Recently, a special contribution donation was made from Hope to the Razorback Foundation in efforts to help provide funds for scholarship support to student-athletes.
Recently, a special contribution donation was made from Hope to the Razorback Foundation in efforts to help provide funds for scholarship support to student-athletes. Ben Brazzel, of Brazzel-Oakcrest Funeral Home presented a check to representatives with of the Razorback Foundation Hope's David Johnson and Marvin Caston, two former fullbacks who played for the Razorbacks.
As a proud alumni and former Razorbacks, Johnson and Caston has been pleased for the involvement with Razorback Foundation and A-Club for donations received to help the U of A Athletics Department. Caston, Senior Director of Development for the Razorback Foundation always looks forward to opportunities to support the entire Razorback football program in any way he can.
Ben, said he was very privileged and glad to support the Razorbacks Athletic Department through the Razorback Foundation. Caston was more than appreciative to travel to Hope and receive the donation from Ben Brazzel, Hempstead County Coroner and funeral director of Brazzel-Oakcrest Furneral Home.
The Razorback Foundation, a separate and self-supporting 501(c)(3) entity, serves as the fundraising arm of the University of Arkansas Athletic Department. Through contributions from members, they're able to provide scholarship support for more than 460 student-athletes, funding to support facility enhancements and financial assistance to other programs designed to elevate student-athletes and Arkansas athletics.
According to profile information of Caston, he played football for the University of Arkansas from 1996-99, and he's worked for the Athletic Department. Caston joined the Razorback Foundation in 2009. The former Arkansas fullback began his professional career with the Razorbacks in 2005 in the compliance office as an Assistant Athletic Director for compliance.
He also served as Chairman of the “A” Club membership drive, Co-Director of the Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education Program and Assistant Athletic Director in the student life office. Caston played for the 1998 Razorbacks team that shared the SEC Western Division title, played Michigan in the Citrus Bowl and ended the year ranked No. 16 in the nation. He was a member of the 1999 SEC Academic Honor Roll and earned a bachelor’s of arts and a master’s in education from the University of Arkansas. Caston is a member of the National Association of Athletics Compliance Coordinators, the Black Coaches Association and works as an Adjunct Instructor for the School of Social Work.
Johnson has been a longtime supporter of the U of A Athletics Department and the Razorback Foundation as a proud alumni and former player. Due to his strong commitment and support for over decades, Johnson was recently named a Lifetime Membership of the A-Club. For many years, Johnson keeps a close relationship with all former teammates, players and organization members at the University of Arkansas.
As a former Razorback from 1974-77, he helped Arkansas go combined 32-12-12, including 19-9-2 mark in Southwest Conference. He played for the late Frank Broyles during his three years as Arkansas head coach. Johnson's senior season, he played for Lou Holtz when Arkansas posted one of the biggest victories in school history with a 31-6 win over No. 2 Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl. Johnson had a great relationship with his former Arkansas head coach Broyles and cherishes special memories of him that will live on for a lifetime.
Along with this honor, Johnson was named the honorary captain for the 2017 season opener of Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Florida A&M game back on August 31, played at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. The entire Arkansas Razorbacks football team paid tribute to coach Broyles during their season-opener at War Memorial. Several legendary Arkansans paid tribute to the legend coach inside a special media guide game booklet expressing their thoughts about coach Broyles.
Some of the important people celebrating coach Broyles that shared their memories included, Asa Hutchinson, (Arkansas Governor), Jeff Long (Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics), Bret Bielema (Arkansas Head Football Coach), Greg Sankey (SEC Commissioner), Bill Clinton (42nd President of the the United States), Jerry Jones (Player of 1964 Arkansas Razorbacks Football National Championship Team, Dallas Cowboys President and General Manager and NFL Hall of Famer) and Vince Dooley (Former Head Coach and Director of Athletics at the University of Georgia).
Johnson shared his memories about coach Broyles and several important aspects of why he loves the University of Arkansas and giving back as a proud alumni that's featured inside the program game booklet.
"My favorite memory was my time with Coach Broyles. He talked about a lot of things that I was able to take into the business world. I'll be honest, we had a lot of good times, but we also had some tough times. My situation was different because my last year in high school, my mother died. I had a great opportunity with Coach Broyles, the other coaches and my teammates. They supported me and helped me get through the situation of losing my mother. Those were some good moments. The coaches really cared about the players," Johnson said.
For a long time, Johnson has been apart of a special project to carry a truck load of delicious Hope watermelons to Fayetteville and feed the Razorbacks football team each summer. Johnson felt strongly about the idea of bringing some fresh cold Hope watermelons to feed the Razorbacks after a long hot day of practice. As a former Razorback, he knew enjoying a delicious cold Hope watermelon would be refreshing and knew it's something he could do to give back to the University of Arkansas for future players to enjoy.
He said, "It's something that can be passed along to guys who have gone on to a higher calling. What I am trying to do is send them a strong message to give back. The Bible teaches that you need to leave a mark here on this earth to show that you came through here. God left a lot of marks. Coach Broyles was never concerned about himself. It was about someone else. He put everyone else before himself. That's why I'm the way that I am. I just have that fond memory of him because he did so much for me in my life."
Johnson said Coach Broyles told him, "What you are doing is great and you can't put a price on it. It makes you feel good that you are giving, not taking. I get a joy out of giving."
Johnson gets a joy out of giving back to the Razorbacks by having the opportunity to bring Hope watermelons to Fayetteville. Being apart of the Razorback Foundation has been one of the important aspects in Johnson's life to allow him to support and give back to the U of A Athletics. He hopes that when student-athletes finish their college and professional careers they'll support the Razorback Foundation in the future to help many more student-athletes.
For Johnson's grandson, Nikaylen Morrison, he's following in similar footsteps as his grandfather as a collegiate student-athletes. Morrison attends Central Baptist College and plays baseball for Mustangs. Johnson is proud for the accomplishments and direction his grandson is going and progressing to be a success as he's been.
Numerous student-athletes like Morrison is one of the biggest purposes the Razorback Foundation takes it's action in helping productive young men and women receive scholarships to have an education while participating in athletics. Johnson also was appreciative of Ben Brazzel in his support and contribution for Morrison as he attends college and furthers his collegiate athletic career at CBC.