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11/07/2012

RIP - Darrell Royal

Drken67a_display_imageStories about the finals months, and years, of former University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal's life were painfully sad as he battled Alzheimer's disease.

His wife has been auctioning off some of his considerable memorabilia collection to raise money for the Darrell K. Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer's Disease.

This morning the University of Texas has confirmed that Royal has died in Austin. He was 88.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he coached at Mississippi State and Washington before he moved to Texas.

He coached at UT from 1957 to 1976 where he compiled a record of 167-47-5. The Horns won national titles in 1963, 1969 and 1970. He retired after the 1976 season.

Royal had a million of quality one liners, such as, "God gives talent, size, speed. But a guy can control how hard he tries."

The people of Fort Worth, and TCU, probably remember this one in 1962 when he said of the Horned Frogs: "They're like a bunch of coackroaches. It's not what they eat and tote off, it's what they fall into and mess up that hurts." Royal was referring to a loss the previous season when his No. 1 ranked Longhorns were upset 6-0 by a 24-point underdog Horned Frog team.

Much as Bear Bryant is to Alabama so is Royal to Texas. He was a giant of a figure, and his legacy has been nearly impossible to follow for the many others who have tried. 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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