The University of Texas has confirmed that the Longhorns legendary former head football coach has passed away at the age of 88. University spokesman Nick Voinis on Wednesday confirmed Royal’s death. Royal was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and had recently suffered a fall at an assisted living center where he was being cared for.
No further details have been reported at this time.
The university honored Royal in 1996 by renaming their football stadium “Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.”
Royal is the legend among Texas fans who led their beloved Longhorns from 1957-1976. During his time as the team’s head coach, Royal won two national titles and a share of a third. He totaled a 167-47-5 record during his 20 years at Texas, which the best record in the nation over that span of time. Royal never had a losing season during his time with the Longhorns.
He added eleven Southwest Conference titles.
Royal was always a strong advocate of the rushing game and because of that he introduced the wishbone offense to college football in 1968.
Following the installation of the wishbone attack, Royal’s Longhorns squad reeled off thirty straight wins and six straight SWC championships.
Royal was also helpful to the Longhorns off the field. He as among the first college football coaches to hire an academic counselor for his players in order to make sure they succeeded in the classroom and went on to graduate. He was a great coach in all aspects and a true visionary in the college football world.
Royal and his genius will be missed. He was a rare legend.
Thoughts go out to his entire family and all of those who were blessed enough to get close to such a brilliant man.