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Links to articles about Coach Akers are listed below
- Coach Aker's is one of nine children and is raised without owning a t.v. or car.
- Akers is recruited by Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
- At 22- he is the youngest high school head coach in Texas.
Jeff Ward's Comments In The Book Long Live The Longhorns Captures The Essence Of Fred Akers Coaching Style. Jeff Says That Akers Use To Say " It Is OK To Think You're Better Than The Rest Because You Are. You're Going To Play Well Because You're A Texas Longhorn." Akers Believes In Self-Motivation And Individual Responsibility.
Aker's Also Hires A Hypnotherapist To Help Team Members Learn Relaxation Techniques.
Unfortunately cheating is rampant in the SWC during Akers tenure. 7 of 9 of the SWC teams are slapped with some form of NCAA sanctions.
A condensed bullet point history of Texas Longhorn football during the Akers years follows. Please go to the "mission " section of this website and click on "credits" to view books you can purchase from many fine book stores about Texas Longhorn football or please visit the official University of Texas Longhorn site Texassports.com for more current information.
1977- 11-1- COACH AKERS
New NCAA rules are enacted. New balls had to be used on field goals and missed field goal beyond the 20 yard line had to be returned to the original line of scrimmage. The new kicking rule dampened the "toe" battles between Texas Erxleben Arkansas' Steve Little, and A & M's Franklin.
Akers is Coach of the Year. Brad Shearer is the Outland Trophy winner.
Texas has 6 turnovers in the first half against Notre Dame and loses the Cotton Bowl 38-10.
In 1977 the UT Austin stadium is re-dedicated for the third time to include the memory of all veterans in all wars who died fighting for the U.S.
Coach Akeres starts his tenure in the Fast Lane 11-1 and a chance for the National Championship
Final ranking 4th nationally
Earl Campbell and Ham Jones are the top running back duo in Longhorn football history. It is a total injustice that Ham Jones never receives all-conference recognition.
Randy McEachern holds the season record as quarterback for average gain per attempt (10.2) and career ( 8.5)
12 Members Of This Team Are All Conference, 18 Play In The NFL, 6 Are All Americans, And 3 Win National Player Of The Year Awards.
Russell Erxleben holds the record for longest field goal (67 yards); most 50 yard plus field goals in a season (11); and highest punting average for a season (46.6).
Coach Akers Said About Tradition it is " whatever makes you feel bigger than you are and faster than you are."
While UT does not acknowledge a national championship in 1977, the NCAA and several polls do recognize Texas as a National Champion.
Since Barry Switzer and Akers played and coached together, a sports writer asked if they are friends. Coach Akers says "We were fairly good friends, but he's not in my will or anything like that." Switzer responds " That's o.k. .. I don't plan on him dying any time soon."
Before the 1977 season starts Fred Akers thinks 1977 will be a rebuilding year.
Akers implements the new veer offense that has some of the qualities of the I- formation in order to feature Earl Campbell's talents. Coach Akers makes all the right decisions. This team produces the Heisman and Outland Trophy winners, Coach of the Year, SWC Championship, and a 11-1 record.
Because Of Earl Campbell A New Stat Was Added Called The "YAC" (Yards After Contact).
Three quarterbacks compete for the starting job- Mark McBath, Ted Constanzo, and Jon Aune . All three are great quarterbacks but injuries would impact their playing time at Texas.
Jon Aune's pass to Jackson for 88 yards breaks the record set by Bobby Layne to Canady in the 1946 Cotton Bowl.
Alfred Jackson breaks a 30 year old record with 1,409 career yards
The 1977 football team also has Johnny "Lam" Jones- a Olympic gold medalist and the temporary moniker as the fastest man in the world. Even though the electronic clock at the 1977 Texas Relays malfunctioned, and his time was disqualified as a world record, He is timed at 9.85 in the 100 meters. A world record. In the next three years he leads the team in receiving, and he is the first ever NFL draftee to receive a million dollar signing bonus.
Steve McMichael replaces Erxleben in the TCU game and kicks a field goal and two extra points.
Earl Campbell says that Rick Ingraham " is the toughest man I know."
Unfortunately, 6 turnovers in the Cotton Bowl and key injuries thru out the season cost this team a National Championship.
History should be very kind to this team. It is one of the most talented teams in the History of UT football.
Top Song 1978
Final ranking 9th nationally
Donnie Little (a freshman) shows promise as a quarterback against Oklahoma and replaces Randy McEachern in the SMU game
Donnie Little is the first black starting quarterback at Texas
Doug Shankle holds the career record with 325 solo tackles.
Kenneth Sims holds the career record for forced fumbles (15).
