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A condensed bullet point history of Texas Longhorn football during the Royal years follows. Please go to the "credit" section of this website to view books you can purchase from many fine book stores about Texas Longhorn Sports or please visit the official University of Texas Longhorn site

Coach Royal  had a fear of Public speaking when he was hired at Texas. He reached out to  Bill Alexander a consummate speaker for help.  Bill told Royal to memorize the BRIDGE BUILDER by Will Allen Dromgoole and learn to tell it like a story and not a poem. Coach Royal did as instructed and learned a valuable lesson. You can't imitate someone's speaking style or their mannerisms without coming across as phony so he decided to just be himself at speaking engagements. He commented "I do think that if you're sincere, even in a clumsy way, sometimes it might have some effect." After this revelation Royal created his own style  and the "Royalisms over the next 20 years started to flow.  Search for "Bridge Builder" to understand the  origins of Royalisms.


Royal understood the importance of attitude in winning.

Royal was a dreamer.  As a young man he dreamed of kicking a ball 90 yards, or running faster than anyone, or getting a coaching job that he would never get.  Royal was small for a football player.  He was even told in high school that he was too small to try out for the football team.   Because of his rejection from the football team due to size and speed,  Royal understood early in his coaching career that slow and small guys who dreamed big were great recruits.  He knew these young men were winners.  He also understood that there were great athletes with  power, height, and speed but who did not have  the heart and soul to compliment their  attributes.   In the 60's Royal's won three national championships combining skilled players with many players who dreamed big and who believed they were bigger and faster than they actually were, and they won.  James Saxton remembers that when they played Ole Miss the Longhorns were out weighed 40 pounds a man but they won the game. Attitude not talent wins many games and Royal's early teams had attitude.  In the book "Darrell Royal Dance With Who Brung Ya " it is noted that in Royal's first 5 years at Texas there were 21 goal line stands where the opponent failed to score- saving 9 games that would have gone in the loss column.  "Attitude" won those games.  



Royal demanded three things from recruits.  He said "the athlete must be ambitious in his studies and make proper progress toward graduation; that he conduct himself like a gentleman and reflect credit on the university; and that he be a competitor."  

From Bob Hawthorne's book Longhorn Football- Royal's  theory of football was to keep the game simple and direct. Know what you're trying to accomplish. Express it clearly and precisely. "Plan everything down to the smallest detail.  Be disciplined. Be prepared. Play with ferocity. Beat the man across the line of scrimmage from you "jaw to Jaw". " Coach Royal once said " you want them to play every Saturday as if they were planting the flag on Iwo Jima."

Royal era begins 1957- He is "The Bridge Builder" 

Royal arrives and the Longhorns learn how to "twist and shout" and Rock the Longhorn Fans around the clock.

Rodney Kelley tells a transition story from Coach Price to Coach Royal

Rodney Kelley says   “I am not sure if you know the story about Garland and his team mates.  Coach Royal's first season was their senior year.  The year before they only won one game.  They beat Tulane 7-6 without scoring an offensive TD.  Tulane fumbled in the end zone and the Horns recovered, kicked the extra point.  Tulane scored and Garland Kennan, in the middle of the photo, blocked the extra point for the win.  Garland was one of Coach Royal's first Captains. In his first year Coach Royal went 6-3-1 and played Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl and got beaten badly.  It would forever change the way Royal prepared for bowl games. 

Walter Fondren is Mr. Everything for the Horns. He is always among the leaders in rushing, passing, receptions, punting, punt returns, touchdown, and point after conversion.

Arlis Parkhurst said “ We didn’t have a grand time before the bowl game. We had two a days. Worked like spring training. Game time we had no legs. Coach Royal later said he learned a great lesson . That is when he started treating the team, wives, and dates to a long weekend at the Dude Ranch in Bandera after the bowl rather than before.”

First picture- Louis Del Homme and Walter Fondren

2nd picture-Gamblin, Royal,McWilliams, Carlisle, Bass, Cook, and Kubin



First picture-Gene Powell, Loyd Wainscott, Linus Baer, Coach Royal and Tommy Loeffler.


link  to Royal's quotes is below


1957  6-4-1- Rebuilding the winning tradition

DKR says "Football is a physical contact, spartan game.  You don't go out there for any taffy-pull......"

While all spring trainings are difficult, the 1957 "reset"  and the 1968 "purge" were tradition builders. Very quickly in 1957 the players understood that only the strongest would survive Royal's  regimen.




Top of the Charts 1957

In the video Tom Hanks father is on the far left.








Tackling fundamentals by Coach Royal





The letter below to Bobby Goodwin was sent to each freshman in Coach Royal's first recruiting class at Texas. 


About Media criticism Royal says "How can you truly appreciate a compliment if you've never been criticized?"

Fred Bednarski on Oct. 19th 1957 is the first soccer style kicker to kick a field goal in college football history.

