1967-77 Razorbacks
(Authentic Reproduction)



Broyles began the 1967 season by slightly altering the Razorback helmet decal, making it a bit smaller and having detail added to it. He maintained the white three-inch identifying numerals on the rear of the red shell. He knew that ‘67 would be a transition year because he was waiting for frosh passing sensation Bill Montgomery to get to the varsity in ’68 so he could install a big time passing attack. The 4-5-1 season was perhaps worse than expected as Ronny South, who later punted and was a back-up with the Saints in ‘68 took the QB controls and David Dickey rushed well. More was expected from the defense with the presence of talented All SWC Hartford Hamilton and DB Tommy Trantham. Assistant Johnny Majors left to be head coach at Iowa State and Wilson Matthews who had been such an important part of the staff, eased into semi-retirement with administrative duties and time with the freshmen squad. Former pro QB and Florida State assistant Don Breaux came in to teach new QB Montgomery and install the Seminole passing game and former ‘Bama star and assistant Richard Williamson was hired to tutor the receivers. Just as Arkansas’ last disappointing season had led to the National Championship of ’64, the down year of ’67 brought about a huge turnaround in 1968 with the Hogs going 10-1, beating an excellent Georgia team in the Sugar Bowl behind twelve receptions by Chuck Dicus, with only a loss to Texas marring the season. The number nine national ranking started with the first play of the season, a seventy yard incomplete pass by Bill Montgomery that brought cheers from the home crowd. Breaux’s pass-happy offense that set a new school record 350 points scored, featured a Montgomery-to-Dicus flavor while TB Dickey piled up a career record total of twenty-eight TD’s. FB Bruce Maxwell returned from a year in military service as a stable force, blocking well for Bill Burnett as did All American lineman Jim Barnes and All SWC Rodney Brand. Burnett was outstanding, scoring ninety-six points and rushing for 847 yards. The defense did their part, setting up twenty-eight of the team total forty-nine touchdowns behind the lead of All SWC LB’s Cliff Powell and Lynn Garner, and DT’s Terry Don Phillips and Dick Bumpas. The younger Phillips brother later rose through the ranks of athletic administration and in 2008 was the AD at Clemson. The loss to Texas tied them for the SWC crown so the Longhorns went to the Cotton Bowl while Arkansas got to defeat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.


The success of 1968 led ABC to contact Texas and Arkansas with the proposal to move their 1969 showdown to December 6th for a large television audience. The entire SWC would receive money and the payout would allow Arkansas to install Astroturf before the start of the season. It was a fortuitous choice for everyone as Arkansas’ number one rated defense against scoring teamed with a potent Bill Montgomery-led offense to enter the game 9-0. With Texas and its Wishbone also at 9-0, it was number one Texas coming to number two Arkansas in what would be a Game Of The Century. President Nixon joined the festivities in a Super Bowl type of atmosphere and the winner would play Notre Dame, ending its self-imposed bowl ban, in the Cotton Bowl. Despite spirited play by All American center Rodney Brand and his All American counterpart LB Cliff Powell and the rest of the defensive stars like Bumpas and DB Jerry Moore and offensive highlights from Montgomery, Dicus, and Bill Burnett, Texas and their QB James Street prevailed 15-14 in a game that truly lived up to the hype. The let down left the Hogs 27-22 Sugar Bowl losers to Archie Manning and Ole Miss despite putting up a huge 537 yards in total offense, consigning them to a seventh place national rank. Burnett, the third brother to star for the Hogs, scored a record twenty TD’s. There was an exodus of players with FB Maxwell going to the Lions, and DB Moore to the Bears and later playing with the Saints. In what had become the usual shuffling of assistant coaches Hootie Ingram became Clemson’s head coach and Richard Williamson returned to Alabama while a tremendous hire was made in bringing former NFL great Ray Berry and Billy Kinard onto the staff. With an expanded eleven game schedule for 1970, Arkansas took advantage and elevated the standard of competition by opening with Stanford to another huge television payout. Jim Plunkett vs. Bill Montgomery proved to be a misnomer. With defensive shortcomings from graduation, the Razorbacks were behind 27-0 to the eventual Heisman Trophy winner and his Rose Bowl champs when soph QB Joe Ferguson from Woodlawn H.S. in Shreveport, LA and his high school battery mate WR Jim Hodge came in to do nothing but throw. Ferguson brought the team back and almost won but the 34-28 Stanford victory mostly showed that the defense was in trouble. The team rallied to win nine straight but fell apart in a 42-7 rout in what was supposed to be Round Two of the Game Of The Century with Texas. Former Hogs player and assistant Switzer had warned Broyles that their 6-2 defense would prove disastrous against the ‘Horns, just as Oklahoma’s had and he was correct. Despite Broyles’ objections defensive coach Coffey stuck with it and they were romped. Sensing a rift, Coffey took the Virginia Tech head job immediately after the season. Without a Cotton Bowl berth, the 9-2 Hogs voted to stay home. Montgomery and Ferguson had good seasons and despite missing half the schedule with a shoulder dislocation, so had Burnett who closed his collegiate career with 294 points! Dicus was an All American for the second time, a three-time All SWC choice and entered The College Football Hall Of Fame on the strength of his sixteen yards per reception average and school record 118 receptions, a mark that stood for twenty-five years. He later played with the Chargers and Steelers. Dick Bumpas was All American and the SWC Defensive Player Of The Year, later starring with Memphis of the WFL. After his active playing days Bumpas became the defensive coordinator at a number of schools, most recently at TCU, utilizing his very innovative 4-2-5 defense. Without fanfare, RB Jon Richardson became Arkansas’ first African-American player and contributed to a new school record 402 points scored. Assistant Joe Gibbs was brought in at the end of the year to coach the offensive line to further assist Ferguson’s air game. Broyles continued his knack for getting the most out of his assistants and Billy Kinard left to take the head coaching job at Mississippi.  


