Arkansas Sports

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming

Sunday was the first time patrons of Arkansas casinos have been allowed to wager on the outcome of the Super Bowl. Bets placed on the NFL championship game exceeded $705,000, according to data released Tuesday by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Sports wagering was included as part of an amendment approved by voters in 2018. Three casinos are now in operation in the state, while a legal challenge is pending over the fourth casino, which will be built in Pope County.

University of Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek (left) and incoming head football coach Sam Pittman.
University of Arkansas

Sam Pittman, 58, was named Sunday by University of Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek as the next head football coach of the Razorbacks. Pittman is a former offensive line coach and has for the past three years worked as associate head coach and offensive line coach at Georgia.

Pittman was the assistant head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Arkansas from 2013-15 before taking the job at Georgia. He also coached at Tennessee and North Carolina before coming to Arkansas in 2013.

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming

Sports wagering has begun in Arkansas with the first bets being placed at a Hot Springs casino.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Hoyt said in a statement that Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort began offering sports wagering Monday morning and will allow gamblers to bet on games ranging from professional football and college basketball to cricket and rugby.

Hoyt says bets can be placed with tellers seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. or at kiosks at the casino.

Travs Hot Stove Heats Up 2019 Baseball Excitement

Jan 30, 2019
David Wallace / KUAR

As winter hits much of the country with record low temperatures, about 130 Arkansas Traveler fans warmed up Tuesday night by turning their thoughts to the summer game of baseball.

The annual Hot Stove gathering at the Robinson Center was the first team event since the Travs fell to Tulsa in last year’s championship series to finish second in the Texas League.

Terry Wallace
Oaklawn Racing and Gaming

Longtime Oaklawn racetrack announcer Terry Wallace has died after a lengthy illness, officials announced Thursday. He was 74.

From 1975 to 2011 Wallace never missed a race, calling a record 20,191 races at the Hot Springs track. He was eventually inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2009, KUAR’s Ron Breeding interviewed Wallace for a profile as he was nearing 20,000 consecutive races. The audio of that report can be heard above. Breeding also recorded video of Wallace calling one race, which can be watched below.

War Memorial Stadium
Bobby Ampazzan / Arkansas Public Media

Arkansas officials say they're implementing new security measures at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. That's after thousands of attendees fled the stands during a high school football game because of false rumors about a gun threat.

The Department of Parks and Tourism said Tuesday it's instituting a clear bag policy for all athletic events, will use a security wand on all patrons entering the facility and is prohibiting loitering in the concourse. The department says it will continue to evaluate security measures and enhance them as necessary.

The results of a new study show that this might not be the best time for a Trojan football team. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock released the football and marching band feasibility study Tuesday and will now begin analyzing the results.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

The most recognizable signs of July in Arkansas are probably cookouts, fireworks, and red-white-and-blue everything. But, in downtown Little Rock, a sea of taekwondo instructors, students and their families have become an annual fixture of summer in the city. 

The American Taekwondo Association, which is headquartered in Little Rock, holds its World Expo at downtown's Statehouse Convention Center each year. The event is by far the largest tourist gathering in the city, with an estimated 20,000 visitors from around the world making the trip to Arkansas's capital city.

Arkansas Razorbacks Blaine Knight
University of Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team could win its first national championship Wednesday night. Arkansas faces Oregon State beginning at 6 p.m. after winning the first game Tuesday 4-1. If Arkansas loses Wednesday night, a decisive game three will be held Thursday.

KUAR spoke with veteran Arkansas sports writer Harry King about what has put the Razorbacks in such a strong position this year. You can hear the interview above.

Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey (left) and Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn at a press conference ahead of Monday's opening final in the College World Series.
University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas Razorbacks (47-19) meet the Oregon State Beavers (53-11) Monday night in the finals of the College World Series.

The game, broadcast on ESPN and the Razorbacks Sports Network, begins at 6 p.m. barring weather delays.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Following a disappointing 7-25 season, fans of UA Little Rock’s men’s basketball team are getting their first look at its new head coach.

Former Razorback Darrell Walker was announced as the university’s pick to lead the Trojans on March 27. He comes from back-to-back seasons as head coach at Clark Atlanta University, taking away an overall record of 45-18.

The Gangster Museum of America

Baseball players will join organized crime figures at the Gangster Museum of America in Hot Springs.

Museum owner Robert Raines says a century ago the city played a significant role in spring training and believes what is now a gallery will soon become something larger.

“We do want to put together a national museum, so this is just a little snippet of what is to come. There’s a lot of baseball history here, so we’ll start reaching out to some major corporations here later this summer and hopefully within a couple of years we’ll have it all put together,” Raines said.

Chad Morris
smu.edu

Arkansas has hired SMU's Chad Morris as the new football coach.

The 49-year-old Morris, a longtime Texas high school coach and former Clemson offensive coordinator, agreed Wednesday to a six-year contract worth $3.5 million annually.

He replaces Bret Bielema, who was fired after compiling a 29-34 record in five seasons - including 11-29 in the Southeastern Conference.

Morris leaves the Mustangs after compiling a 14-22 in three seasons. He took over a team that finished 1-11 in 2014, won two games his first season and improved to 5-7 in 2016 and 7-5 this year.

The University of Arkansas has announced it will hire Hunter Yurachek as its new athletics director. The announcement followed several media reports that Yurachek had been hired.

Bret Bielema
KATV-Channel 7

University of Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema was fired on Friday following a 48-45 loss to Missouri and capping a 4-8 season.

Interim athletics director Julie Cromer Peoples notified Bielema shortly after he left the field following the season-ending loss.

