Some men leave a mark on the world; others change it completely. Darrell K Royal was one of the latter. Royal passed away Tuesday night at the age of 88 after battling Alzheimer's disease.
Texas Longhorn football is, of course, the first thing that springs to mind when Royal's name is mentioned. His legendary status would be secure if only for that, but Royal was so much more.
He and his wife, Edith, were some of Austin's greatest philanthropists. Their support for Texas music — especially the songwriters — was nearly as well-known as Royal's football stats.
Besides his reputation as the hardest working coach and the man who brought the wishbone offense to college football, he was also known as the consummate sportsman. A few accomplishments:
- All-American quarterback for Oklahoma
- The Texas Longhorns all-time winningest coach, with a 167-47-5 record from 1957-76
- 20 consecutive winning seasons
- Three national championships
- 11 Southwest Conference titles
- Six-time Coach of the Year
- Induction into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
- Induction into the College Football Hall of Fame
- Namesake of Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium
A year ago, the Royals created the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer's Disease. Donations can still be made.