Farwell’s Bobby Field became a University of Arkansas football fan on Oct. 17, 1964. That was the day he watched the Razorbacks beat the No. 1-ranked Texas Longhorns, 14-13, in a nationally televised game.
Arkansas went on to win the national championship that season and Field picked the Fayetteville, Ark., university over Texas Tech and other Texas schools when recruiters came calling on him.
A quarterback in high school, Field was one of seven signal callers at Arkansas and soon found his place opposite the ball. He started games his sophomore, junior and senior seasons (1968-’70) at strong safety.
Field played in his own national championship game against Texas in 1969. The Longhorns won what’s sometimes called “The Game of the Century,” 15-14, on Dec. 6, 1969.
Arkansas scored first, moments after Field recovered a Texas fumble on the game’s second play from scrimmage.
“I had to go after it aggressively,” Field remembered last week in a telephone interview from his home in Los Angeles. “But I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Field was not on the field for the game’s biggest play, a 44-yard, fourth-down conversion pass that put Texas at Arkansas’ 13-yard line with less than five minutes to play. Texas scored the game-tying touchdown two players later, followed by the game-winning extra point.
“I’d hurt my knee a couple of plays before that,” Field said, so he watched the decisive drive from the sideline.
After his playing days, Field joined the coaching ranks, spending two seasons at Alabama and five years at Mississippi State before moving to UCLA in 1978.
He coached the Bruins’ defense 22 years before becoming an associate athletic director in 2001.
He retired in July.
“I wanted to retire while I still have good health and a lot of energy,” he said.
Field, 64, said he plans to remain busy and is looking into several post-coaching options; one group has asked him to help look at a “new model” for intercollegiate athletics.
Field said he’s interested in exploring ways for athletes to earn money without compromising the integrity of the amateur sports.
— David Stevens