When Chuck Broyles was growing up in Mulberry, Kan., he had dreams and goals.
None of them, he said, quite reached the level of being inducted to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.
“When you’re growing up you hope you can work and become a good high school football player,” he said. “And maybe you hope you can go to college and play football. It was never one of my dreams to be in the Kansas Hall of Fame. I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to have that happen.”
But Broyles, along with seven other Kansans, will be inducted to the Hall on Oct. 6 in Wichita.
“It’s very exciting, it’s an exciting time,” he said on Tuesday. “There are a lot of great people in the Kansas Hall of Fame and I’m proud to be one of those now.”
Broyles, of course, is going into the Hall on the strength of his coaching career at Pittsburg State. He compiled a 198-47-2 record in 20 seasons, a .806 winning percentage that is third all-time in the NCAA Division II coaching ranks.
The Gorillas appeared in four national championship games under Broyles and won the 1991 title. He was a three-time national coach of the year.
“All this goes back to the fact that we won a lot of football games at Pittsburg State,” he said. “We had a lot of great players and the coaches did a great job recruiting. Just like anything, it was a team effort. Even on up to the administration. We always had great support from Dr. Tom Bryant when he was president and from Dr. (John) Darling and Dr. (Donald) Wilson before him.”
Broyles was an All-American lineman at Pittsburg State in 1968. He returned to the Gorillas as an assistant couch under Dennis Franchione in 1988. He took over as head coach in 1990 and helped build the program into one of the most successful in Kansas sports.
“I remember listening to Kansas and Gayle Sayers on the radio,” Broyles said. “And, of course, the greatest turnaround in college football history was Bill Snyder at Kansas State. And then you have all the legends with KU basketball.
“I’ve always been a Kansas fan, KU and K-State, and I’m proud of this state. Having grown up here, this is a big honor.”
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Broyles when he heads to Wichita for the induction. He met his wife, Helen, there and also got to know another of this year’s inductees there.
Broyles was an assistant coach at Wichita’s Bishop Carroll in the 1970s when he helped coach a defensive star named Mike Bell. Bell went on to an All-American career at Colorado State and was the Kansas City Chiefs’ top pick in the 1979 draft. His nephew is current Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell.
Broyles, who stepped down in 2009, said his last official day of employment with Pittsburg State wasn’t until Monday, part of a phased retirement plan.
He said he keeps busy on his 80 acres in Cherokee County. He bought some cattle and spends most of his time mowing or bailing hay.
“All I’ve ever done is get up in the morning and go to work,” he said. “And since I retired, that’s still all I do. I just don’t drive to Pittsburg State now.”
Kansas Hall of Fame
Members of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013, which will be inducted Oct. 6 in Wichita:
Mike Bell, Wichita, football
Bob Brannum, Winfield (posthumous), basketball
Chuck Broyles, Mulberry, football
Martin Gramatica, Kansas State, football
Al Kelley, McCune, basketball
Bob Kenney, Winfield, basketball
Bill Lienhard, Newton, basketball
Nichole Ohlde, Clay Center, basketball