As a sophomore when freshmen weren’t eligible, Olan Burns was among the youngest starters as an end on the Razorbacks’ fabled “25 Little Pigs” 1954 Bowden Wyatt coached surprise Southwest Conference championship team.
Throughout his Razorbacks career as a 1955 and ’56 starter for Coach Jack Mitchell, Burns would prove as tough as the legendary seniors on that 1954 team.
Of her recently deceased father, DeAnn Stokes of Greenwood wrote, “The last game of the year his junior year (a 13-7 loss to LSU in Little Rock) he received an uppercut so hard it dislocated his jaw. He continued to play another 7.5 minutes until his roommate told the trainer. The trainer then put it back in place on the field. And there he stayed. Later that night my Mom (Carole) and his best friend and another Razorback player took Dad to the hospital where they reset his jaw and wired it shut. My Dad, he was tough whenever he needed to be, ready to tackle whatever life sent his way.”
Eddie Bradford, a UA Hall of Honor senior starter for the “25 Little Pigs” confirmed Burns was as tough as they come on the field and as personable as they come off the field.
Burns was a high school coach at Cabot and Jacksonville before going into a longtime successful construction business in Malvern.
Alzheimer’s ended Burns’ life and 63-year marriage on June 25.
DeAnn Stokes, writing her tribute to her father to the Alzheimer’s Association, asks that any memorials be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association-Arkansas Chapter, 1130 N. Rodney Parham Rd. Suite 205 A, Little Rock, AR 72213 or online to alz.org/donate.