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. Arkansas fans miss the rivalry with Texas. As people have talked to me, 'Remember this game in the Southwest Conference?' It's always Texas. No one ever said 'Remember that Rice game, remember that Baylor game or that SMU game?' Every game that anybody's ever mentioned to me in the last 15 years, it's always been Texas. Everybody that plays Texas has a rivalry with 'em. Darrell Royal used to say to me, 'We've got eight schools that hate us, eight groups of fans that hate us.' But that's an enviable position to be in, to be that good and that powerful. It's been hard to establish a rivalry in the Southeastern Conference. You can't establish a rivalry overnight. They've got their own rivalries when you come in, and you're kind of an outsider looking in. But they have enough success with their football teams that our fans are excited. It's not like playing Texas. It's not. But it's still tough. My wife came down with Alzheimer's, and my family and I were the caregivers. We kept her at home the five years she had the disease. And I'm trying to help caregivers. We've written a book, "Coach Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers: A Practical Tips Guide." It's free, and it helps you in the early, middle and late stages. That's something I wanted to do to honor my wife. And I'm working hard to try to find enough money for research to find a cure. A passion is an intense emotion that compels action. Well, when you go through it as a caregiver, you have a passion to help others, you have a passion to find a cure, and so that compels action. I'll be 82 in December. but I don't have retirement plans. There's a book out by Dr. Paul Nussbaum in Pittsburgh, "Brain Health and Wellness." He said the retirement age ought to be 92. And so that's what I'm saying -- 92. That's when we ought to have retirement age, or you ought to consider it at that time.
NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.