War Memorial Stadium
Brandon Rush / Wikipedia

Arkansas will play Ole Miss in Little Rock during the 2018 football season in what could be the Razorbacks' final game in what will then be a 70-year-old War Memorial Stadium.

The university announced Wednesday that the Hogs and Rebels would play in Little Rock next Oct. 13. Arkansas has played at least one home game in Arkansas' capital city each year since 1932. A contract between the school and the stadium expires at the end of the 2018 football season.

Rex Nelson
Jacob Slaton / Clinton School of Public Service

The University of Arkansas’s long-time Athletic Director Jeff Long has been sent packing and the program is being forced to re-organize late in the football season. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talks about what’s next for UA athletics with Arkansas cultural connoisseur and long-time football announcer Rex Nelson.

He expects a new athletic director to be hired before the Razorbacks football season is over and for head coach Bret Bielema’s job to be on the chopping block not long after.

Jeff Long
KATV-Channel 7

With two games left in the Razorback football season, University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long has been let go effective immediately.

The move comes a week after a lengthy meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees where no action was taken against Long. Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz announced Long’s firing in a press release Wednesday.

Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro.
astateredwolves.com

Concern over the emerging Hurricane Irma storm system has lead to the cancellation of a college football game between the University of Miami and Arkansas State University. The Miami football squad, which is aptly named the Hurricanes, was to travel to Jonesboro for Saturday’s game against the Red Wolves.

The category 5 storm is not expected to arrive in Florida on Sunday or Monday. 

A reporter for the Associated Press says the game will not be able to be rescheduled.

Frank Broyles
KATV, Channel 7 News

The University of Arkansas says a "celebration of life" will be held in Fayetteville on Saturday for Frank Broyles, who died Monday at the age of 92.

UA says the celebration will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.

Broyles became the school's athletic director in 1974 while still the football coach, eventually retiring from the gridiron to focus on administrative duties following the 1976 season. He retired as athletic director in 2007, moving into a fundraising role with the school's Razorback Foundation until his retirement from that role in 2014.

The following is a statement from the Broyles family regarding the death of former University of Arkansas football coach, athletic director, ABC commentator, and Alzheimer’s advocate Frank Broyles. Coach Broyles, 92, died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease, on August 14, 2017. 

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Coach Frank Broyles. He passed peacefully in his home surrounded by his loved ones.

Arkansas Travelers

A new era dawns for the Arkansas Travelers when baseball returns this week for the 2017 season.

After 16 seasons as the class AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim, the Travelers debut Thursday in the Seattle Mariners' organization.

The club has almost upgraded Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock to enhance fan safety. The protective netting behind home plate has been extended 70 feet down each foul line.

Travs General Manager Paul Allen said the ubiquitous smart phone is to blame.

Arkansas Razorbacks
Univ. of Arkansas

The Arkansas Razorbacks loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this week was hard to swallow for many Hogs fans. State Senators Keith Ingram and Jeremy Hutchinson, tongues firmly in cheek, determined the Arkansas Legislature should absolve the Hogs for their loss and instead officially condemn the officiating.

In a very real Senate Resolution filed on Thursday, sponsors state the Natural State has been devastated.

Former Arkansas Razorback and five-time NBA all-star Sidney Moncrief is one of 14 finalists for basketball’s hall of fame. El Sid, or Sid the Squid as he was once known, took the Razorbacks to the Final Four in the late 1970s before going on to play for a decade with the Milwaukee Bucks and a season with the Atlanta Hawks. The Milwaukee squad was routinely good but not as good as the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers of that era.

Former UALR Trojan Josh Hagins is headed to the NBA's Developmental League.
Little Rock Trojans

A former Little Rock Trojans basketball player is headed to the NBA's equivalent of the minor leagues. Josh Hagins rose to some acclaim during last year's NCAA Tournament. The guard hit a last minute, deep range three-pointer to send the Trojans to overtime against Purdue. The team went on to pull off its first March Madness win in decades.

Six days after six members of the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team knelt in protest during the national anthem, college officials on Wednesday announced “Project Unify,” a “community engagement program” designed to address concerns that fueled the protest.

The move, which will see the players no longer kneel during the anthem, could also quell backlash against the team and the university that included one Arkansas senator threatening to put a hold on the university’s budget.

State Sen. Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale).
You Tube

A state senator has placed a hold on the University of Arkansas’ budget to be considered in next year’s legislative session and says he will introduce an amendment that would cut funding to the university by the amount spent on the women’s basketball team after six players knelt during the playing of the national anthem Thursday.

Razorback Stadium Arkansas Razorbacks University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees has voted to move ahead with a $160 million expansion of Razorback Stadium, one that will add approximately 4,800 seats and enclose the north end zone of the stadium in addition to other upgrades and renovations.

By an 8-2 vote Thursday, the board approved the plan, which also includes the rebuilding of the Broyles Athletic Center, the building that houses the athletic department's administrative offices and football museum.

The Little Rock Rangers Soccer Club will be playing the final home game of their inaugural season Sunday evening at War Memorial Stadium. The team is made up of amateurs—mostly college players. Rangers President and General Manager Jonathan Wardlaw says starting the team this year has provided opportunities to reach out to youth.

Looking down the left field line of Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

As can be expected with a baseball team in existence since 1901, the Arkansas Travelers hold a fair share of firsts and claims to fan loyalty. On Wednesday, Travelers’ marketing director Lance Restum walked those at those at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies’ Legacies and Lunch talk through the history of one of the oldest still-running minor league baseball teams.

He said the Travelers have an outsized presence compared to other minor league teams because it’s been a constant in a state where other professional sports have come and gone.

Pages