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 1971 8-3   Injures Riddled This Team But They Still Win The SWC. 

In the book OU vs. Texas Robert Heard quotes Royal as saying “ Phillips is the best running quarterback he ever coached. Coach Rogers From UCLA Says That Eddie Phillips "Was The Best At Running That Style Of Offense I've Ever Seen."  Royal Says That  Eddie's Ability To Delay The Pitch "Was Art." After Eddie got hurt Donnie Wigginton took over the wishbone and did a great job. Royal said about Wigginton " I Think Donnie Wigginton Should  Be Given Consideration For The Most Valuable Player In The Conference." He Lead The Conference With 84 Points.  

Royal Says  After The 1967 Recruiting Class Graduated " We'll Be Back With Ordinary People."

Season ending injuries occur to David Arledge, Eddie Phillips, Jimmy Moore, and Don Burrisk. Missing some action are Stan Mauldin, Rick Davis, Bobby Callison, Jim Bertelsen, and Donnie Wigginton. Greg Ploetz, Ray Dowdy, and Glen Gaspard play thru injury. 

4.4 sprinter Jimmy Moore is hurt and Pat Kelly does a great job of replacing Jimmy. Before Don Burrisk gets hurt , Coach Royal said of Burrisk he “runs like he’s got a motor in his seat. On the freshman team he averaged 10.9 yards a carry and that’s better than Saxton, Gilbert, or Bertelsen.”

Robert Heard says this was the weakest team since 1967. Penn State proved that point beating the Horns 30-6 in the Cotton Bowl. Royal said before the Cotton Bowl game that Penn State was the most physical and strongest team the Longhorns had faced.  He was right.   Eastern football reigned supreme for the first time in a long time.  The Longhorns led at half time but fumbles and defensive miscues the second half cost the Horns the game.   As the "Cactus" states the "Cotton Bowl loss climaxed a year of hope and letdown."  

 Royal Wishes Jerry Sisemore's Mother "Had Been More Considerate And Just Had Triplets." 

The article discuss's Gary yeoman's successful journey separate from his famed father.  

Final ranking 18th nationally

Texas is the only school to play in 4 consecutive Cotton Bowls.

Royal says about President Johnson " I learned from him that you can be a common man-and, at the same time, be a great man.


Lonnie Bennett Is The First Black Athlete To Score In A Varsity Game. 

Coach Royal teaches OU head coach Chuck Fairbanks the intricacies of the wishbone against the advice of Emory Bellard. 

Bellard takes the Head coaching job at A & M

1973 - DKR 8-3 One of the most influential years in Longhorn football History

Ivey Suber's Mother Tells  Coach Royal That Barry Switzer Offers Her Son A New Wardrobe, A New Pontiac, And A $1000 If He Will Sign With OU. Switzer Denys Allegations.

Texas is named the best college program from 1968-1972 with  with a 45-4-1 record.  

The 1973 team Holds The Texas Record For Highest Average Yards Per Punt Return  ( 18.8);  Fewest Punt Returns Allowed (6); And Fewest Punts In A Season (30).

Leaks Is 3rd In Voting For The Heisman. He Rushes For 342 Yards Against SMU And The headline In A  Newspaper Article States "Roosevelt Leaks All Over The Field."

Mike Presley says " Miami could not stop us. We stopped ourselves.  But it's kind of good to get that National Championship stuff out of our heast.. I think we probably realize the situation better now, and we can get down to winning the SWC. That is what we want to do."

Many call Rosy the Southwest's best fullback ever. Royal indicates there may be more Roosevelt and less pure Wishbone again this year. Royal is concerned about the inexperience of sophomore Quarterback Marty Akins to the offense so he says "Without the elusive, dangerous breakaway type back, "we're going to have to make a little bit of yardage each time we snap the ball."

Rosy Leaks with 1415 yards broke the SWC record held since 1950 and he tied the SWC TD record with 14. He rushes for 342 yards against SMU. Rosy finished 3rd in the Heisman race. Bill Wyman and Rosy Leaks were consensus All-Americans.

According to the book The Darrell Royal Story by Jimmy Banks Coach Royal told the team they must give 100% effort to beat Alabama.  He said "You might be able to fool the guy next to you, or even the rest of your teammates, but you can't fool yourself. That's why I want you to make that commitment to yourself, not to everyone else."  Terry Melancon intercepted two  passes to cement the victory over Alabama. 





