Former Arkansas head football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles is being honored this weekend for his 55 years of service to the Razorbacks and one of his former players – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones – joined in on the festivities Friday.
Jones gave an impassioned, teary-eyed impromptu speech about Broyles before the start of Friday's inaugural Broyles Golf Tournament at Paradise Valley Country Club in Fayetteville.
"I can judge without equivocation that had I not gotten to come across his path personally, I would not be standing today with the Dallas Cowboys," Jones said. "...The tremendous influence you have had with your exposure to a lot of people with your principals, your professionalism, your enthusiasm, and the kinds of things you wanted to use to help these young men play the great game of football.
"It's a physical game and one you have got to be pretty positive to play and one that is a thinking man's game," Jones added. "There never has been anybody in this sport, not only football but (all of) sports, that approached it from a thinking man's way like Coach Broyles. I get a chance to talk to a lot of coaches that served with him and the first thing that always comes up is his integrity but just as important is his great tactical mind and how he approached winning football games.
"I'll never forget I got the chance to visit with him one time at length with my son, Stephen," Jones continued, "and we rode back on a plane that it's all about numbers, the mathematics of trying to get five on their four and three on their two. That was a unique and forward thinking way on how to beat Texas."
Jones, who has three Super Bowl titles during his time with the Cowboys, was one of many former Razorback players on hand Friday for the tournament with many more expected for a tribute Saturday night at John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers.
Broyles was clearly moved by his tribute and the entire weekend.
"I have great respect for him," Broyles said of Jones. "One thing I appreciate very much is that he's been a great success with character and has run a great program and he hasn't forgotten his ties as a Razorback. He's kept the tie a little bit. Just a little bit. Enough to help us here or there. But the fact he still remains a Razorback, we're very proud of him. Very proud of him."
"I think I can say to you that Coach Broyles, not only as a leader but a man of influence, certainly influenced me relative to anything I got to be a part of," Jones said. "He made me want to somehow some way, backdoor, front door or sideways or otherwise, I wanted sports. And if I could I wanted football some way, somehow. And if I couldn't catch it or throw it or run with it, somehow, some way I wanted to be around it.
"He showed me that world that you can be in the world of young people and be in the world of fans and be in the world of people that have that special thing that sports brings," Jones said. "You can do that with the qualities and the character and enthusiasm that he brought to the table."
Jones not only lauded Broyles for his achievements as a head coach and athletic director, but as a husband and a leader of the Barbara and Frank Broyles Legacy Foundation and its lead program CareGivers United.
Broyles became a caretaker for his late wife when she was battling Alzheimer's and has since started the aforementioned foundation.
He equated it to how Broyles always had his team ready to play the fourth quarter of a game.
"I never dreamed that when he was talking the fourth quarter to us the night before a ballgame in Eureka Springs when he had the team up there and telling us the way it was going to be, I never dreamed that we would be standing here right now in 2014 and him coaching us on how to be in life in the fourth quarter," Jones said. "How to handle the stuff that comes along in life in the fourth quarter.
"And boy did he coach us up," Jones added. "You showed us how to do it. You showed us how to care-give. You showed us what sticking and staying and loving is all about. You showed us what keeping that enthusiasm and that stature of pushing right on through there, that's the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter then, almost peanuts compared to the fourth quarter of the kinds of things that we are talking about.
"I have never been prouder - ever - to have had a little bit of an involvement not only from the day that I had a chance to walk on your football field but from that day to this moment right here," Jones said. "Because you never quit coaching. You never quit showing us. You never quit telling us how to do it, and consequently right on through with your life and Barbara's and how you showed us to care-give with Barbara and said, 'Others need to feel this. Others need to know it.' Basically to step up and get that involved was absolutely a thing of beauty.
"That will be with everybody long, long after these days are gone," Jones said. "And it will be with everybody who didn't put a cleat on, didn't put a helmet on, and with a lot more people. I am really proud of you."
Jones not only praises the Broyles Foundation, but also put his money where his mouth is as he handed a check to Broyles' daughter Betsy.
"Betsy, what we want to do now, the Cowboys, is add to what you are doing here," Jones said. "I had to go back and get it, Gene (his wife) has it, but I brought along a $100,000 check to add to what you are doing."
Broyles was floored by the generosity.
"That's amazing," Broyles said. "I'm just blown (away) because of his great support and loyalty and all. For him to do this, it shows the people what a great person he is. He's a giver and not a taker."
Jerry Jones and Frank Broyles during Friday's impromptu press conference.
Jones Lauds Broyles' Arkansas Legacy
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
9 Hogs change uniform numbersSeveral Arkansas players will have new uniform numbers this spring.
Hawgs Daily8:17 AM
Spring Countdown: CBsWith the Razorbacks closing in on spring football, HawgsDaily is breaking down who we believe Arkansas' starters are at all 22 positions. We'll reveal a portion of the starting…
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 5:21 PM
Arkansas 9, Missouri 2Arkansas snapped Missouri's NCAA-best 20-game winning streak Friday.
Hawgs DailyYesterday at 5:13 PM
Spring Countdown: SafetiesWith the Razorbacks closing in on spring football, HawgsDaily is breaking down who we believe Arkansas' starters are at all 22 positions. We'll reveal a portion of the starting…
Hawgs DailyThursday at 1:22 PM