NPR : News

Filed Under:

Darrell Royal, Texas Football Coaching Legend, Dies

Darrell Royal, who coached the University of Texas Longhorns to three national titles "and became the biggest college football icon in a state that worships the sport, has died at age 88," Austin's American-Statesman reports.

"The most successful, most beloved coach in Texas Longhorns history," ESPN adds, "succumbed early Wednesday after a debilitating fight with Alzheimer's disease."

According to the College Football Hall of Fame, "Royal is credited with two innovations that set Texas out in front of the rest of the nation in offensive strategy: his 'Flip-Flop Winged-T' in 1962 and the Wishbone in 1968." Under Royal, the Longhorns won national championships in 1963, 1969 and 1970.

But to the team's fans, ESPN says, "Royal stood for more than winning. Royal represented integrity, respect and a romanticized past."

The coach was also famous, the American-Statesman says, for his:

"Royalisms — a lifetime of sayings that are still quoted today. He is credited with the oft-repeated line, 'Dance with one who brung ya' to describe a reluctance to change football strategy in mid-game or midseason. He'd say a fast running back was 'quicker than a hiccup.' Royal oft said luck was a result of 'when preparation meets opportunity.' Before his final season, which ended with a 5-5-1 record, he fretted that his team looked 'as average as everyday wash.' "

In 23 years of coaching at three schools (Mississippi State and Washington before he went to Texas in 1957), Royal had a 184-60-5 record. He retired from coaching after the 1976 season, and was the athletic director at Texas until 1980.

The Longhorns play their home games in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, which holds 100,119 fans.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Robert Irwin Brings 'Big' To Texas With Permanent Art Installation

The 87-year-old conceptual artist unveils a large-scale installation of his work in Marfa, Texas, this week. He's spent his career creating site-specific art that often treats light as its subject.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

Hillary Clinton Picks Her VP Nominee: Who Is Tim Kaine?

Hillary Clinton has tapped Virginia SenatorTim Kaine to be her running mate, completing the democratic presidential ticket.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.