Thursday, 04 July 2024 06:17


Written by #theGAC News Release
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Texarkana, Arkansas:  The Live United Bowl has enjoyed an exciting 10 year run with many memories made for those athletes who were fortunate to have played in this elite post season bowl game.  For some, it was their last football game of the year, but for others it was the last time on a football field to represent their university.  But for all who participated, it was a memorable experience and a first-class event to be cherished.   

“The Live United Bowl Committee has made the difficult decision to retire the playing of the bowl game,” says Brown.  “Reflecting back, it has been a great ten years!   A heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who have helped over these past 10 years. None of this would have been possible,” continues Brown, “without a dedicated group of volunteers and sponsors.   Always with a goal of putting on a first-class event, it has become more expensive and challenging to live up to the standards we have set.  Expenses have continued to increase and although we have a giving community, sponsorships have declined.  The universities struggle with limited athletic budgets which directly impact the number of participating athletes and support groups such as bands, cheer, and dance teams.  To make it a true college experience, it is important to have student involvement, but it requires additional funds to help offset these expenses,” explains Brown.  

“Throughout the years, we have received numerous compliments from the athletes, the universities’ leadership, and the spectators,” says Jerry Huckabee, Vice Chairman of the Live United Bowl Committee. “It is hard to put into words the gratification of those who worked on the committee when these words of appreciation and thanks were shared with us.”   

“A NCAA event requires a lot of preparation and planning and each year, the event met all expectations from the standpoint of providing a quality experience,” said Allen Brown, Chairman of the Live United Bowl Committee.  With a passion for Division II football and a vision to start a Division II bowl game, Jeff Roberson presented Allen Brown with the idea of starting a Division II bowl game in Texarkana.  Both Brown and Roberson officiated DII games and that was the beginning of a friendship that would lead to the establishment of this event. 

Since the first bowl game was played in Texarkana, there have been great competitions. “Being able to offer these Division II schools a chance at a postseason game was very rewarding to say the least,” says Brown.  “The positive comments from the participating universities, the athletes themselves and their parents were a key element in putting forth the effort and long hours to make it a great experience. Our game became the premier bowl game that all Division II universities wanted to be invited.” 

"Thank you to everyone in the Texarkana community that provided a great postseason football opportunity to our student-athletes over the past decade," GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt said. I'm particularly appreciative to Allen Brown and Jeff Roberson for their tireless work to make the Live United Bowl a positive experience for the universities that participated in the game. It's been a good run to bring Division II football to Texarkana and help provide support to a wonderful organization like the United Way. The Live United Bowl helped grow GAC football and we look to continue enhancing postseason opportunities for our football programs through advocating for NCAA Division II playoff expansion and continuing to build our relationship with the Heritage Bowl in Corsicana, Texas."

“It is important that I recognize a few of those people who made this bowl game possible over the last 10 years.  Most importantly, the Texarkana Arkansas A&P Commission who made the commitment from the very beginning to help with funding.  The commission recognized that the game would bring people to our community who would use our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and buy gas as well as enjoy local entertainment venues such as bowling, the movie theatre and shopping.    Another founding sponsor was TASD for the use of the athletic facilities, and as the bowl game grew the city of Texarkana, Texas came on board and our two title sponsors, Dean and LaCrecia Barry and then Farmers Bank and Trust.  The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department was instrumental in helping to make the three-day visit safe and seamless. Also, we appreciate the Great American Conference and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for their outstanding support in our team selection process.  

“Not only was this a postseason game for Division II football, but it also served as an opportunity to showcase Texarkana.  Having these coaches and athletes visit some of the United Way agencies in Texarkana gave them a chance to take an active part in the true spirit of our community. It was very impactful for the teams as well as the agencies’ students and residents who enjoyed interacting with the players. We are thankful for these opportunities and for the support of the United Way of Greater Texarkana team.  Giving back to the community was one of the guiding principles behind the creation of the bowl game.  We were able to give over $80,000 to the United Way of Greater Texarkana,” Brown proudly says. “On behalf of the Texarkana Live United bowl committee, I want to take one last opportunity to thank ALL of our sponsors and volunteers who made these ten years possible.”

Last modified on Thursday, 04 July 2024 06:19

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