FAYETTEVILLE — Frank Broyles’ run as either Arkansas’ football coach or athletic director ended when he stepped down from his position on Dec. 31, 2007.
But the man who was at the forefront of Razorback athletics for roughly 50 years never truly retired, continuing to hold office hours at the Razorback Foundation in his new role as athletic director emeritus. That’s changing next month.
The 89-year-old Broyles will officially “retire” when his agreement with the Razorback Foundation ends on June 30, wrapping up his 55-year association with Arkansas. So the Frank and Barbara Broyles Foundation Care Givers United has planned a weekend celebration to honor the patriarch of Arkansas athletics.
“He has such a love for the state of Arkansas and the Arkansas Razorbacks,” Broyles’ daughter, Betsy Broyles Arnold, said. “We wanted to do this for him. It will probably be the last thing so we’re just excited to be able to have it for him.”
The celebration weekend will begin with a luncheon and golf scramble at 11:30 a.m. at Paradise Valley Golf and Athletic Club in Fayetteville. Arnold said Dallas Cowboys owner and former Razorback Jerry Jones will be the guest speaker.
There also will be a special tribute dinner held the next night at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. The event, which is being called “Coach’s Quarter,” will celebrate the life and career of Broyles. Arnold said Barry Switzer, Johnny Majors, Houston Nutt and Bill Montgomery are all scheduled to participate in the weekend.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Broyles Foundation, which was founded by Broyles in 2006 to help families learn how to care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Broyles’ wife, Barbara, died of Alzheimer’s complications in 2004.
More information for the weekend celebration is available by calling 501-680-6169.
“We’re just going to take the opportunity to have a retirement party for him,” Arnold said. “We’re going to celebrate the four quarters of his life.”
In addition to the weekend celebration, the Razorback Foundation also will celebrate Broyles retirement with a public event scheduled June 27.
The Razorback Foundation, which is located next to Baum Stadium, will hold an open house for both Broyles and Donita Ritchie, his long-time assistant, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and no reservation is required.
“He went to the office every day,” Arnold said about her father’s work at the Razorback Foundation since stepping down as athletic director. “He did whatever they wanted him to do. So this is his official retirement. This is really it.”
Small Signs in Seattle
Former Arkansas fullback Kiero Small signed with the Seattle Seahawks last week.
The Super Bowl champions selected Smith in the seventh round of the NFL Draft earlier this month. He was the fourth and final Razorback selected. The terms of his contract with the Seahawks were not available.
The 5-foot-8, 250-pound Small rushed for 151 yards, had 128 receiving yards and scored four touchdowns last season.
“He’s a total thumper, man,” Seattle general manager John Schneider said after selecting Small in the draft, according to Seahawks.com. “He’s super tough, plays really low, digs guys out. He’s seriously tough.”
Horton With Titans
Arkansas receiver Julian Horton was among 20 players who were invited to a tryout with the Tennessee Titans during the team’s rookie mini-camp.
Horton is among four Razorbacks who are undrafted free agents in camps this weekend, joining defensive tackle Robert Thomas (Washington), offensive tackle David Hurd (Miami Dolphins) and wide receiver Javontee Herndon (San Diego).
They joined the four drafted Razorbacks – Small, center Travis Swanson (Detroit), defensive end Chris Smith (Jacksonville) and kicker Zach Hocker (Washington) — in rookie mini-camps a week after the 2014 NFL Draft.