we can to honor his legacy both on and off the field at the University of Arkansas, within our football program and in the world of college football.”
Broyles spent more than five decades as the head football coach and then the athletics director at the University of Arkansas. In 19 seasons (1958-76) as the Razorbacks’ head football coach, Broyles amassed a record of 144-58-5, seven Southwest Conference (SWC) titles, 10 bowl bids, 20 All-Americans and 88 All-SWC selections. In 1964, Broyles led the Razorback football team to an undefeated season that culminated in a 10-7 win over Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.
During his 33½ years as men’s athletic director (1976-2007), Broyles transformed the Razorbacks from a program competitive primarily in football to one of the most successful all-sports programs in the nation. His vision and leadership was the driving force behind the University of Arkansas moving to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1990.
Arkansas won 43 national titles, 57 SWC titles, and 48 SEC titles, and the football team went to 22 bowl games during his tenure as athletic director.