This week the college football world lost another legend. Darrell K. Royal was a giant in the college fraternity. A man who became synonymous with the success of the University of Texas Longhorns passed away in body; his legend will remain as long the game of football is played.
Saturday the Longhorns will meet the Iowa State Cyclones in Austin. In a tribute the late coach, the Horns will wear a helmet with DKR across the Longhorn logo. Another notable tribute by UT is the first offensive play will be run in the wishbone formation. A scheme the Texas coach revolutionized during his tenure in Austin.
To say coach Royal had an impact on the Texas program would be an understatement. The stadium that bears his name today, saw three national championships, 167 wins, 11 Southwest Conference championships, and eight bowl victories.
With seemingly every college program garnering extravagant odd, and sometimes over-the-top alternate jerseys and uniforms, the Horns remain an outcast. Tradition means something to the Texas brand. Change comes at a slow pace in the hills of central Texas. The homage to one of the most successful coaches in history is subtle where his impact was not.
The three letters that will adorn the Texas helmet this weekend represent everything UT fans love about their team. A respect for the past, and an eye on the future, with success in the meantime. Royal had many humorous sayings that have gone down in college football lore.
“You’ve got to think lucky. If you fall into a mud hole, check your back pocket–you might have caught a fish.”
A humorous quote for sure, but the man also recorded a more serious statement.
“I want to be remembered as a winning coach, but I also want to be remembered as an honest and ethical coach.”
You are Darrell. You are.