1971 opened with Ferguson throwing to a bevy of receivers led by All SWC Mike Reppond and Jack Ettinger. The pass was augmented by the dashes of TB’s Dickey Morton and Richardson. The offense was excellent and the defense held up well. Ferguson, the SWC Co- Offensive Player Of The Year led the conference in passing and total offense. Injuries led to a 21-20 loss to Tulsa and the 17-9 loss to A&M came after a victorious and emotional outing over Texas. The defense was manned by All Conference LB Danny Rhodes. Unfortunately a 24-all tie with Rice cost the Hogs the Cotton Bowl berth. Their 14-13 loss to Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl with Ferguson the game MVP was one of the year’s best. Offensive coordinator Don Breaux departed for a position with the Houston Oilers and former Arkansas aide Richard Williamson returned to the staff. The skill players, led by QB Ferguson, were there in ’72 but other than guard Ronnie Carroll who eked out two NFL seasons, there was a lack of size and strength. The USC opener, a brutal 31-10 loss, hurt the Hogs the remainder of the season as their weakness was exposed. All SWC pick Morton and Richardson supplied speed but there was little FB or up front blocking power. A Wishbone Offense was installed to augment the passing game and of course, the result was predictable and the season at 6-5, was poor by Arkansas standards. Having the most highly recruited passing quarterback in the nation had not resulted in the expected championships. Ferguson, who had a successful eighteen year career in the pros, primarily with the Bills, and his main receiver Mike Reppond, were almost afterthoughts by the season’s finale. For 1973 the new defensive coordinator would be former Hogs noseguard and DT Jimmy Johnson and he expected his team to emulate the nickname he carried while at Arkansas, “Jimmy Jumpup”.  Bill Lewis, the future Georgia Tech head coach was also hired. The disappointment of 1972 and the 5-5-1 record of ’73 opened eyes around the state not that Coach Broyles had slipped, but that the facilities at Arkansas had become among the worst in the country. With literally no improvements since 1955 it was hurting recruiting efforts. Broyles had seen it coming with the 56-0 defeat of his frosh team, to Oklahoma State in 1970. After the ’72 season, he made an impassioned plea to the Board Of Regents and he was able to put his fund raising plan into effect once he became Athletic Director in the summer of 1973. There were few stars though WR Jack Ettinger had a solid season with Memphis in the WFL in ’74 and TB Dickey Morton was clearly a superior rusher. Morton rushed for a school record 271 yards against Baylor and 1298 for the year. All Conference DT Ron Rhiddlehoover and LB Danny Rhodes led the defense but the victories did not come against the powers on the schedule like USC and Texas.