Final ranking 11th nationally

Coach Pittman is assigned the responsibility of restoring dormitory discipline.  He does!  One player had a fight in his room and broke the window. Coach Pittman proceeds to throw the players personal belongings out the window and kick him off the team.  

The DKR era arrives, and the notorious "Medina conditioning Sessions" begin. ( Please use search engine for "Frank Medina" to read the  article about Frank Medina. 

In the book Runnin' with the Big Dogs the author Mike Shropshire states that "Royal is a hands-on coach, particularly with his quarterbacks," and the "kicking game is an almost manic obsession."  Royal states " a boy shows how  much he wants to play two-a-days when it is hot and tough".  " I don't count on the boy who waits until October, when it is cool and fun". That player may be " better than three guys in front of him, but I know those three won't change their minds in the fourth quarter."  

Texas is the first state university in the nation to implement a qualifying exam for admission.  In fact, the scholastic burden to enter Texas is harder than any other University in the SWC. 

When Coach Royal takes over he has several immediate issues to overcome. In Jenna Hays McEachern book DKR- The Royal Scrapbook  she notes that Logan Wilson, the University of Texas president,  informed Coach Royal that all freshman will have to pass an entrance exam.  Royal has no problem with the new directive from UT and decides to hire a full time academic counselor instead of a football recruiting director.  Coach Royal says "We don't need another ' get 'em here' coach: we need a 'keep 'em here coach".  


Texas hires Lan Hewlett as the first "brain coach"  in college sports. His official title is  Academic Counselor.

Lan said “I feel our boys are college students first and athletes second, and I’m sort of the catalyst trying to get an athlete and his professor close together-without getting used up in the process.” Texas is the first University in NCAA history to have a full-time "brain coach".  Adding an Academic Counselor is one of Coach Royal's finest legacies and  Jenna McEachern states in her book DKR The Royal Scrap book  that "80% of the lettermen during the Royal years graduated".  In Jenna McEachern's book 100 things she states that  45 of 48 players on the 1963 team graduated and The teams  GPA was higher than the student body GPA average.  

A bigger problem than the Scholastic entrance exam is the team he inherits. He said "You don’t take over a team that has lost nine games and inherit a warm bed”. He calls the 1957 team his “average whackers”. However, the 1957 team was not average, and the foundation for Royal football is set. 

The split-T is installed

Fondren wins the starting quarterback job and Coach Royal says he is “quick as a hic-cup”. 

This team plays Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl,  but loses the game. Coach Royal concedes that “he worked the players too hard before the Sugar Bowl game, and he said “the Sugar Bowl game against Ole Miss would forever change my bowl game preparation.” He says “it was just inexperience on my part, but when you get a lesson like this, it’s a forceful lesson". In the next 19 years, he never push's another one of his bowl teams as hard as he does the 1957 team. 


1958 7-3 - A tradition building year 



Two Point conversion option is added after a touchdown. 

About playing OU in 1958 he said "they get a yellow dog running downhill and they'll strap him real good." 

Royal looks for players who understand that starting a winning tradition requires bumps and bruises.  He says “Texas has to develop a football tradition. It had one once but lost it. When we get one, maybe we can stop the blood-letting up at Dallas (the O.U. game) and turn it into a good show.” 

In the O.U. game Royal becomes the first coach in NCAA history to win a game with a two point play.   Royal says “We decided on Friday to try for the two points if we scored first. We felt in this ball game one touchdown wouldn’t hold up, and we were shooting for the win." 


In the 1958 Texas-O.U. game the Sooners beat the Horns soundly in the first half and Royal motivates his team for the second half by saying "There's a helluva fight going on out thVince's heroics reflect a new  attitude for the Horns and the "blood-letting in Dallas" is finally over.  ere-by one side. Why don't you get in on it?"

With Royal's half time speech, the help of the red candle tradition , the new two point rule, and Vince Matthews passing Texas beat O.U. for the first time in many years. 


Vince's heroics reflect a new  attitude for the Horns and the "blood-letting in Dallas" is finally over.  


The victory over O.U. in 1958 is the stepping stone used to convert the Longhorn bumps and bruises over the next 15 years into one of the best football programs in college history.  


Below is a letter sent to the players prior to Spring training 1958. 

Below is a 1962 letter to the Texas Ex-Students Association

5 out  of the 7 wins are come back victories in 1958.

Coach Royal says  that the comeback against Georgia in 1958 is “the best thing that could happen to us.” “It sure gives you confidence you can do it again. You do that a few times and then you’ve got a tradition started".  

Royal loves the quick kick, and uses often in his earlier years at Texas. Bobby Lackey has a 61-yard quick kick against Georgia.

Coach Royal says of the loss to Rice "There was a hornet’s nest waiting for us in Houston, and we were walking into it like Little Red Riding Hood with jam on her face.”

Tear Away Jersey- In the 1958  SMU game Wurlitzer is running with the ball when the SMU linebacker “apparently grabs him by the jersey and pulls him down several yards short of the first down". This “incident plants in Royal’s mind the need to adopt tear away jerseys.  Team declines an invitation to the Gator Bowl “because of the bad taste from the previous year’s bowl disaster against Ole Miss.

