1958-63 Razorbacks
(Authentic Reproduction)




Arkansas’ new coach would be facing a huge rebuilding project due to graduation losses and AD Barnhill was finally able to reel in a man he had tried to hire in the past. John Franklin Broyles had been a multi-sport high school star who continued his level of success at Georgia Tech in football, baseball, and basketball. After excelling at a multitude of positions on the football field, Broyles earned the reputation as a solid performer, the SEC’s Player Of The Year in 1944 and a bowl game record setter. His Orange Bowl passing record stood for twenty-five years! He entered the service and upon his return from active duty in Okinawa fell under the tutelage of new Tech head man Bobby Dodd. Groomed as his T-Formation quarterback, Broyles was a natural and an obvious “coach on the field.” He was also as tough as anyone, playing the entire ’46 season with a dislocated shoulder supported by a rudimentary harness. He turned down an offer from the N.Y. Yankees Baseball organization, signed instead with the Chicago Bears yet eschewed the pros when he jumped at the chance to coach with Georgia Tech assistant Bob Woodruff who took the Baylor job. Seemingly an immediate whiz at producing coaching protégés, Broyles took Baylor QB’s Hayden Fry and Adrian Burke under his wing. With almost immediate success in Waco, he followed Woodruff when the latter took the command at Florida and worked his magic on their QB prospect Doug Dickey. He returned to Tech as offensive coordinator from 1951-’56, helped to establish them as one of the best teams in the nation, and the squad went 59-7 with six bowl game victories while he tweaked his own “inside and outside belly series.” When the job at Missouri opened, he became their head coach in 1957, posted a good 5-4-1 record but felt hamstrung by the school’s self-imposed rule to limit recruiting to only in-state athletes. He had always believed the Arkansas job would be ideal because it was “one school, one state, one goal” and he jumped at the 1958 offer. He brought in fine assistants, developed them, and learning from his Georgia Tech experience where assistants were encouraged to remain with the program, he pushed them into appropriate head coaching jobs and became known for this, one of the reasons that the current award that is presented to the nation’s best assistant college coach is named the Frank Broyles Trophy. From his first staff, Jim Mackenzie, Doug Dickey, Merrill Green, Dixie White, and Wilson Matthews whom he plucked from Little Rock Central High School, all gained fame through the years as top assistants and/or head coaches. With the Belly-Wing Offense, a combination of the Wing-T and his own Belly Series, he went into battle but lost his first six games. However, he noted continuous improvement from FB Donnie Stone, who had a successful AFL career, HB’s Jim Mooty, an All SWC selection, and Billy Kyser, both of whom turned in 100 yard kickoff returns, Switzer, and immediate star Wayne “The Thumper” Harris, a 182-pound linebacker and center who almost dismembered opponents. Richard Bell would later become the head coach at South Carolina and a finalist for the assistant coach of the year award named after Broyles. The Hogs, who had added white three-inch Angelus Pacific style numbers to each side of the helmet for easier identification and then dressed up many of the helmets with a white Adams face mask, closed with four wins and Broyles saw the future as bright, especially with frosh sensation Lance Alworth in the wings.


If Razorback fans were encouraged by the positive close of ’58, they were dancing in the streets by the end of 1959. The Arkansas Monster Slant Defense was actually known nation wide, Alworth was all he was cracked up to be catching, rushing, or returning the ball and linebacker Harris had the potential to possibly end someone’s career with his penchant for contact. Against SMU Harris hit Pony QB Don Meredith so hard that Dandy Don was knocked unconscious, leading Hogs assistant coach Wilson Matthews to comment about Meredith’s inability to continue in the game “It’s hard to see your receivers when your eyeballs are in the back of your head.”  He was also a superb blocker and in addition to being an All SWC player, he was a First Team Academic All American. Broyles had a team he liked with lean, mean, fast players who were perfect to execute Dixie White’s scramble blocking technique, allowing them to tie up much larger line opponents. With a Big Red first team and a Wild Hog second unit, Harris and center Barry Switzer, later to become as famous as any Arkansas graduate as a college and then Super Bowl winning pro coach, stayed on the field for sixty minutes, never alternating and this proved to be the key to team stability. Second team back Fred Akers would like so many of Broyles’ former players, become an excellent coach, later heading the programs at Wyoming, Texas, and Purdue. Backs Jim Mooty and Alworth were offensive keys with Mooty an All American and member of the Dallas Cowboys inaugural squad. Behind QB James Monroe, Broyles 8-2 team was kept from the SWC Championship only by a 13-12 loss to Texas and then became 9-2 when they defeated mentor Bobby Dodd’s Georgia Tech team in the Gator Bowl. Switzer would become a valued member of the staff.      


The Hogs 8-3 record of 1960 included a come from behind 24-23 victory over Texas that opened the Texas prep ranks to Arkansas recruiting, and the season featured the great play of Alworth, Harris, and All SWC end Jim Collier. They again wound up on top of the SWC but lost the Cotton Bowl game to Duke. Alworth was an All American and led the nation in punt returns while Harris, also an All American, set an Arkansas single season record for tackles that still stands and was for the second time, a member of the SWC All Academic Team. Soph center and LB Tom Brasher was a future star. Harris completed an outstanding career as a future member of The College Football Hall Of Fame and went on to become one of the greatest players in the history of the Canadian League.  





