The club’s 2016 schedule was announced Wednesday during a noon news conference in the lobby of the Simmons Tower in downtown Little Rock. The announcement was made by David Bazzel, the club’s president and an inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
“This is one of the top organizations of its type in the country,” said George Makris, the chairman of Simmons First National Corp. “We’re delighted to be able to sponsor the club for another season. I always look forward to these meetings, as do hundreds of people across the state.”
The Little Rock Touchdown Club serves as the Arkansas chapter for the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Bazzel said that due to the excitement surrounding Razorback football, he expects a record crowd for the first meeting. All subsequent meetings also will be held at the Embassy Suites. The annual membership cost is $75. Those wishing to join should go to the club’s website at www.lrtouchdown.com.
The Little Rock Touchdown Club began in August 2004 when a small group gathered at what was then the Little Rock Hilton to discuss football. The club now has more than 500 members. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. each week with the program beginning at 11:50 a.m.
Other speakers for 2016 include:
Monday, Aug. 29 – Former Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards, now a commentator for ESPN
Tuesday, Sept. 6 – 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida
Monday, Sept. 12 – University of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long
Monday, Sept. 19 – Former University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel
Monday, Sept. 26 – Former University of Oklahoma and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth
Monday, Oct. 3 – Former University of Arkansas quarterbacks Tyler Wilson and Casey Dick
Monday, Oct. 10 – Former Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer
Monday, Oct. 17 – Arkansas State University head football coach Blake Anderson
Monday, Oct. 24 – The Southwest Conference Hall of Fame induction ceremony
Monday, Oct. 31 – University of Central Arkansas head football coach Steve Campbell
Monday, Nov. 7 – Former University of Arkansas and NFL safety Ken Hamlin
Monday, Nov. 14 – University of Texas athletic director Mike Perrin
Monday, Nov. 21 – Former University of Notre Dame guard and current CBS Sports commentator Aaron Taylor
This will mark the third consecutive year for the club to host the Arkansas inductions into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, which is headquartered at Waco, Texas. Bev Lewis, R.H. Sikes, Cliff Powell, Lee Mayberry, Quinn Grovey, Kevin McReynolds and Dan Hampton are the University of Arkansas inductees this year.
Awards sponsored by the club include:
The Cliff Harris Award for the nation’s top small college defensive player
The Dan Hampton Award for the top Arkansas high school and college defensive linemen
The Willie Roaf Award for the top Arkansas high school and college offensive linemen
The Sully Award, named for KATV sports director Steve Sullivan, for the top college and high school play-by-play calls on radio in the state
The Paul Eells Award, given to the Razorback football player who shows the most courage and perseverance in the face of difficult circumstances