Coach Royal now has all the ingredients for a winning tradition. 

The first issue of Texas Football magazine. Jack Collins of Texas...before Coach Royal changed the colors back to burnt orange Played high school football at Highland Park. RB on the Longhorns teams of 1959-1961.

 1959  9-2 1960 Cotton bowl – a loss to the National Champions but a win for the Texas program.

This was the year that there was a 3 way tie for the SWC championship- Texas, TCU, and Arkansas. All three were in the top 10, but Texas received the Cotton Bowl invitation because of a rule that stated the team that had been to the Cotton less recently would receive the invitation.

Final ranking 4th nationally

In Lou Maysel's book he says“Backfield speed, so limited during Darrell Royal’s first two seasons at Texas, increased markedly with the addition of a talented sophomore class to the 23 returning lettermen. Fifteen of these veterans were seniors who had been through the hard slogging of the formative Royal years, and they formed the framework for the launching of Texas into the new age of more explosive football.” The new group and new attitude was led by “Don Allen, who helped start the Texas hitting tradition” , and Monte Lee who coach Campbell said “never went half speed”.   

Coach Royal says of James Saxton “He’s the quickest football player I’ve seen. He gives you a thrill on a two-yard gain. He is like a balloon full of air. When you turn him loose, there’s no telling where he’s going and when the play is over, he’s spent”.

The offense changes to a “LSU-style Wing T” and the defense to a “6-2-2-1 alignment which requires changes in duties and style of play for everyone. 

T- Jones moves up to the varsity to coach and Coach Bill Ellington joins the staff to coach the offensive line. 

Bob Gurwitz (above) interception against A & M clinches the SWC championship in 1959.

18 years after the 1959 Texas-Arkansas game Fred Akers will be the head coach the Texas Longhorns but in 1959 as a player on the Arkansas team he has a 30 yard field goal attempt blocked by the Longhorns.  Texas wins 13-12. 

Bob Lackey is on the front cover of Sports Illustrated in November 1959.

Cotton Bowl game in 1960 is  against the number 1 team in the nation.  The press loves Syracuse. Quotes from the L.A. Times and many other newspapers basically tell Texas to concede the game and go fishing. Coach Royal says “we want crawl into the ring against Syracuse in awe. We’ve got enough competitive spirit that we don’t feel we’re whipped".




Kristynik’s, demeanor is evident, consistent, and uniform - before, during, and even after a play.

The game includes a fight on the field and accusations that the Longhorns are prejudice. President Wilson ask the NCAA to investigate the Syracuse allegations. The NCAA dropped the case with no conclusion.



There are accusations that Texas players are prejudice, and Texas players play dirty. Coach Royal offers to let anyone inspect the game films for evidence of dirty play and comments ” Looks like they (Syracuse) ought to be satisfied. They’re number 1. They won the Cotton Bowl. Ben’s (Syracuse coach) is coach of the year. I don’t know what else they want."

Lou Maysel says in spite of the unsavory ending , the 1959 season is a return of Texas as a national power, and it also ends a drought of individual honors. Maurice Doke is an All American and Lee, Collins, and Ramirez make the All SWC team.  

Royal receives  an extension on his contract without a raise to $17,500 a year. 

The chemistry of the players from the 1956-1959 era in combination with the insights of the coaching staff revive the winning tradition that will bring the Longhorns 3 National championships and many SWC championships in the 60’s and early 70's. 


1960  7-3-1

According to Royal 1960 is the turning point to "building the bridge".  He said " I think our program would have been a long way towards hard times if that team (1960) hadn't rally" from a 3-3 record.

Second in the SWC but loser of two games the Longhorns could have won. Each game is decided by one point.   Injuries and fumbles hurt the offense but the defense let by Culpepper,  Lee, and Cooper was stellar.  

Alabama and Texas tie in the Bluebonnet Bowl.  Both teams have coaches who know that if the opposing team does not score you can't lose.  Both teams play great football and tied 3-3. 




Monte Lee is The First Two Year Captain Since 1903. No Player After Lee has received this honor. 

There is A New Substitution Rule That Allows One Player To Enter Between Plays.  Using This New Rule Royal uses Poage On Offense And Culpepper on defense.

Based On A Suggestion From An Alumni Coach Royal moves James Saxton From Quarterback To Right Half Back.



Saxton initially signs with Rice but changes his mind and decides to sign with Texas.

James Saxton becomes one of the greatest backs in Longhorn history after heeding Coach Royals "advise" To “ Quit Dancing So Much And To Head Up field”. 

Texas Tech Joins The SWC.

Bud Wilkinson Says After The 24-0 Shutout Of OU by the Longhorns "  It's No Mystery. They're Tougher, They're Faster, They Run Better, And They Tackle Better Than We Do." 

1961  10-1  DKR is Coach of the Year .  Team is ranked 3rd in the nation.

