FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Razorback legend Frank Broyles died earlier this week, and Friday (Aug. 18) we learned the story behind his bronze statue that sits in front of Razorback Stadium.
Dr. Gary Renegar is a periodontist by day, but a hobby he first picked up about 35 years ago led to him sculpting a Razorback legend.
A local sculptor and former patient taught him how to sculpt bronze sculptures.
“It just didn’t light my candle you know, I think I was just to geared to sit there that long and do this," he said. "So, I didn’t think I’d do another one.”
Fast forward 16 years later when Dr. Renegar’s wife told him he needed to get a hobby for the winter.
“I took a painting of Charles Banks Wilson off the wall at my office and went and bought 25 pounds of clay and came back and started sculpting, and enjoyed it ever since,” he said.
While Dr. Renegar was delivering a razorback he sculpted to former Razorback Jim Lindsey, Lindsey suggested that Renegar should sculpt a bust of Coach Broyles. Renegar told Lindsey he would be happy to, but first wanted permission from Broyles himself.
“I talked to Betsy and I don't know if David was there or not, but anyway she said I don't think there is any way that man will let you do that because that just wasn't...she just couldn't see letting someone do that,” he said.
Renegar took his red razorback and walked into Coach Broyles office and told him what he had been asked to do.
“He sat there for, it was quite a while and we talked a little bit and I really was thinking he was going to say 'no way', but he kind of leaned back and said 'you know, my family might like that.' He said 'I think that will be okay,'” he said.
After Regegar and Lindsey talked again, they decided to change the sculpture from a bust to a full body sculpture for each of the players on the 1964 championship team, then came the one we see today outside of Razorback Stadium.
Dr. Renegar said it took him almost two years to create the nearly eight foot statue that was unveiled in 2012.
“I loved his reaction. I mean it just...boy he did like this and grinned and smiled and I think he was pleased and the family said it was, so that was satisfying,” he said.
Renegar hopes the statue is there for a long time.
“I’m sure there are students there now who don’t even know who Frank Broyles was and that’s too bad. He is such a legacy and the amount of money that that man raised for the University of Arkansas is unbelievable, he had some gifts.”