Legendary Longhorns Coach Darrell Royal Dies At 88

Legendary University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal has died.

Darrell Royal (File)

AUSTIN (November 7, 2012)—Former University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal, who won two national championships and a share of a third, has died at the age of 88.

Royal suffered from Alzheimer's disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.

Royal coached Texas from 1957-1976, posted a 167-47-5 record, won 11 Southwest Conference titles and introduced an innovation known as the wishbone offense to major college football in 1968.

He led the Longhorns to two national championships in 1963 and 1969, plus a share of a third in 1970.

Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is named in his honor.

On Saturday, the Longhorns will honor Royal at their home game against Iowa State by wearing "DKR" stickers on their helmets and by lining up in the wishbone formation, which Royal used to such great success, for their first offensive snap.

A public memorial ceremony is scheduled for noon Tuesday at the Frank Erwin Center basketball arena.

Royal will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, an honor typically reserved for the state's military and political leaders.

UT head coach Mack Brown called it “a very sad day.”

“I lost a wonderful friend, a mentor, a confidant and my hero. College football lost maybe its best ever and the world lost a great man. I can hardly put in words how much Coach Royal means to me and all that he has done for me and my family,” he said.

"Coach gave so much more to the State of Texas and college football than he took away. He forgot more football than most of us will ever know, including me. His impact on the game, the coaches and players, the community and the millions of lives he touched, is insurmountable. He will be missed in so many ways,” he said.

"I lost my Dad when I was 54, and Coach filled a real void in my life and treated me like family. Sally and I gained a lot coming to Texas and being a part of this tremendous program but no more than our relationship with Coach and Edith. They were our closest of friends. Our heart pours out to Edith and the family and our thoughts and prayers are with her and the family. We will always be there to lend any and all support that we can as she and Coach always did for us,” he said.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst issued a brief statement in which he called Royal, “a true Texas legend and a great friend who will be dearly missed.”

“In his memory, we must continue his fight to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and put an end to this devastating illness that affects hundreds of thousands of Texans,” Dewhurst said.

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