National Championship teams require good recruiting, a competent coaching staff, players with faith in the system, trust and respect for teammates, combined with talent, team chemistry, a strong work ethic, and a little luck. This team had all of these qualities but a "little" luck.

Royal decides that there are too many missed blocks in 1960 so he creates a very simple basic offense. The new offense only has 11 running  plays. Royal believes this offense will  eliminate some of the "grind-it-out offensive plays of 1960 that failed to score a touchdown in three games. Royal wants an offense that can  get "20 yards every now and then". The loss to TCU cost Texas a chance for a National Championship.

On September 23rd, 1961 against the California Bears  DKR introduces  the Logo design created by Rooster Andrews that becomes  the most recognizable brand in college football.

Royal is named "Coach of the Year."  


DKR moves from a Split T formation to a Flip Flop offense that is used to win 46 games over the next 5 years

Final Ranking 3rd Nationally. The Flip-Flop Offense Sets Records And The Longhorn defense received notoriety as the "Tango" Defense (1,2,3 Punt).  

Texas is rejected by TCU  at the goal line with a 4th and 1 , and  another time with 4th and  3, and incurs two blocked field goal from inside the 25 to  lose the game. Saxton was knocked out of the game  with a concussion the first half but returned the second half.       

After losing to TCU in 1961 DKR says "They (TCU) are like a cockroach. It isn’t what he eats or totes off but what he falls into and messes up.” Royal says that losing to TCU was one of the worse losses of his football career. David McWilliams still believes that the 1961 team was the most talented team during his years at Texas.

Saxton holds the Texas season rushing average record for (7.9)

November 24th 1961 Texas is ranked Number 1 for the first time in school history.

Dave Campbell of the Waco News-Tribune said Coach Royal "has the great ability to adapt to his material."  The flip flop was implemented to use James Saxton's  running ability. When James graduated Royal once again adjusted the offense and defense to use the "material" he had.

By 1961 Saxton is key to the offense so Royal re-tools the offense to fit James Saxton’s skills.

The new offense exceeds all expectations and the 1961 team gives Coach Royal his first bowl victory at Texas.

In the Cotton Bowl Texas intercepted 5 Ole Miss. passes.  It was Coach Royal's 4th bowl appearance in 5 years  but his first win in postseason play.  Ray Poage was the leading rusher in the game. 


In the Cotton Bowl Texas intercepted 5 Ole Miss. passes.  It was Coach Royal's 4th bowl appearance in 5 years  but his first win in postseason play.  Mike Cotten is the hero of the Cotton Bowl game against Ole Miss.  Royal is named "Coach of the Year."  Jerry Cook  has three interceptions.  

Mike Cotten sets a season Longhorn record as quarterback by only throwing two interceptions.






1962-  9-1-1 Coach DKR




Captains Pat Culpepper and Perry McWilliams





1962 was a prelude to greatness. As TCU had done to ruin a perfect season, Rice did in 1962.   Even if the Horns had won the Rice  game after the Cotton Bowl lost to LSU, it was obvious that the Horns were still not ready for prime time.  LSU dominated the Horns with their defense and the only  Horn offense was a 30 yard field goal attempt that was wide.   Even with the loss Johnny Treadwell was still selected as the outstanding lineman of the Cotton Bowl.


Below Is A 1962 Letter To The Texas Ex-Students Association

17 Sophomore Lettermen Return For the 1962 Season

Final ranking 4th nationally

Knox Nunnally 1962 HOH



Coach Royal changes the color of the Texas uniforms from a bright orange to the Clyde Littlefield era Burnt Orange. Fan base  is not happy with this change, and the issue is not resolved until a UT committee in 1967 decides to officially make burnt orange the color for Texas.  

Defense only allows 8 touchdowns all season. As in 1969 the Arkansas game decides the season. Texas wins 7-3.



Royal gets a raise to $20,000 a year and is promoted to Athletic Director.

Lou Maysel says in his book that Royal decides to focus on defense instead of offense because "During Royal’s first 5 years there were 21 successful goal-line stands, nine of them coming in games where an additional touchdown would have meant defeat." 

Decision is made to use Sophomore Ernie Koy at wing back. 

Ernie Koy places 2nd in the SWC in the shot put with a toss of 50 feet.


Reggie Grob.jpg

Reggie Grob dies of heat Exhaustion at practice. One year later all Universities are offering more liquids to athletes during work-out and games.  

After Reggie's death Jones Ramsey (Sport Information Director) says that Coach Royal collapses and cries "in the huge arms of Defensive line Coach Charley Shria."


