TIMELINE OF FRANK BROYLES’ LIFE
Early Years, 1924-1958
John Franklin Broyles was born on December 26,1924. He served as head football coach for the University of Missouri in 1957 before accepting the head coaching position for the Arkansas Razorbacks in 1958. He was among the most competitive coaches in the country along with Bear Bryant and Darrel Royal.
In 1972, he took on dual roles of Head Coach and Athletic Director until he retired from coaching in 1976 with a record of 144-58-5 in 19 seasons with the University of Arkansas. After his retirement, and concurrent with his Athletic Director role, Broyles served as the primary color commentator for ABC Sports television the week’s only televised college football games alongside the legendary Keith Jackson. Broyles and Jackson went on to win an Emmy for their coverage.
After spending 50 years at the University of Arkansas, Coach Broyles officially retired as the Athletic Director. For five decades, Coach Broyles helped define the standard of excellence in intercollegiate athletics. A legendary Head Coach, nationally respected Athletic Director, and goodwill ambassador for his university and state, Coach Broyles’ influence continues to live on today.
A long list of honors followed Coach’s retirement, including his 1983 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame alongside Darrel Royal and OJ Simpson. More than 30 of his former players and assistant coaches went on to become college or professional coaches, including Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Gibbs, Hayden Fry, and many others. In 1996, the Broyles Award was established to recognize the top assistant coaches in college football. As a member of Augusta National Golf Club, he presented the winner of The Masters with the green jacket for several years.
As impressive as Coach’s background is in athletics, his greatest accomplishment was the 59 years of marriage to his high school sweetheart, Barbara Day, and the family they raised together. They had six children, sons Jack, Hank, Dan, and Tommy and two twin daughters, Betsy and Linda. Coach Broyles lost his beloved wife to complications with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004. From that point on, he shifted his focus from college athletics to become a strong advocate of caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
In 2005, Coach Broyles decided he wanted to help caregivers better understand how to care for someone living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. He asked his daughters, Betsy and Linda, who were Barbara’s primary caregivers alongside Coach, to write down everything they could remember on how they took care of Barbara. Working with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Golden Living, 100,000 copies of “Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers” were distributed free-of-charge through pharmacies all over the state of Arkansas. Thus, the Broyles Foundation had been established. From there, it would not take long for the Playbook to go national. In 2007, Coach Broyles raised the funds to print another 500,000 Playbooks to distribute all over the country.
In 2009, Coach Broyles again raised the necessary funds to print an additional 500,000 Playbooks in English, with an additional 100,000 in Spanish. The Playbook was also translated into 11 languages in an electronic format for people all around the World. The Broyles Foundation provides caregivers with the Playbook for free and charges $10 per Playbook to cover shipping and handling, as well as to support the additional services offered to caregivers at no cost.
Three generations of the Broyles family came together to care for Barbara and this multi-generational approach shaped the direction the Broyles Foundation would take in assisting and advocating for caregivers. Coach Broyles, his daughter, Betsy, and his granddaughter, Molly, began traveling together across the country to tell their story and to provide the much-needed information to families and eldercare organizations, which are striving to provide compassionate care to those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
John Franklin Broyles passed on August 4th, 2017 with complications from Alzheimer’s disease. His passion to help caregivers will live on for many years. Amongst all the accomplishments in his “charmed life”, how he changed the level and scope of care for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease with his Playbook and the Broyles Foundation may be his greatest legacy.
In 2010, Betsy changed the foundation’s name to The Frank and Barbara Broyles Legacy Foundation in honor of both of her parents. Betsy, alongside her daughter, Molly, looked back once again at what they needed during their time as caregivers and steered the foundation into the present day. Now, the foundation provides a full game plan based on their multi-generational approach to serve caregivers in crisis through six main areas: Training and Education, Resource Distribution, Individual and Family Coaching, Advocacy and Awareness, Referral Services, and Resource Distribution all at no cost to caregivers. Today, Betsy and Molly are joined by another member of the Broyles Family, grandson Jacob, as well as Linda Vigil, an expert on eldercare programs and a caregiver for her mother during her time dealing with Alzheimer’s. The need is greater now than ever and the Broyles Foundation is proud to continue building upon Frank and Barbara’s legacy.