"Lam", "Ham", And "Jam" Jones Have Over 200 Yards Rushing To Help Beat Maryland 42-0. As of 2018 Texas has never had another shutout in a bowl game
Largest crowd in the history of the state of Texas is on hand in Austin for the Houston game
Mark McBath starts against Texas A & M.
Russell Erxleben sets two school records by kicking 4 field goals in a game and surpassing Earl Campbell with career points.
1979- 9-3 The year of the foot
Final ranking 12th nationally
John "Goodfoot" Goodson a walk on has 4 field goals in two separate games.
Ham Jones ties a school record of 4 touchdowns in a game.
For The First And Only Time In The NFL Draft 3 Horns Are Taken In The First Round- Johnny Jones, Johnnie Johnson, And Derrick Hatchett.
Johnnie Johnson Is All SWC Three Times, All American Twice, First Round Draft Choice Of The LA Rams, And NFL Rookie Of The Year. He also holds The Season Longhorn Record For Punt Returns (41) And Career record for punt returns (114).
Longhorns defeat OU limiting the powerful OU offense to 158 total yards. The 1978 Heisman trophy winner Billy Simms has his 13 consecutive games over 100 yards broken by the Horns.
Texas beats 4 of 5 undefeated teams
Donnie Little, Rodney Tate, and Ham Jones all suffer serious injuries.
This team has 8 players make SWC with Steve McMichael as an all American.
Texas loses 14-7 to Washington in the Sun Bowl.
The Oklahoma victory is costly with 7 starters hurt.
Texas players are "suspected" of selling complimentary tickets.
For the first and only time in the NFL draft 3 Horns are taken in the first round- Johnny Jones, Johnnie Johnson, and Derrick Hatchett
Final ranking 2nd nationally
While U.T. does not acknowledge a National Championship in 1981, the NCAA and several polls do recognize Texas as a National Champion.
McIvor is the starting quarterback and Donnie Little moves to split end.
Half way thru the season Robert Brewer (a walk-on) wins the starting quarterback position and he receives the MVP of the Cotton Bowl. Texas finishs #2
Arkansas is unranked and beats #1 Texas 42-11
1982 9-3 The year of the pass
Final ranking 17th nationally
A conservative offense throws the long passes. Herkie Walls and Robert Brewer set Texas records.
Kiki DeAyala holds the season record for most tackles for a loss (33);most sacks in a season (22.5); most sacks in a career (40.5);most quarterback pressures for a season (56); most quarterback pressure for a career (117).
This team is tied with the 1954 team with 27 fumble recoveries for the season.
Herkie Walls holds the Longhorn season record for highest average yards per reception (28.1 ) and career (25.8)
Brewer breaks thumb before Sun Bowl game and Todd Dodge replaces him
Texas gets probation without sanctions for buying Marcus Dupree's new boots and for the players selling complimentary tickets.
Bryan Millard labels the Texas-SMU game as competition "between a couple of jailbirds."
Final ranking 5th nationally
The 1983 Defense Produces Impressive Numbers, Giving Up Just 9.5 Points A Game, And 212 Yards Per Contest. Opponents Convert 3rd Downs Just 29% Of The Time. The Texas Defense Has More Pass Interceptions (13) Than Touchdowns Given Up (10).
Jeff Ward holds the season field goal accuracy percentage (.938).
First Team In 40 Years To Have 4 All Americans.
UT Sets An NFL Record With 18 Draft Choices.
John Teltscik Holds The record for Single Game Average Yards Per Punt (54.8).
While UT does not acknowledge a national championship in 1983, the NCAA and several polls do recognize Texas as a National Champion.
Probably the best defensive team in the History of Texas Football.
Lou Holtz said "In all my years of coaching this is the best defensive team (Texas) I've ever seen."
That Texas defense takes on Leidings personality - cocky to the point of arrogance, but backing it up with a physical style of play that simply wore opponents into submission.
Jeff Leiding has 93 tackles on the season, 74 solo, with a sack and 10 quarterback hits, earning consensus All-America honors, along with Jerry Gray and Mossy Cade.
When a SMU quarterback throws the ball three times in James Lott direction with no completions, Jerry Gray says to the SMU quarterback "You just threw three balls at last year's Texas high school high-jump champion."
Jerry Gray runs a 4.25 40. He is All American two years in a row, and a first round pick by the LA Rams
Team is undefeated going into the Cotton Bowl game against Georgia.
Rick McIvor and Todd Dodge compete for the starting position
It is UT's centennial year of football.
Texas assistant Glen Swenson dies in a car wreck . Horns Up!!
David McWilliams is defensive coordinator
1984- 7-4-1- The beginning of the End for the Akers era
From number 1 in the country to losing 4 of 5 games portends the future of Texas football. Mediocrity will be part of Texas football the next 15 years.