Coach Royal Praises Bill Wyman By Saying " I Don't Think We Have Ever Had Any Player Who Has Been More Consistent Than Bill Wyman." Bill Wyman was nominated for the Outland and Lombardi trophies.





OU Hires Coach Jim Helms Away From Texas. following is part of an article about Jim Helms negative impact on Texas vs. OU. This is part of an article written by Bill Little in 2013

 The worst, however, was yet to come. Just before the season had started, archrival Oklahoma had raided Royal's coaching staff with the hiring of Jim Helms, a former Longhorn running back who had just spent the last several years as a coach at Texas. The last minute hiring fueled the resentment at UT toward Sooner coach Barry Switzer, since Helms had been a part of all of the spring and fall preparations for the season.

Whether or not Helms' knowledge of Texas' plans made a difference quickly became a point of contention, particularly after Oklahoma hammered the Longhorns, 52-13, and Helms was presented the game ball in the Sooner dressing room after the contest.

What followed, however, is one of the untold stories of a remarkable turnaround -- and a lesson that would play itself out years later in another place and time. Texas was 2-2 as an angry Royal came into a team meeting the following Sunday.

Royal began by questioning the team's desire and commitment, but before he had gone far into the speech, Arnold, who would become an all-SWC defensive back that year, interrupted him.

"That's not right, coach," Arnold said from the back of the room. "They changed everything we had prepared for -- stuff they had done last year and this year. We played as hard as we could. We were going full-speed to the wrong places."

The uneasy silence in the room was broken when defensive guru Mike Campbell spoke up. The 52 points OU had scored were by far the most ever against a Campbell-coached Texas defense.

"He's right, Darrell," he said. "They seemed to know everything we were doing before we did it."





Jay Arnold Is A Star After The Texas Tech Game With An Interception, And A Fumble Recovery In The End Zone. He Has Another Interception The Next Week Against Wake Forest.







Longhorn weight lifting changed forever in 1973. Jay Arnold says "We were part of the 'old school' when it came to physical and strength training." "We would lift and condition in the spring and off-season, but put the weights away during the season. Oklahoma did it differently. They were working on weights all year long. We changed after that game, and never looked back. We were in an era of enlightened transition as far as that was concerned."


Cotton Bowl Nebraska 19 Texas  3

It was Tom Osborne with his first bowl victory.  Roosevelt Leaks, Texas’ All-America fullback, was not a factor.   Seconds before the half, Nebraska was denied a golden opportunity.  Moving from their own 20, the Huskers used less than four minutes to reach all the way to the Texas one.  The clock was down to 1:29, more than enough time to punch the ball across.  First and goal turned into second and third down, and the ball hadn’t moved.  Each time, the Huskers were turned away by a solid Texas wall of defenders, inspired by linebacker Wade Johnston.  The final blast came from Maury Damkroger and Johnston was there to stuff him again short of the goal line as time ran out. The second half  Nebraska received inspired leadership from backup quarterback Steve Runty who led the Huskers to two third quarter scores.  


1974  8-4  DKR


Final ranking 17th nationally

Rosy's Devastating Knee Injury Requires Reconstructive Surgery And No One Thinks He Will Play Again.  Doug English And All American Says That "Rosy Was On His Way To Being The Best Ever." 

The 1974 Team Holds The Texas Single Game Record For Points Scored Against A Conference Opponent - 81 Against TCU And Most Touchdowns In A Game.

 The Yearling's Are  Disbanded And Integrated With The Varsity. 




Joe Bob Bizzell Is The First Freshman To Start Under Royal.






Earl Campbell, Gralyn Wyatt, Travis Couch , Alfred Jackson, Brad Shearer, And George James  Start At Least One Game As  Freshman in 1974 Year.

Coach Royal says about Earl Campbell’s stiff arm “It oughta be on an Arm and Hammer baking soda box.”

Starters Don Burris and Joey Aboussie are hurt and cannot play in the OU game so Royal decides to move Raymond Clayborn to offense. Media reports this change and Royal is angry and closes practices for the first time since 1970.

Texas changes their defense secondary from 3 man to a 4 deep secondary to reduce the threat of the deep pass for a touchdown.

Parker Alford Is Killed In A Car Accident. (See "Gone To Soon" On This Website.) 

Mike Presley Starts At Quarterback Against Wyoming

Coach Patterson Says That Brad Shearer "Goes Till He Hears Glass Shatter." 

The unlikely duo of Earl Campbell And Doug English Team Up To Block A Punt Against Arkansas.

Mike Dean Kicks A Record 56 Yard Field Goal Against TCU.

