Former Arkansas and Missouri head coach Frank Broyles has been named the recipient of the AFCA’s 2018 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award. The award is given to those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests in football,” and will be presented, posthumously, to Broyles at the American Football Coaches Awards show on January 9 during the 2018 AFCA Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
After playing quarterback at Georgia Tech under legendary head coach Bobby Dodd, and earning Southeastern Conference (SEC) Player of the Year honors, Broyles began his coaching career in 1947 as an assistant coach at Baylor. He would spend three years with the Bears before following head coach Bob Woodruff to Florida. After one season with the Gators, Broyles returned to Georgia Tech in 1951 to serve as offensive coordinator under Coach Dodd. Broyles assisted his former head coach for six seasons before landing his first head coaching job at Missouri. He guided the Tigers to a 5-4-1 record and a tie for third place in the Big Seven Conference in his only season at Missouri.
In 1958, Broyles landed the head coaching job at Arkansas, a place he would never leave. During his 19 years, Broyles turned the Razorbacks into a national power in college football. In only his second season, Broyles led Arkansas to 9-2 record, a share of the Southwest Conference (SWC) title and a win in the Gator Bowl. The Razorbacks added two more SWC titles in 1960 and 1961.
Broyles greatest year came in 1964 when he guided Arkansas to an 11-0 record, his fourth SWC title and a 10-7 win over Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl Classic to earn the national championship. He was named AFCA National and Regional Coach of the Year for his efforts that season. Broyles would lead Arkansas to three more SWC titles and earn three more AFCA Regional Coach of the Year honors during his tenure as head coach.
Broyles retired from coaching after the 1976 season, finishing with an overall record of 149-62-6 with 10 bowl game appearances. He still holds the Arkansas record for most victories by a head coach with 144. Before he stepped down from coaching, Broyles was named athletic director at Arkansas in 1973. He continued that post until 2007, overseeing 43 national championships, 57 SWC titles and 48 SEC championships. Broyles was instrumental in Arkansas leaving the Southwest Conference for the Southeastern Conference in 1990.
From 1977 to 1985, Broyles served as the primary color commentator for ABC Sports coverage of college football, normally alongside play-by-play man Keith Jackson. His distinct Georgian accent was easily recognizable to college football fans across the country, and he focused his commentary on the play calling and strategy of the coaches on the sidelines.
Broyles’ legacy as a great football coach and mentor is evident from his many former players and assistants who would go on to serve as head coaches themselves. Over 30 of his former players or assistants would go on to great coaching careers, including Barry Switzer, Johnny Majors, Joe Gibbs, Hayden Fry and Jimmy Johnson. The Broyles Award, which was established in 1996 to honor the former Arkansas head coach, goes to the top FBS assistant coach each year.
Broyles was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and is also a member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame, the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame, the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame, the SWC Hall of Fame and the State of Georgia Hall of Fame among others.
Broyles served on the AFCA Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1970, serving the association as president in his final year. He was honored by the National Football Foundation as the 2000 recipient of the John L. Toner Award for outstanding achievement as an athletic director and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette named him the most influential figure in athletics in the state during the 20th century. In 2007, the field at Razorback Stadium was dedicated as Frank Broyles Field.