While It Is Hard To Believe Texas has not been Number 1 in a weekly poll since 1984 Even During The 2005 National Championship Year USC Was Number 1 All Year Long.
William Harris holds the tight end season record for receiving yards (637) and longest reception (84 yards.
Tony Degrate Is the 1984 Lombardi Trophy Winner And He Holds The Longhorn Season Record For Most Solo Tackles (123).
Five players are part of a fight at a Austin night club and a cop is hit by a longhorn player.
It takes Texas three votes to decide if they want to go to the Freedom bowl. The Horns should have stayed home. Iowa wins 55-17. Jeff Ward states "We were finished, I don't know who made us go (to the Freedom bowl) but it was a mistake, probably a huge recruiting mistake, because it was used against them for several years. "
Jeff Ward Field Goals Win 13 Of The 32 Games During His 4 Years At Texas.
The bar fight in 1984 is used as a recruiting tool against Texas. The team does a commendable job this year, but recruiting is hurt. The recruiting class of 1985 has 26 signees of those 5 never letter and 6 only lettered one year. From the 1985 recruiting class there are only three All SWC players.
Eric Metcalf is a freshman.
Jeff Ward hits 5 field goals to help defeat # 4 Arkansas 15-13.
Alex Waits holds the longhorn career record for average yards per punt (45.30).
25 players lose some or all of their complimentary tickets for selling them to make money.
First losing season since 1956.
21 Starters get hurt including Britt Hager
Bret Stafford records have been surpassed by Vince Young and Colt McCoy but as of 1986 Bret has record for single season yards gained and pass completions .
In 1917 Coach Allerdice (with a record of 33-7) resigns because of what he considers as the "super critical nature of the Texas fans." In 1950 Coach Cherry resigns after compiling a 32-10 record at Texas because he receives letters and phone calls from the fans that are alarming. One letter says "Boy you're on the spot. If you don't win you'd better not come home." In his exit statement he said " While much is made of the fact that most coaches are paid more than college presidents, the financial rewards are an insufficient attraction when the hazards are all considered." "I'm going into the oil business which is simpler than football coaching. You dig a hole , and oil comes out or it doesn't." Royal expressed his own opinion of Longhorn fans when he said "Everyone graduates with a coaching degree." After Harley Sewell had a great game in the 1953 Cotton Bowl a fan complains to J.T. King that he saw Sewell dipping snuff. King said to the fan "If you'll find out what brand Harley is dipping, I'll recommend it to the whole damn team."
In September 1956 The Ranger paper states that "Texas fans in both basketball and football are considered rude, ruthless, and unforgiving." The article goes on to say "although the alumni have many ways of reaching a football game, they usually ride the coaches."
All coaches must deal with internal politics, powerful Alumni, and fanatical fans. Unfortunately for Coach Akers there was an unusually large number of the UT faithful that never thought Fred Akers deserved to be head coach at UT.
Regardless of all the undercurrents during his reign, Coach Akers does a great job as head coach of UT. He is 1 of 3 (out of 28) coaches in the history of Longhorn football to win a conference championship his first year as head coach. He produces three of the best teams in College football history (1977, 1981, and 1983) These teams have a combined record of 32-3-1 and two of these teams play for the national championship . In addition, he has 3 other teams that win 9 or more games. At Other Universities he would have been celebrated for these accomplishment- but not at Texas.
Coach Akers is finally ridden out of town by the amateurs.
Like Coach Allerdice, Coach Cherry, Coach Royal, and Coach King, Akers has some comments to make to all the fans who gave him "advice" and unsolicited comments. Akers compares a Coach to a Prostitute. He says:
"that's what coaching has in common with the world's oldest profession. It's not the long hours that get you; it's the amateur competition.
I believe Coach Akers was exceptional in dealing with adversity. The following quote from John Wooden speaks to Coach Akers
During Coach Aker's last years at Texas, he is able to maintain his "character" even though his reputation is hurt. Even after his release he maintains the high road when he says
“we did a good job of it (coaching at Texas) and we did it the right way. I don't have to apologize to anybody. I think a good program was interrupted."
In 2015-2016 Coach Akers 29 years after his last day at Texas is finally recognized for his accomplishments. In 2015 He Is Inducted Into The HOH and In Feb. 2016 Coach Akers is inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Fred Akers received these honors a week after his son dies at the age of 54 Of Renal Cell Carcinoma.
Coach Akers struggle to help his son survive cancer is just another affirmation of this great mans character.
Coach Aker's contributions to Longhorn traditions remains a portal to the past that reminds Longhorn fans that heritage shapes the present and empowers the future.