Leaks Mentors Earl Campbell And The Results Are Obvious. Rosy is As One Of The greatest  Longhorn Running Backs Of All Time. 

Fred Akers Takes The Head Coaching Job At Wyoming. 

Baylor goes to the Cotton Bowl.  

Texas plays Auburn in the Gator Bowl - Auburn 27- Texas 3   Longhorns have 4 fumbles and 3 interceptions. 

1974 Bob Simmons.jpg

Bob Simmons

Only 4 Longhorns make All - SWC - Campbell, Simmons, Herbert, and English. Doug English and Bob Simmons are All Americans.

1975  10-2  Royal changes coaching philosphy from “dance with who brung ya” to “Scratch where it itches”.

In the book Oklahoma vs Texas author Robert Heard says “Royal made a mistake when he did not leave Clayborn in the offensive backfield. that would have given Texas at least one halfback with both speed and moves.

Injuries continue to hurt the horns. Against OU 2 starters miss the game and 6 others are hurt during the game. David McLeod was lost for the season and Gordon was lost with a scratched eyeball. Texas lost 4 of 5 fumbles against OU.

There was a 3 way tie for the SWC championship between A & M, Arkansas, and Texas.

Coach Royal complained that O.U. coming off of probation had a “monster team” in 1975 recruited through illegal tactics.

Final ranking 6th nationally

This Team Holds The  Texas Seasonal Record For Most Forced Fumbles (46).

Three way tie in SWC with A & M, Hogs, and Texas. Offense was in the top 3 nationally.

Houston joins the SWC 

Marty Akins Injury against TCU and Ted Constanzo replaces him.



Marty wins 26 Games And Is  The The Only Three Year Starter During The DKR Era. Unfortunately for this great quarterback, he never beat OU.  Marty is the only option quarterback ever to be named to the Football Writers All American team.

Royal Gets His 100th  SWC Victory

Don Breaux Is Hired as an assistant Coach To Add More Of A Passing Dimension To The Longhorns. 

Switzer Throws Barbs At DKR.  In The Book Long Live The Longhorns Barry Switzer Is Quoted As Saying Some Coaches "Would Rather Sit Home And Listen To Guitar Pickers" Than Recruit. Referring To Royal's Penchant For C&W Music

Earl's Brother Tim Campbell Is  Defensive Player Of The Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl against Colorado , and his brother Earl Campbell is offensive player of the game.  

On the offensive side, Marty Akins, Earl Campbell, and Bob Simmons, Will Wilcox lead the team. On defense Brad Shearer, Rick Fenlaw, and Hamilton lead the team.

1976 5-5-1  A quarterback dilemma

In the book Oklahoma Vs. Texas by Robert Heard quotes Royal as saying he never wanted to win one as much as that one (O.U.) The game ended in a 6 - 6 tie and Royal got physically sick before he could reach the bathroom. Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Times Herald said “Royal looked like he had driven a gravel truck without a windshield nonstop across Death Valley.”


Two highly recruited quarterback competed for the starting quarterback position. Ted Constanzo and Mark McBath competed for the starting quarterback position but walk-on Mike Cordaro also got some starting time as UT quarterback.

Mike Lockett and lineback Lance Taylor get plenty of playing time as freshman. Lam jones, Johnnie Johnson , and Russell Erxleben spend some time on the injury list. 14 starters miss 2 or more games in 1976.

OU assistant coach Lacewell resigns in 1978 and admits that the Sooners spied on the Longhorns.

Even with a raise to $50,000 a year,  Spy Gate,  U Of H Breaking  Texas 42 Home Game Winning Streak, Earl Campbell's bad hamstrings, and recruiting violations made 1976 a tough year for the Longhorns.  Doug English said in  the book "Darrell Royal Dance With Who Brung Ya"  "Suddenly, Darrell looks up and a game that he's worked his whole life in -a game of who works the hardest and prepares the best wins- has become a game where the ones who cheat the best, the ones who spy the best, who lie the best are all gaining ground."   Royal was " not going to listen to an 18 year old kid tell him that that he's got to buy him a new pickup truck to come to the University of Texas". 

Royal said the 1976 was a perfect year to leave the profession.  He said " I always wanted to leave somebody's house when they wanted me to stay a little longer.  It's a good idea to leave a little ham on the bone."   

Royal always said that when he retired winning the last game would have extra meaning.  No one wants to go out a loser. He got his wish when Texas beat Arkansas the final game of the year in 1976.  Tony Constanzo said after the game he knew he was living a "snapshot in history". 