Entering 1974, for the first time in a number of years, Broyles felt as if his recruiting class was of national caliber and he brought in Ike Forte from Tyler JC who rushed for 986 yards and Jerry Eckwood. Eckwood unfortunately would miss time with a back injury. LB Dennis Winston was one to watch. Unfortunately, after a great 22-7 opening win over eventual National Champion USC, the squad was inconsistent the remainder of the season, finishing at 6-4-1. In order to implement a Veer Offense for 1975, Bo Rein was hired from the NC State staff and he was joined by Don Boyce and former Hogs standout Jesse Branch. When pitching for new facilities in ’72 and ’73, Broyles had predicted that it would be 1975 before the Hogs could again compete with the rest of the SWC and with the completion of the new football and training facility, recruiting was up. He had plenty of offensive talent in QB’s Mike Kirkland whose place was taken by Scott Bull after the former was injured, Forte, and Eckwood, and all three rushed for more than 100 yards per game a number of times behind All Conference guard R.C. Thielmann. The defense, even with Winston, was less talented but now had the Jimmy Johnson scrappiness and the Razorbacks ripped through the schedule to finish 9-2 in a three-way tie with Texas and Texas A&M for the SWC title. Beating A&M in the finale landed them in the Cotton Bowl where they defeated Georgia 31-10 to recapture the glory days of the past. The restoration of the Razorback program and the success of ‘75 could have been a nice time for Coach Broyles to retire but he saw another good season ahead and thus returned for 1976. After the fourth game of the year and a 3-1 mark, he made the decision to retire official, no doubt believing he would go out on top but the final five games brought a tie and four losses, leaving him to bow out at 5-5-1. Bo Rein had left to be NC State’s head coach and QB Ron Calcagni went down with injury which stymied the offense and the defense was porous. There was good play from O-linemen Thielemann and big Leotis Harris who was moved from defense. Steve Little was an All American kicker. Four year letter winner LB Dennis “Dirt” Winston continued his spirited play as a star with the Steelers and Saints. The December 4th season-ender against Texas, a 29-12 loss, was the final game for both Broyles and his close friend Darrell Royal, both choosing to retire simultaneously. Broyles decided to step down from coaching and focus strictly upon his duties as athletic director. During his coaching tenure, more than thirty of his former players became college or professional head coaches and he had earned his reputation of sending more assistants into head coaching or coordinator jobs than anyone else. Since 1966 the prestigious Broyles Award is given to the best Division 1 assistant each year in honor of the man whose former assistants have won forty conference crowns and over 2000 victories. The names are among the tops in the game and include Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer, Joe Gibbs, Jackie Sherrill, Hayden Fry, Doug Dickey, and Johnny Majors. Broyles spent nine years as a color commentator for ABC football broadcasts and his 144-58-5 record, 1964 National Championship, and seven Southwest Conference titles made him an immediate entrant to The College Football Hall Of Fame. 


One of the favorites to lead the Hogs into battle as the new head coach in ’77 was former Razorback star, team leader, and current defensive coordinator Jimmy Johnson but when he did not get the job, he left to become an assistant at Pitt and then of course, forged a coaching legend of his own at Oklahoma State, Miami, and with the Dallas Cowboys. Bill Lewis felt he was in the running and he too left. The man who did get the job was Lou Holtz who had left NC State for a horrid year with the Jets that lasted less than one full season. Miserable in the pros, the former William And Mary and Wolfpack mentor who had played at Kent State and famously toiled as an assistant under Woody Hayes among others, was eager to jump back into the college game. In retrospect, Broyles received great acclaim for choosing Holtz, believing that the program needed an excellent coach as well as someone who would promote the athletic department throughout the state. At the time of his choice, he took heat for by-passing former players Johnson and Fred Akers who immediately did a terrific job at Texas. Holtz brought a good staff in with Monte Kiffin, Larry Beightol, and former Broyles’ aide Don Breaux. Other than a 13-9 disappointment against Texas, the Hogs surprised everyone with a 10-1 record, the defense carried by DT Dan Hampton and the explosive offense by QB Ron Calcagni, who passed for 1147 yards and RB’s Roland Sales, Ben Cowins, and Ike Forte who later had a six season pro career with three teams. Steve Little was a masterful kicker and punter and was the Cardinals number one draft choice. Close observers of the Arkansas football scene noted that prior to the start of this surprisingly good season, Holtz had removed the rear identifying numerals from the helmets. After Arkansas accepted a bid to play number-two Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, Holtz came up with what he thought was a great blocking scheme, one that would make up for the injury loss of All American guard Leotis Harris who had a six year career with the Packers. Holtz then augmented it with an unplanned psychological boost.

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