A High School All American at El Dorado, Arkansas High School, Carroll Wayne Harris was lean but every muscle in his body seemed designed to hit people on the football field. At 6’2” and 182 pounds, he was light even by Southwest Conference standards of his era but he was feared as a vicious blocker and far-ranging linebacker. An immediate force on Broyles’ initial squad, “The Thumper” as he was known, hit everything in sight. An All Conference choice in ’59 and 1960, he completed his senior season with 174 tackles, still an Arkansas record. The best defensive player at Arkansas each season receives The Thumper Award in Harris’ honor. 1960 brought the SWC Player Of The Year and All American honors and to complete the “total package”, Harris was a two-time SWC Academic All Conference honoree as well as Academic All American in ’59. Later voted into The College Football Hall Of Fame he was drafted by the Boston Patriots but instead, feeling he might be too light for the new American pro league, went to Calgary of the CFL where he was an immediate star. As one of the CFL’s greatest players of all time, he was All Western Conference eleven times, All CFL nine times in his career that spanned 1961-’72, and MVP in the 1971 Grey Cup Game. Harris’ number 55 was retired by Calgary, he was named to the CFL Hall Of Fame, is a member of the CFL All Century Team, and ranks as number nine in the Top Fifty All Time CFL Players.


The fistfights that often accompanied the Ole Miss contests that were usually played in the week between the Texas and Texas A&M games were just one more incentive to drop the annual rivalry after the 1961 match-up. Playing the brawl as the year’s first game allowed for better focus on the conference schedule but the series was not renewed after Ole Miss won 16-0 over an injured Razorback team. The only other loss however was to Texas and Arkansas managed their third straight SWC title, the first SWC team to do that since A&M’s run twenty years before. Many of the top names were familiar, with Alworth an All American who became an entry to both the College and Pro Football Halls Of Fame for his great receiving and running ability. End Jim Collier spent a year each with the Giants and Redskins. Jesse Branch, Billy Joe Moody, and Paul Dudley who was with the Giants and Eagles, were excellent backs while All Conference tackle John Childress, end Jerry Mazzanti who played with a number of NFL squads, and All SWC guard Dean Garrett led the charge up front. It was a slugfest in the Sugar Bowl as Arkansas fell 10-3 to National Champion Alabama.  The Broyles’ pipeline of assistants who left for other, prestigious jobs had begun as Hayden Fry, Broyles’ QB at Baylor, became the head coach at SMU and line coach Dixie White joined the LSU staff of Charlie McClendon. He too would later become a successful head coach in the Louisiana college ranks. 




One of the most sought after athletes in the nation, Lance Alworth was denied a scholarship to Ole Miss after a sterling career at Brookhaven, MS High School because he married his high school sweetheart and Ole Miss would not scholarship married players. Alworth was eagerly snatched up by Arkansas and was an immediate star. His 9.6/100 yards speed in part explained his punt return ability and he led the nation for two seasons with a gaudy 13.5 yard average. Arkansas’ first three-sport letterman, he led the Hogs to three consecutive SWC titles, was a 1961 All American and Academic All American, and President of his Senior Class. Spurning contracts from the baseball Yankees and Pirates, Alworth was the first draft choice of the AFL San Diego Chargers and had a legendary career with them, becoming the first AFL player to be enshrined to The Pro Football Hall Of Fame. A seven-time All AFL selection, he had at least one reception in ninety-six consecutive games and his graceful movement gave birth to the nickname “Bambi” which he carried through an eleven season career, the final two with the Dallas Cowboys. An All Time AFL Team choice and a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team, Alworth’s Arkansas exploits still leave him as one of the collegiate game’s best ever players and a member of The College Football Hall Of Fame.


If any Arkansas fan had predicted that a season would come where a 9-1 record and second-place SWC finish would be a disappointment, they would have been branded as crazy but the 9-1 finish of 1962 was marked by a bitter 7-3 defeat by Texas that left the Longhorns in the conference throne room. To this day the photo of Hogs FB Danny Brabham being stopped on the goal line is proof to many in Arkansas that he did in fact score the winning TD while in Texas its confirmation that he was denied fairly. Brabham had been a disappointment at center, guard, and linebacker for two seasons until he augmented his academic success with a fine senior season at fullback. Drafted by the Oilers, he was returned to LB where he played from ’63 through 1968, that final season with the Bengals. QB Billy Moore led the SWC in rushing and was named an All American, and Arkansas’ three unit squad which guaranteed significant playing time for all thirty-three men every game, featured enough good sophs to counter the graduation losses of ’61. FB Jesse Branch moved to HB while new HB Ken Hatfield filled in on returns. End Jerry Lamb was an immediate force and linebackers Tommy Brasher, All SWC, and Ronnie Caveness, Lamb’s Smiley High School teammate from Houston, were a formidable roadblock. New assistant coaches Bill Pace and Mervin Johnson did a great job but facing Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl did not seem like a reward for their terrific season as the Rebels stung them 17-13. Despite now being able to successfully recruit the better Texas high school players, life in the fast lane took an immediate detour in 1963. After national rankings of ninth, eighth, eighth, and sixth from 1959 through ’62, the change in NCAA substitution rules scuttled Arkansas pre-season number-one ranking. Limitations in the substitution rules removed the use of three separate units and returned the college game to what was essentially one platoon football with very limited substitution. Having a higher number of specialist type of players on their distinct three unit contingent, Arkansas was hurt more than most of the top schools, especially Texas and other SWC squads. Other than return man Hatfield, the nation’s best, and defensive standouts DE Jim Grizzle and All Conference LB’s Caveness and Brasher, Broyles had to have many players go both ways without the experience to do so. Brasher had a very long career as a collegiate and NFL defensive coach. End Jerry Lamb was All Conference and QB Fred Marshall showed flashes but the 17-13 loss to Texas was but one misstep in a disappointing 5-5 season.

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