Not quite 50 years ago, Frank Broyles arrived in the Ozarks, an interloper from Georgia. Today, Broyles is perhaps the most well-known, influential Arkansas figure this side of Bill Clinton. From 1958-76, Broyles produced seven Southwest Conference championships and Arkansas' only foothall national lifle. But Broyles' accomplishments as Arkansas' athletic director migM be more impressive. His vision and fund-raising skills have produced state-of-the-art facilities to rival any other school's. And Broyles' decision to move Arkansas to the Southeastern Conference ultimately led to the break-up of the Southwest Conference and the formation of the Big 12. At 81, Broyles has no retirement plans. In Oklahoma City recently to speak at a fund-raiser for the Central Oklahoma Alzheimer's Association, Broyles took some time to share some of his collected wisdom.
Since I started, college athletics has changed a lot. Better athletes, better coaches. More fans. Larger stadiums. Everything you can imagine has grown. I don't see it slowing down, either. There are cycles. We go through them. We run the ball a little bit more and then we pass a little bit more. And the defense catches up with that and the offense makes adjustments. What goes around comes around. I see a lot more formations than we've had in the past. One flanker was a lot in my day. Now there's no back, or one quarterback and one running back. It puts a lot of stress on the defense. The offenses, I think, are doing the best job right now. The defenses are gonna catch up, but they have a ways to go. Everything that has happened at Arkansas has happened because of the fans. I just used the passion for the Razorback program to help us build our facilities and to build our program. The great thing is, the fans of Arkansas have a passion for their team. They don't just support 'em, they have a passion for 'em. In most places I've been, people say 'I'm looking forward to football season.' In Arkansas, they say 'I can't wait until football season,' and that's the difference. That's why the job there is so pleasant and why it's so much fun to do. It's similar in Oklahoma, absolutely. But they've got Oklahoma State. And we don't have one like Oklahoma State we have to play every year. I don't have second thoughts about moving to the Southeastern Conference, not at all. I don't believe there would have been a Big 12. From what I've talked to people in Texas, they think if we hadn't moved out, the Southwest Conference would still be like it was. They wouldn't have had the ability to break up the conference if we hadn't moved out.
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