Only Clayborn and Erxleben make the All SWC team, and both were also honored as All-Americans.


In Reflection - dkr

Final record for DKR at Texas 167-45-5

Abe Lemmons sums of the problem that occurs when perceived failure follows success. He said “You build a monster, and the monster eats you.” DKR and Abe have this quote in common.

SpyGate, cheating, losses to OU, pandering to recruits, articles that suggested he was a racist, and his first  non-winning season  all sapped Royal of his passion for the game.  Coach Royal conceded that winning did not excite him anymore, and he found it difficult to recover mentally from losses.  He also said "Climbing is a thrill. Maintaining is a Bitch."  

Of the factors mentioned above the evolution of recruiting disgusted him the most. Royal said;

It was not right to court athletes for the privilege of giving them a college education to play football. He said "it's all backwards, the kids should be coming to us, not us going to them."

"The parents and recruits who initially were looking forward to the courting of their sons by the major collegiate football powers goes from welcoming coaches with open harms to closing doors on them."  He also said "we know we abuse the prospect and the family during recruiting, but it's a two-way street. The families and the prospects abuse us."

"You can't win against cheaters" so he supported the use of a lie detector test.   


While Gary Shaw's book was proven to be fictional (I know because I played for Coach Royal from 1967-1970 ), Coach Royal made some a very important points on why players rebel against him and his style of coaching.  Here are a few quotes and some paraphrased comments  from Coach Royal found in the book titled "The Darrell Royal Story" by Jimmy Banks.

  • Royal said "Any time you have somebody sitting on the bench you've got a potential family of enemies. Every year there are potentially a "100 enemies" sitting on the bench.

  • "A guy would have to be a stone idiot to love going out there and just running into someone else. What is natural about two guys backing off and running into each other ? It's not natural." The players play this unnatural sport because they want " individuals, but also for their team, their school or their home town." Players want a letter jackets because it is a form of recognition.

  • "I often tell parents. If you send me a good one. I'll send you a good one back. But if you send me a weak one, I'll probably return a weak one. I don't take credit for the strong character of our championship teams; the mommas and daddies deserve that credit. But neither do I want to be blamed for some player who comes in here lighter than a June frost and can't stand the competition."

  • "All the glory can't be heaped just on the team. The personal, individual aspect has to come in there."

After retirement life was good!!! 

Coach Royal By The Numbers

Coach Royal ended his career with a record of 167-47-5. His teams won 109 SWC games, 11 SWC championships and won or shared four national championships. During his tenure there was a 30 game win streak, a 42 home game winning streak, a record 6 SWC titles in a row, 6 Cotton Bowls in a row, 77 All SWC players, and 26 All Americans. His teams finished in the top 10 ten times, and he guided Texas to 15 postseason games winning 8 of them. He was "coach of the decade" for the 1960's, one of only two coaches honored twice as the American Football Coaches Association, and he never had a losing season.


Assistant Coaches

Dance with who brung us (1).jpg

Darrel Royal, Willsey, Swarthout, Campbell, Jones, Schulze, Pittman, Shira

Darrel Royal,  Willsey, Swarthout, Campbell, Jones, Schulze, Pittman, Shira

In 1964 Coach Zapalac was hired from Oklahoma State. He was at Texas for 12 years. For 5 of those years at least one of his offensive lineman made the All American list.   

 Coach Campbell was A great  defensive mind.  He was blunt and to the point and his players never misunderstood his message.  Doug English said  of Coach Campbell " It wasn't a chess game.  You had to whip the guy over you."  Coach Campbell excelled in determining what the opposing  offense did best and then neutralized that strength. Dan Mauldin, the hero of the 1965 Orange Bowl, said of Coach Campbell "I just like to watch Coach Campbell coach... of all the professors at the University of Texas , he knew his field better than they knew their's." Coach Campbell is offered the head coaching job at Baylor but rejects the offer.

Coach Manley and Coach Royal were child hood friends in Hollis, Ok. They played high school and College ball together, and Royal was Leon Manley's player coach in the CFL. Coach Manley spent time coaching at OU, Northeast Louisiana, and 20 plus years working with Coach Royal. 


A link to a  great article written by Kirk Bohls about Ken Dabbs induction into the  Hall of Honor is below.

Leon finished his career as the defensive coordinator for three different Texas head coaches in three different decades


                   Coach Royal resting place with a replica of the "T" ring next to his side.