The "hit" 1962- Texas 7 Arkansas 3

#1 Texas 7, #7 Arkansas 3

Both teams are undefeated when they play each other. Arkansas leads 3-0 going into the 34rd quarter. Arkansas drives to the Longhorn 5 yard line. It was then that the Hogs mounted a drive that took them to the Texas 5-yard line. With Arkansas first-and-goal, UT linebacker Johnny Treadwell told his teammates, "All right, we've got them right where we want them. They have run out of room. They can't throw a long pass. They've got to come right at us." Two plays later, Arkansas fullback Danny Brabham rammed into the line from the three and was met by Treadwell and Pat Culpepper. Culpepper's helmet popped the football loose from Brabham and Texas recovered in the end zone for a touchback. The Longhorns turned the ball back over but again stopped the Hogs, this time on fourth-and-one at the Texas 12-yard line. After that stop Duke Carlisle leads the team on a 20-play, 90-yard drive that culminated in a game-winning 3-yard touchdown run by Tommy Ford with 36 seconds remaining. Prior to Texas' "Big Drive," the Longhorns had just one first down in the second half.

Pat Culpepper and Treadwell - The Hit in 1962 - Texas 7 Arkansas 3. Joe Dixon recovered the fumble in the end zone.

Pat Culpepper and Treadwell - The Hit in 1962 - Texas 7 Arkansas 3. Joe Dixon recovered the fumble in the end zone.

The Longhorn connection to San Antonio Jefferson High School

Back to Front Tommy Nobis, Anthony King, Phil Harris, Hix Green - All from San Antonio Jefferson







1963 11-0  DKr National Champions

FRONT ROW: Manager Ward, Head Trainer Frank Medina, Clarence Bray, Staley Faulkner, George Brucks, Tommy Ford, Scott Appleton, David McWilliams, Kenneth Halm, Tommy Wade, Jim Besselman, Gordan Roberts

SECOND ROW: Manager Lane Zunker, Olen Underwood, Ken Ferguson, Tony Crosby, Frank Bedrick, Bo Price, Clayton Lacey, Ben House, Hix Green, Charles Buckalew, Bobby Frank Gamblin, Asst. Coach Charley Shira, Manager Roy Jones

THIRD ROW: Asst. Coach Art Davis, Asst. Coach Russell Coffee, Asst. Coach Mike Campbell, Asst. Coach Bill Ellington, Asst. Coach Bob Schulze, Joe Dixon, Mike King, Harold Philipp, Phil Harris, Kim Gaynor, Rodney Kelley, Thomas Mankin, Marvin Kristynik, Jack Howe, Tom Currie, Head Coach Darrell Royal, Trainer Joe Street, Manager Bill Vogt, Asst. Coach Jim Pittman

BACK ROW: Timmy Doerr, Lee Hensley, Tom Stockton, Michael Riggs, Duke Carlisle, Jim Hudson, Knox Nunnally, Charles Talbert, Stan Mauldin, Barney Giles, Tommy Nobis, Pete Lammons, Anthony King, George Sauer

The Forgotten foot of Tony Crosby (image to follow)

Four times in 7 conference play the margin of victory was produced by Tony Crosby foot. There is no national champion without Tony.

Author Kern Tips says “in addition to a sound solid, determined, panic-prof and expertly coached-and- captained team you still need the kiss of the charmed life to bring it off.” There were 4 SWC games that Texas won by a touchdown or less. This was definitely the year luck followed the team who tried the hardest.

In 1963 the Longhorns beat the #1 Sooners and the #2 Razorbacks.

The quarterback and not the coach called most of the plays in the early 60’s because of the limited substitution rules and rules about coaches calling in a play. (No Pictures of Tony)

#1 Texas 7, Baylor 0

Duke Carlisle intercepts what looks like a last-minute touchdown to tie the game. Baylor was at the Texas 19 yard line with 29 seconds in the game when the great quarterback Don Trull and receiver Lawrence Elkins appear to connect for a touchdown only to have Duke appear from nowhere to intercept the ball. About Coach Royal Duke says in his book Longhorn & Tall Tales it was “ confusing and irritating to Coach Royal that many to the Texas fans considered his teams dull and uninspiring. Coach responded by saying “At first our fans only wanted to win. Now they not only want to win, they want to win big and flamboyantly.”

The 1963 Team Holds The  Season Record For Fewest Yards Allowed On Opponents Punt Returns (59 Total Yards).

This was the first perfect record for the Horns since 1920. The key to the victories was depth when there were injuries, second efforts, senior leadership, and a great coaching staff. 

The SWC sets an attendance record of 1,505,004 sold tickets.












O.U.'s Joe Don Looney was respected as a great running back but many football fans and players were repulsed by his lack of respect,  arrogant attitude , and condescending remarks about the Longhorns.  Bobby Gamblin was so upset with some of Joe Don's comments  that he hollered at Looney during pre-game  of the 1963 Texas O.U. game  " Hey Looney, Get Off The Field, You Creep. You're Killin" The Grass."  Texas won the game and the next week O.U. released Joe Don Looney  from the team. 

