In 1996, David Bazzel picked up the phone and called his friend and our founding partner, Dane Cowling, to ask if he would be willing to help with a crazy idea. David known as Baz, no stranger to creating trophies these days, was talking about his first and arguably most important recognition, the Broyles Award. The Broyles Award honors the top assistant coach in college football. It recognizes the contributions of one of college football’s favorites – Frank Broyles. Dane accepted Baz’s challenge and thus began our 21-year history as a charter member of the Broyles Award team.
Coach Frank Broyles began coaching college football in 1947 and landed at the University of Arkansas in 1958, where he would spend the rest of his career. After coaching the Razorbacks, coach Broyles moved into administration and spent more than 30 years as an administrator after hanging up his clipboard. During his tenure as coach at the university, Coach Broyles won seven Southwest Conference titles and a national championship. He ended his coaching career at Arkansas with 144 wins in 19 seasons.
This was an exciting year for the Broyles Award, which was awarded to Brent Venables, the defensive coordinator of college football’s national champion Clemson Tigers. In 2016, The Broyles Award officially collaborated with The Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation, which was established to improve the quality of life for professional and family-based caregivers. The new partnership brought two members of the Broyles family to the team, Betsy (Coach Broyles’ daughter) and Molly (Coach Broyles’ granddaughter).
The Public Relations Group at The Communications Group began managing public relations and media relations efforts for the Broyles Award in its first year and our work in that area continues. In 2016, our PR team planned and managed the foundation partnership announcement, which included Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson.
ComGroup’s Creative Group designed and produced the event program, and updated the award’s logo, services our firm has provided since the award’s inception in 1996. Finally, the agency’s Digital Group built a new website for the award, which has provided many new capabilities for the award – even live streaming of the award ceremony.
ComGroup is an agency of tenured clients, with our average client relationship cresting the 10-year mark, and the Broyles Award is no exception. Our communications support for this award is a mainstay in our firm’s heritage and as you’ll see in the photo below; our faces can’t hide how happy we are to be a part of the Broyles Award family. Here’s to 21 more years, #TeamBroyles!