Former Razorback Quarterbacks: Where Are They Now? Part 1

Former Razorback quarterbacks
Don Christian
Don Christian

A look at former Razorback quarterbacks and their whereabouts. This article, by founder Evin Demirel, originally published in Arkansas Life magazine. 

Statewide celebrity. National acclaim.

Arkansas Razorback quarterbacks know these well. It looks like the next one in line will, too, as starter Brandon Allen completed 15 of 22 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns in Arkansas’ season-opening 34-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Allen has taken the reins from departed star Tyler Wilson, who was waived Sunday by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and yesterday landed on the team’s practice squad. Former Hog star Ryan Mallett, meanwhile, could be a Tom Brady injury away from calling the shots for the New England Patriots.

While Mallett and Wilson have remained very much in the spotlight, most other former Razorback quarterbacks join the rest of us in our normal, every-day worlds. They work in our offices, sit next to us at restaurants and frequent our favorite golf courses.

They typically don’t end up in far-flung locales. As you’ll see in the following article originally published in Arkansas Life magazine, after leaving the pocket, the most accomplished Arkansas QBs rarely stray far from home:

Lamar McHan
Years Lettered: 1951-53

Directed Otis Douglas’ split-T offense and helped Arkansas beat No. 4 Texas and No. 18 Texas A&M. Finished career as second-best runner in UA history and was ninth in Heisman Trophy balloting as a senior.

After College: Played in the NFL 1954-64 before a career as a coach. Spent a decade as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints. Died in 1998 from a heart attack.

George Walker
Years Lettered: 1954-55, 1957

This former Razorback quarterback led Arkansas to a No. 4 national ranking in 1954, its highest ever until then. Masterpiece came against No. 15 Rice, when he completed nine of 13 passes for 119 yards, returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown and punted six times for a 43-yard average.


After College: Worked with Union Bank in Little Rock, then moved to Pine Bluff in 1963 to join Simmons Bank. Retired as vice president in 1999, but still works for Simmons on ad hoc basis.

Current Residence: Pine Bluff

Note: While I’ve used the term “quarterback” to describe McHan and Walker’s position, a more accurate term would be single wing tailback, says Razorbacks historian Jim Rasco. In an e-mail, Rasco added:

The Razorbacks ran the “Tennessee -Balanced Line – Single Wing” under Coach Bowden Wyatt in 1953 and 1954 (and the January 1, 1955 Cotton Bowl, of course). So Arkansas didn’t have quarterbacks in 1953 & 1954.

In 1953, Lamar McHan came in second in the nation in total offense as the single wing tailback. He was voted second-team All-America in the Players Poll conducted by the Chicago Tribune. (He had been an All-SWC quarterback as a sophomore in 1951 – second team all conference quarterback in 1952 before playing tailback his senior season.)

In 1954, Sophomore George Walker was the single wing tailback and led the Hogs to the SWC crown and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. (His back-up tailback was Buddy Bob Benson –who was the long-time coach at Ouachita.)

Wyatt left for his alma mater Tennessee shortly after the Cotton Bowl – so Arkansas returned to the “T” formation and Walker moved to quarterback for the 1955 season.

Don Christian
Years Lettered: 1955-57

Took over quarterback duties in 1956 when Walker went down with an injury and led Hogs in 32-14 road win against Texas.

After College: Went into investment banking in Little Rock and in 1986 joined Stephens, Inc., now a vice president. His boss is another Hog QB, Kevin Scanlon.

Residence: Little Rock

James Monroe
Years Lettered: 1956, 1958-59

First quarterback under Frank Broyles helped Hogs finish ninth in the final Associated Press poll of 1959 – the highest ranking at the end of a season till then.

After College: Joined Army, served stints in Vietnam and Okinawa in 1962-64. Helped arm South Vietnamese and instruct them against Viet Cong. Then worked as civil engineer, mostly in Houston area. Spent 40 years with what’s now KBR, Inc., an American engineering, construction, and private military contracting company. Retired about 10 years ago.

Residence: Houston, Texas.

George McKinney
Years Lettered: 1959-61

This former Razorback quarterback threw three touchdown passes in a 24-23 victory against Longhorns in 1960. It was Arkansas’ first win over a Darrell Royal-coached Texas team and helped Broyles get a recruiting foothold in the state.

After College: Coached defensive backs at Tennessee and was defensive coordinator at Virginia Tech. Kept books for his nephew’s law firm in Odessa, Texas. Moved to central Arkansas to work as apartment inspector for Lindsey & Associates.

Residence: Bryant, Ark.

Billy Moore
Years Lettered: 1960-61

Had alternated at QB with McKinney in 1960 and 1961, but had show to himself in 1962. Took advantage by leading the SWC in rushing and becoming the UA’s only All-American quarterback ever.

After College: Became first manager of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Little Rock’s Riverdale area. The chain restaurant on Cantrell Road was owned by former state attorney general Ike Murry. Afterward, Moore dabbled in other sectors like oil, gas and insurance. These days, often found at Pleasant Valley Country Club.

Residence: Little Rock.

Bill Gray
Years Lettered: 1962-64

Led the 1963 football Razorbacks in scoring with 30 points on five touchdowns, and threw a 68-yard completion to Jerry Lamb in the 1963 Sugar Bowl to set school record for longest pass completion in a bowl game. Filled in for injured Fred Marshall during the ‘64 title year.

After College: Coached two years at University of Oklahoma, then worked as a business manager in a church. Served as Arkansas associate athletic director for 24 years. Retired in 2008.

Residence: Fayetteville, Ark.

Fred Marshall
Years Lettered: 1962-64

Save for games against Oklahoma State and Tulsa, was the full-time quarterback during the Hogs’ 11-0 1964 season capped by a Cotton Bowl against Nebraska. The Hogs won post-bowl versions of the national title.

After College: Worked as institutional investment banker, starting in 1966 with Stephens, Inc. in Little Rock. Moved to Dallas in 1973. Retired in 2011, but has since started a medical claims service business.
Residence: Frisco, Texas

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John Brittenum
Years Lettered:1963, 1965-66

Twice earned all-SWC honors and might have led Arkansas to a second national title had he not separated his shoulder at halftime of the Cotton Bowl against LSU. Former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles wrote in his autobiography Brittenum was “the best passer on the move that I’ve ever seen. He could throw it like a frozen rope on the sprint-out series. He was the perfect passer-runner for the system that we played at the time.”

After College: Played a season with Miami and San Diego. Later joined financial sector in Little Rock, starting his own securities company. In 1989, pleaded no contest to theft by deception for using clients’ money as collateral for Jon R. Brittenum & Associates. Several victims asked he be allowed to work to pay back their investments, which amounted to several million dollars.

Residence: Unknown

Bill Montgomery [In Featured Image At Top of Page]
Years Lettered: 1968-70

Record setting three-year starter who finished with a 28-5 record and ran the pro-set I-formation to perfection. Well, near perfection. An interception thrown during the the 1969 Arkansas-Texas “Game of the Century” started series of events that led to one of program’s most painful losses.

After College: Lived primarily in Dallas area, working in oil and gas sectors, as well as real estate and financial services. On board of directors at Windstream, a telecommunications company based in Little Rock. His wife, Susan Montgomery Byrne, founded Westwood Holdings Group Inc., a money management firm supervising roughly $5 billion in assets.

Residence: Dallas

[Click here for Part 2 of this article on more recent former Razorback quarterbacks. An earlier edition originally published in the September 2013 issue of Arkansas Life magazine. Evin Demirel wrote it.

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