Former Texas Coach Darrell Royal Passes Away at Age 88

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2012

Courtesy of AP (h/t Sports Illustrated)
Courtesy of AP (h/t Sports Illustrated)

Former Texas Longhorns head football coach Darrell Royal passed away at the age of 88, according to a report from the Associated Press (h/t 

University of Texas spokesman Nick Voinis on Wednesday confirmed Royal's death. Royal had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.

In his career with the Longhorns, which started in 1957 and lasted until 1976, Royal led the program to 167 victories, 16 bowl appearances (including eight wins) and two undefeated national championship seasons in 1963 and 1969, as well as a share of a third in 1970. 

Before arriving in Texas, Royal spent two seasons as the head coach at Mississippi State and one year at Washington. He had 184 wins in his coaching career and never had a losing season in 23 years. 

The University of Texas named its home stadium after him in 1996, calling it the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. He was also a fixture with the program as athletic director, a position he held from 1962-1979. 

Royal's legacy at Texas is one of the most storied in all of college football. He brought a style of football and swagger to Austin that was unlike anything else in the sport at the time. It showed in his results on and off the field. 

We often hear tales about head coaches being larger-than-life figures. Some of it is just hyperbole, but in the case of Royal it absolutely applies. He was an institution at Texas during his time there, and he remained one of the most revered figures the program has ever known long after he left.