FARMINGTON -- Two of the architects of Farmington's progression from where its sports facilities and number of athletes stood seven years ago have moved on or in the process of leaving.
Former head coaches Brad Blew (girls basketball 1986-2009) and Bryan Law (football 1999-2002) both advanced up the ladder to hold positions of influence as Farmington grew in enrollment numbers and in the number of sports offered.
BRYAN LAW FARMINGTON FOOTBALL RECORDS
09-03-1999^at Pea Ridge^(2A-1)^Win^40-28
09-24-1999^at West Fork^(3A-1)^Win^29-0*
10-29-1999^at Green Forest^(3A-1)^Loss^0-6*
Record ^4-6, 3-5^Points For^199^Points Against^240
Record ^11-1, 8-0^Points For^358 (29.8 avg.)^Points Against^99 (8.3 avg.)
Record ^9-3, 6-2^Points For^428 (35.7 avg.)^Points Against^211 (17.6 avg.)
++Lost 39-8, later forfeited by Clarksville
09-13-1999^Harrison (4A West)^Loss^14-35
Record ^5-5, 4-3^Points For^245^Points Against^231
Head coach Bryan Law
Totals^29-15^(.659 winning percentage), 11-10 (conference)^Points For^1,230^(28.0 avg.)^Points Against^78^(17.8 avg.)
Source — Compiled by Mark Humphrey
BRYAN LAW: FARMINGTON VS. PRAIRIE GROVE
1999^Prairie Grove^44-14^at Farmington
2000^Farmington^40-6^at Prairie Grove
2001^Prairie Grove^34-22^at Farmington
2002^Prairie Grove^21-7^at Prairie Grove
Source — Prairie Grove Enterprise
"We look at our classroom spaces and teacher requirements and all that, but all of our extra-curricular activities have grown, too; and so, therefore, the responsibilities of taking care of that larger number of students has increased," Law said.
Blew became athletic director in 2008 while Law shifted into administration, first as assistant superintendent and the last eight years as superintendent. Both men took a pro-active stance in their support and promotion of Cardinal athletics during their administrative tenures.
Law's resignation came on the heels of Blew's, whose last day on the job was Jan. 31. The duo worked together on a number of projects with Farmington vastly expanding its athletic facilities and programs. In the past five years, Farmington has opened the ultra-chic, 1,800 seat Cardinal Arena for basketball and volleyball, plus a $16 million Sports Complex encompassing a new fieldhouse, as well as track and field facilities highlighted by Cardinal Stadium for football and soccer.
During a January interview before announcing he was leaving, Law described their working relationship calling Blew a great asset for this school district for many years.
"I've been here for 20 years and he's been a great person to work with. He's been a great asset for our community. He's got so many relationships built up with kids and with parents in this community," Law said. "He understands the pulse of this community and he has been a great asset in planning out our athletic facilities and even in the growth of our athletic program as our school has grown."
Law arrived in Farmington as head football coach.
In four seasons of coaching Farmington football from 1999-2000, Law compiled an overall record of 29-15 with a .659 winning percentage. The Cardinals were then a member of the 3A-1 and Law achieved an 11-10 conference record. He coached two teams into the playoffs during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. His teams outscored opponents 1,230-781 over four seasons averaging 28.0 points-per-game offensively while yielding an average of 17.8 points-per-game on defense.
During the 2000 football season, Law guided Farmington to a 40-6 win over rival Prairie Grove, which is the Cardinals' highest offensive output in the rivalry series since legendary coach Allen Holland's 1973 team pasted the Tigers 52-0 and went on to win the second of two consecutive Class B state championships.
The district also completed a new performing arts center as part of the building Cardinal Arena is housed in and new high school in 2017.
Former superintendent Ron Wright placed Law in charge of the Master School Facilities Plan. That became the starting point for Law's role as the district was able to successfully leverage $1 million worth of debt for each $60,000 spent on construction.
Prior to the covid-19 crisis, the district was able to use $60,000 to leverage a million dollars worth of debt. As the district tax base increased opportunity to expand presented itself with Law and Blew leading the drive with a respectable millage already in place.
"So, those things came together," Law said, noting low interest rates factored into the building projects
"It's certainly been a plus. So, we've been very fortunate to be in this position at this time to put all those little pieces together to make the big piece that generated the revenue to do this," Law said.
Law's 20 years with the district ends June 30 when he takes over as director of the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative. Ironically, his new office is about 100 yards away or the length of a football field from the office he's occupied as Farmington superintendent since 2012.
His replacement, Jon Paul Laffoon, who has been Star City superintendent of schools since 2016, begins working at Farmington July 1. Meanwhile high school principal Jon Purifoy has filled in as interim athletic director and served as tournament director for the Class 4A State basketball tournament with Cardinal Arena as host site March 4-7 prior to the sports shutdown due to the covid-19 crisis.
State Tourney Showcase
During an April 27 school board meeting, Jeff Oxford, secretary for Farmington School Board, recognized Purifoy's efforts saying a lot of positive comments have come out of it.
"I've been to a lot of state tournaments and that was first class," Oxford said.
Law agreed, commenting, "Jon did a wonderful job with that. I hate the fact that our girls didn't get to play in the state championship (canceled by the Arkansas Activities Association due to covid-19), but I do appreciate the state championship."
Farmington and Star City were designated by the AAA as co-champions on April 6 with senior Makenna Vanzant named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Vanzant and juniors, Tori Kersey and Trinity Johnson, were voted onto the All-State tournament team.
Along with Purifoy's management of the tournament Law also praised assistant superintendent Stephanie Pinkerton, who worked the hospitality room every night of the state tournament.
"When an opportunity came when they could shine, they made the most of it," Law said.Sports on 05/27/2020
Print Headline: Architects Of Cardinal Athletics Expansion