Darrell Royal, Texas Football Coaching Legend, Dies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Small South Carolina Newspaper Takes Home Top Pulitzer Prize

The winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, fiction, poetry, drama, music, biography, history and nonfiction were announced Monday at Columbia University in New York.
NPR

When Danish Cows See Fresh Spring Pasture, They Jump For Joy

Thousands of spectators gather every April to see ecstatic cows return to fields on organic farms around Denmark. The organic industry says the event has helped fuel demand for organic foods.
WAMU 88.5

Hello, Goodbye: Pair Of Virginia Delegates Depart After Short Careers In Richmond

Some members of the Virginia's General Assembly are throwing in the towel, deciding against seeking reelection. — and some of them haven't been around for very long.
NPR

Solar Power Makes Electricity More Accessible On Navajo Reservation

The panels, funded by government grants, are helping thousands of tribal residents take advantage of the everyday luxuries enjoyed by other Americans — like turning on lights or storing food.

Leave a Comment

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