The win against the 6 -1 Baylor  team and the great Don Trull and Lawrence Elkins was one of the only times that Coach Royal was accused of trash talking.  He regretted it and never again publicly disparaged another team or their fans.  DKR said  about the Baylor fans " You know the guy in the blue serge suit with his green socks rolled down didn't go to Texas."  It was a comment not made in malice ,but the poor choice of wording was definitely open to misinterpretation, and it was!  In protest to this perceived slight the Baylor fans waved their long green socks during the game.  Texas won the game known as the  "green sock" scare  7-0, but only because of a last minute interception by Duke Carlisle. 

A link to the Stark Center archives for the 1963 National Championship is below.


Tom Wade engineers most of a 80 yard drive In the last minute of  the A & M  game to salvage the win that makes it possible for the Longhorns to play Navy for the national championship. 

The running horns throw the ball a record 28 times in the  A & M game.

The 1963 Team Holds The  Season Record For Fewest Yards Allowed On Opponents Punt Returns (59 Total Yards).



National Championship Captains Tommy Ford, David McWilliams, and Scott Appleton with Coach Royal holding the National Championship trophy

Teamates call Tommy Ford “T-bird” for the Thunderbird made by Ford. Orville Henry writes  in the Arkansas Gazette that Tommy Ford is one of the best 5 yard runners of all time.  


Coach Royal says that  Scott Appleton “is the best defensive lineman I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching”. Royal said "Blocking Scott is like blocking smoke."


Coach Royal says that Scott Appleton “is the best defensive lineman I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching”. Royal said "Blocking Scott is like blocking smoke."

Coach Royal says that Scott Appleton “is the best defensive lineman I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching”. Royal said "Blocking Scott is like blocking smoke."

Author Kern Tips says about Scott Appleton “ he is a dedicated football player-his mouth smiles sometimes , his eyes almost never.”


Texas is #2 and OU #1 when the two teams meet in October. Carlisle throws for a touchdown and Texas wins with ease 28-7. Days later, Carlisle graces the cover of Sports Illustrated "Seemingly nerveless," is how the magazine described Carlisle. " A cool operator," he is called. 

In the link below Duke discuss's the 1963 National Championship game against Navy.

In the link below Duke discuss's DKR

East Coast freelance writer Myron Cope states that Texas is "the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the football public... Texas plays the kind of football that was fashionable when players wore perforated cowhide helmets...Duke Carlisle executes a hand-off like a construction foreman passing a plank to a carpenter." In reality the Texas win over Navy was the last hooray for the dominance of North East Coast football. Great football moved south and West and North East football never regained prominence.  While Texas is laughed at by the East Coast media, Navy is portrayed as glamorous and Roger Staubach the Heisman Trophy winner gets all the headlines. 

"We couldn't do much about the negativity toward us, so we focused on the accomplishment," David McWilliams recalls. "The satisfaction far outweighed any negativity, believe me. I'm sure the bad feelings remained nationally, but we just thought about having achieved our goals, finally."

Duke says as the teams gathered in the tunnels, Nelson of CBS gathers the coaches for a quick pregame interview near the Texas players. This had never been done before and Hardin (Navy HC) uses this opportunity to politic one final time, insisting, "When the challenger meets the champion, and the challenger wins, there's a new champion."  Phil Harris says  "We all heard what he said, and every neck on every player turned red."

"I thought it was a great pep talk," Royal says of Hardin's remarks. "I wanted to hug him."

All of America sure heard Royal's response: "We're ready." That's all he said, but it was the way he said it -- dead certain, with the soulless stare of a predator sizing up his next meal".


According to the book Hook'em Horns A story of Texas Football written by Denne H. Freeman, Coach Royal breaks the Navy defensive coordinators play calls by watching their game film.  As Royal says in an interview this information helped us " complete 5 passes when Navy had stunts called in the areas they vacated" Two of these passes were for long touchdowns from Duke Carlisle to Phil Harris.

Roger Staubach says after the game " I ran for more yardage then any other game...........but it was all behind the line of scrimmage."    1963 highlights (silent)

Roger Staubach says after the game, “I hope I never see this place again.”



MacArthur bowl  is presented to Texas 1963 National Championship team  by General Douglas MacArthur shortly before his death.



The list of signatures includes: Bill Ellington, Barney Giles, Clarence Bray, Tommy Wade, Charles Echols, Lee Hensley, Joe Galiga, Mike Campbell, Marvin Kristynnik, Jack House, Les Derrick, Jack Howe, Gordon Robert, Scott Appleton, Bob Johnston, Joe Dixon, Tom Stockton, Mike King, Kim Gaynor, Ernie Koy, Dan Mauldin, Tony Crosby, Ken Ferguson, Jim Besselman, Duke Carlisle, George Sauer, Ben House, Darrell Royal, Rodney Kelley, Gordon Roberts, Charles Buckalew, David McWilliams, Stanley Faulkner, Rodney Kelley, Kenneth Halm, Knox Nunnally, Harold Philipp, Timmy Doerr, Clayton Layton, Pat Williamson, Phil Harris, Olen Underwood, Tommy Ford, Tom Norbis, Jim Anderson, Charles Talbert, Pete Lammons, Ken Brooke, Mike O'Brien, James Brooks George Brucks and more. The ball appears to hold air

It was considered impossible to recruit a player from Norman, OK. to play for the Longhorns, but it did happen. Gordon Roberts (no picture) father on the OU faculty allowed his son to hang around the OU team when Coach Royal played for OU.  Years later Gordon receives a scholarship offer from Royal and is on the  1963 National Championship team. 


