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Technical Tidbits 8/15: Remembering Frank Broyles

Georgia Tech and College Football as a whole lost a legend yesterday

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll start today off with some sad news. Former Yellow Jacket QB and Assistant Coach passed away yesterday at the age of 92 due to complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. Best known for his legendary stint as the head coach and later athletic director at Arkansas, Broyles got his start in college football on the Flats as a QB for William Alexander and Bobby Dodd. Between 1943 and 1946, Broyles led the Yellow Jackets to three bowl games and was named SEC Player of the Year in 1944. To cap off that season, Broyles threw for a then-record 304 yards in an Orange Bowl loss to Tulsa. That record stood for 55 years until some scrub named Tom Brady broke it in 2000. In addition to his excellent quarterbacking, Broyles played some defensive back, recording Tech’s first ever 100 yard interception return in 1944 against Clemson. He also lettered in baseball and basketball and became the first Yellow Jacket to be drafted by the NBA (1947 by the Toronto Huskies).

After graduating with a degree in Industrial Management in 1947 Broyles immediately joined the coaching ranks, spending a few years as an assistant at Baylor and Florida before rejoining Bobby Dodd as the offensive backfield coach (essentially the offensive coordinator in Dodd’s system) prior to the 1951 season. With Broyles on the sideline, the Yellow Jackets immediately ran off a 29 game unbeaten streak that included the 1952 National Championship. In 1957, Broyles left to take the head coaching position at Missouri. He was only there one season before taking the Arkansas job. At Arkansas, Broyles went 144-58-5, winning 7 SWC titles and the program’s only National Championship in 1964. In 1974 he was appointed Men’s Athletic Director (Arkansas had a separate men’s and women’s athletic department until 2008), a role he remained in until 2007. Under his guidance, the Razorbacks’ men’s athletic programs won 104 conference titles and 43 national championships.

Broyles’ coaching tree is one of the best in college football. Coaching legends such as Barry Switzer, Johnny Majors, Joe Gibbs, Hayden Frye, and Jimmie Johnson all coached under Broyles at some point in their careers. The award given to the nation’s premier assistant coach was named after Broyles in recognition of his ability to produce high quality assistants. Broyles was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. Rest in Peace to one of Georgia Tech’s and college football’s best.

Moving on to other notes for the day...

The race for the starting quarterback position shows no signs of slowing down as the start of the season approaches. Matthew Jordan, projected to win the job by many, missed practice Monday recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered during Saturday’s scrimmage. He should be able to return to practice this week, but in a competition this close, any lost time is bad news and tough luck for Jordan. When asked for comment Coach Paul Johnson said that he has a 1, a 1A, and a 1B in mind but maybe not a 1C. He then went on to mention Jordan, TaQuon Marshall, and Jay Jones by name. Does that mean Lucas Johnson is 1C? Is he out of the competition? Who knows. There’ll probably be another equally cloudy CPJ quote to decipher after today’s practice.

Over on Deadspin, they’re previewing the season by working through a bit of a different Top 25. The Deadspin 25 is a ranking of teams that the readers most wanted to hear about. The last two seasons UCF ended up being the top ranked team, so take this for what you will, but Georgia Tech finished 23rd and thus, got a nice little write up. The preview isn’t perfect but it’s a pretty good, and largely positive, big picture view of where the program stands heading into 2017. Fair warning, it is Deadspin - they don’t censor themselves with 70s/80s band names.

Enjoy your Tuesday!