Darrell Royal (1924-2012)
At the age of 32, Darrell Royal came to the University of Texas campus with a folksy sense of humor and an innovative style of football that produced almost instant success and the life-long respect and affection of Longhorn fans throughout the world.
In Royal’s second year at Texas, the Longhorns played in their first of what would be 16 bowl games over the next 20 years; three for national championships. In 23 years as head coach, he never had a losing season. The Longhorns finished in the top 10 nationally during 11 of those seasons. In 1962, Royal assumed the dual role of Athletics Director and head football coach at the University of Texas. He retired from coaching in 1976 to concentrate on his duties as Athletic Director.
Royal hired the nation’s first academic counselor. During his coaching years, four out of five men who lettered for Royal went on to earn their degrees.
Darrell Royal’s honors include membership in both the Texas and Oklahoma Sports Halls of Fame and in the Longhorn Hall of Honor. He was twice named Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches and three times by the Football Writers of America.
The money raised in Darrell Royal’s name was for two purposes: a scholarship in sports journalism and a lectureship. The fundraising occurred in 1988. The first lectureship was in 1990 by Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson — an NFL football player who had overcome drug addiction. This was Darrel Royal’s personal selection.