1964 10-1 - Just missed a repeat National Championship



Jim Hudson and  Tim Doerr are named Co-Captains.   

1964 (2).jpg

Final ranking 5th nationally


Phil Harris holds the Longhorn career record for average yards per return (29.1)

The 1964 team holds the record for creating a fumble by an opponent in a game (8).

Alabama And Texas Play In First Bowl Game Held At Night.

The Season Attendance In 1964 Was The Highest Of  The Royal Era Including The Two National Championship Years In 1969 And 1970.

Marvin Kristynik puts his name in the record book against Baylor with 3 touchdown passes in the first quarter. 


National Championship teams require good recruiting, a competent coaching staff, players with faith in the system, trust and respect for teammates, combined with talent, team chemistry, a strong work ethic, and a little luck. This team had all of these qualities but a "little" luck.

Royal gets a raise to $20,000 a year and a full professorship. Charmayne Marsh criticizes school officials for awarding a football coach "the same academic cloak of Historians and scientists."  In response the UT Chancellor Dr. Harry H. Ransom states that Royal's new academic status was awarded to him in connection to his post as Athletic Director. 

Texas receives a year's probation without sanctions for excessive visits to prospects, failure of an Alumnus to accompany a prospect on a private plane to Austin, payment of expenses of a friend of an athlete, and excessive entertainment.

It is the first year that rumors surface that Texas might withdraw from the SWC and enter a "Super Conference".

Marvin Kristynik is the starting quarterback and Royal says "the only thing that keeps Marvin from being a good runner is a lack of speed". Regardless of speed, Marvin was a winner.  In the locker room prior to the Arkansas game Marvin discovers he left his contacts in Fort Smith Arkansas at the hotel. He is afraid to tell Coach Royal so Jack Perry volunteers to fly his private jet back to Fort Smith to retrieve the contacts.  Perry is escorted by police to and from the airport. Coach Royal only learns about this in the paper the next day. 


Only 3 starters return from the 1963 team but Texas still finishes the year with a 10-1 record. The only loss is to Arkansas 14-13.

The substitution rule is changed to allow platooning when the clock is stopped, but Royal delays the implementation of the full platoon system.  He said "we're going to train them (players) both ways. We'll specialize them on Saturday".  Royal was determined to use two of his best athletes - Frank Bedrick and Tommy Nobis- both ways.                                        

Alabama is crowned National Champions in 1965 but Texas uses a goal line stand to beat Alabama and Joe Namath in the 1965 Orange Bowl.





Alabama Coach tells his quarterback not to run at Frank Bedrick or Dan Mauldin on key plays. 


Another link below to the Alabama and Texas game.

In 1964 Texas loses the national championship to Arkansas on a failed two point play. In 1969 Texas wins the National Championship against Arkansas with a successful two point play.                

1965- 6-4


Football 1965 .jpg

Dinner at Moore-Hill Hall

Team returned 12 lettermen from a team that only lost one game by one point in 1964.  The sports media and the fans were anticipating another great year.  It starts of as all expected with 4 victories and then there was the loss to Arkansas followed by losses to Rice and SMU, and TCU.  The only saving grace for this year was defeating the Aggies on turkey day to salvage a 6-4 season.


Coaching Staff 1965


Royal states that this is his most disappointing year at Texas.  The team losses to Arkansas again and the wheels came off.  Royal said playing Arkansas in Fayetteville is "like parachuting into Russia."

Prior to the Arkansas game Royal said “I was as nervous as a pig in a packing plant." Texas was upset by Arkansas 27-24

6 And 4 Seasons Are Not Good Enough Royal States " Longhorn Fans Are Finding All Along: I Ain't No Genius". Jimmy Banks Writes In A Biography Of Coach Royal " It Took Some Time For Royal To Realize That Success Can Breed Failure". Royal Says " A Coach Isn't As Smart As They Say He Is When He Wins Or As Stupid When He Loses."

Free substitution during possession changes finally passes, but Royal refuses to commit 100% to platoon football  because he has players like Pete Lammons and John Elliott who are the best players in their position on offense and defense. 



Lammons sets a record with 3 touchdown catches in one game.



The Valley Boys- Left to right bottom - Jim Helms from San Benito ,Freddy Edwards from Donna, Gene Powell from Weslaco and above Freddy Edward is Eddie Vaughan from Brownsville. 



Dan Mauldin leaves  the Longhorn football program early to pursue his education. He is a The Scholar-Athlete, All Southwest Conference end, Academic All-American, and Phi Beta Kappa


George Sauer leaves Texas early to pursue professional football with  the New York Jets.




