FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Contrary to internet rumors, legendary former Arkansas Razorbacks athletic director and football coach Frank Broyles is at home in Fayetteville and not in a hospice care facility, his granddaughter told SEC Country on Wednesday afternoon.
Broyles’ granddaughter, Molly Arnold, said that the family had been inundated with phone calls and messages since a Reddit thread and a Twitter post indicated the 92-year old had been placed in a hospice facility.
The truth, Arnold said, is that Broyles recently had a stroke and is on hospice, not in hospice — a seemingly minor but very important distinction.
“That little word makes a big difference,” Arnold said. “When you go into hospice, you’re talking very little life expectancy left. You’re in a facility. That is end of life.
“But you can sign up for hospice and they can come to your house for six months. Sometimes people will graduate off of hospice. This is more quality of life management.”
Broyles has been visited the last several days by former players and friends like Barry Switzer and Houston Nutt and is in good spirits, Arnold said.
“He’s really happy,” Arnold said. “Really enjoying talking about football and all those things. He’s really happy and enjoying life.”
Broyles was Arkansas’ head football coach for 19 seasons from 1958 until 1976, compiling a record of 144–58–5 with the Razorbacks. He also spent one season (1957) as Missouri’s head coach.
Broyles’ 1964 team was named national champion by several selectors. He also won seven Southwest Conference titles as Arkansas coach.
Broyles became Arkansas’ athletic director in 1974 and worked in that position until his retirement in 2007 when current athletic director Jeff Long took over. In his time as athletic director, he helped lead the Razorbacks during their transition from the old Southwest Conference and into the Southeastern Conference in 1992.
He is the namesake for the Broyles Award, given annually to the best assistant coach in college football. Past winners of the Broyles Award include prominent head coaches like Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Texas’ Tom Herman.