Royal feeds film study charts through the UT computer center for Rapid tendency compilation and closed-circuit TV instant replays. It does not help. This season starts a slide that will jeopardize Royal's career.

1966- 7-4 record

Royal states "I've always said that if alumni at other schools are unhappy with their teams, they should just come and watch them play Texas."  Royal changes the offense from the wing T to the I formation.


Chris Gilbert is the first Longhorn to rush for over a 1000 yards in a season; the first Longhorn to rush for 2000 yards; the first to 3000 yards; and he holds the game record for the longest run from the line scrimmage. (96)



Greg Lott is the only player in Longhorn history to return an opening kick-off for a touchdown.  

Bill Bradley seriously hurts his knee in the Indiana game.  Andy White replaces him and the Longhorns win 35-0.  Defense was great in 1966 but there is no question that the injury to Bradley hurt the offensive  plans for the whole year. 

Arkansas beats the Longhorns for the third time in a row.  Texas fumbles 3 times and is intercepted twice.  

Coach Royal is concerned about the "character and commitment" of his players and writes the following poignant letters to them during the Summer of 1966. 

Coach Royal says:

"Have the courage to make the Longhorn image one of which we can all be proud -if not please be man enough to drop off the squad."

"If winning is not important, why the hell keep score?" Defeat truly comes from within. I am far more concerned with what is inside of your heart than the figures that show on the scoreboard."

OU offers DKR the coaching job at $32,000 a year with side benefits that will  increase his salary to $50,000.

Coach Royal declines the offer and says " I have deep affection for the University of Texas and my roots and those of my family are mighty deep in the state of Texas." Texas promptly increases his salary to $30,000

For Coach Royal money is not his primary motivator.  He said "I would be deathly afraid to take another assignment just for money and get up there and find out I'm unhappy. I could take that money and lay it out on the bed and look at it every night, and it would not make me happy. Damn, if I was miserable, I would know I was miserable."

Royal commits to full platoon football

Of the 67 man recruiting class of 1964 only 15 survive to their senior year and only 6 letter. 

The offense changes to the "I" formation with a split end. 

The names for "weak" and "strong" sides is changed to "Tight" and "Quick" because Gene Bledsoe's girlfriend does not understand why Gene is considered a "weak" tackle.

7 sophomores start the season and 7 more are thrust into starting roles. 

Chris Gilbert is the catalyst for the offense. Coach Royal says "watching Chris run is like looking at a filmstrip with several frames missing". 

14 players miss at least one game 


1967-  varsity 6-4 record

1966 (8).jpg

DKR has a word for TCU, and in 1967 they lived up to their DKR name.  Losing to A & M   made the season worse. A season that started with promise ended in disappointment. 





Top of the charts 1967





This season is a bust!  After beating Ole Miss in the Bluebonnet bowl with 16 sophomores the 1967 team looked promising, but the failure of the 1964 recruiting class haunts the team. 

Emory Bellard is added to the Coaching Staff.

For the first time since 1938 the Longhorns lost their first two games.  




Howard Fest emerges at tackle and has a brilliant year. 






Coach Campbell says that Corby Robertson plays with total disregard for his body.   

After 10 year of dominating A & M , Texas loses. It is Royal's first loss to A & M. 

The Longhorn Football Teams In The Early 60'S Won With Class, Talent, Hard Work, Character, Attitude, Grit, Backbone, Fortitude, Moxie, And A Little Luck.  For Young Boys Across Texas The Longhorn Helmet became The Symbol Of Winning The Longhorn Way.  These young boys dreamed of playing for the University Of Texas and many of these dreamers form the nucleus Of The 1967 football recruiting class. 









The '67 class participates in all 30 games of the 5th longest national winning streak since 1950, and the 12th Longest winning streak in football history. The 1967 recruiting class in 4 years only lost 2 games with a record of 35-2-1 including 3 SWC championships and 2 National Championships.

The Longhorns were so strong during this period that Craig Byrd of The Daily Texan  said that "Beat The Hell Out Of TU"  became a a prayer at  A & M ,  a threat at Texas Tech,  and a religious duty at Arkansas.

      The Wishbone

In 1967 Coach Royal decides that instead of getting mad at three  6-4 seasons, he will get a new offense, and the Wishbone is born. Royal immediately understands the potential of the Wishbone Option Offense designed By Emory Bellard .  

According To The Book The Darrell Royal Story  By Jimmy Banks Coach Royal Said The Wishbone  "Is Just A Souped-Up Version Of The Split T" that Royal ran as  the OU  quarterback. Royal says that as the OU Quarterback he struggled to master the read option offense but once he mastered the option Royal said  "I used to like to suck them in on me so I could pitch out because that's where the big gainers were." 

The Wishbone was conceived by Emory Bellard but Royal from the very beginning of the wishbone was involved in  helping the Texas Quarterbacks learn to read the opposing defenses and choose the correct option.  

Positive things are about to occur for Longhorn football