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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 for more information about our great university





The many faces of Coach Royal


Link to article about Coach Royal is below








Family Moments

 Jenna McEachern is one of the foremost authorities on Darrell K. Royal. Jenna States The Following About Coach Royal:                                           

  • In 1946, as a freshman and starting defensive back, the coaches chose Royal and Max Fischer as " Best Team Players. 





  • Bud Wilkinson called Royal's four precision punts against Missouri in 1947 (out at the 5 yard line three times and out at the 2 yard line once) the "most important single plays" of his coaching career. For the rest of his life, Bud Wilkinson believed that Royal played a significant role in saving his coaching career. 

  • As All-American quarterback, he led the Sooner to an undefeated season. 


  • On November 5th, 1949 he was the first Sooner ever selected as "Associated Press Back of the Week";

  • 3rd best in career winning percentage at 9.38 wins per season for 4 years (1946-1949);

  • 7th in career punt-return average of 15.71 yards;

  • 10th longest play consisting of a 96 yard punt return;

  • Tied for most interception in a game, tied for most interceptions in a season and first in career interceptions (18);

  • Tied for 3rd longest punt of 81 yards and tied for 5th longest punt of 78 yards;

In addition to being an All-American in college DKR was : 

  • Selected to the first senior bowl game in 1959;

  • Selected to play in the Blue-Fray game and inducted into the Blue-Gray Hall of Fame;

  • Inducted into the Big 8 Hall of Fame;

Quotes about DKR

Bud Wilkinson said Darrell Royal was one of  the best all-round football players Ever…”

Lancaster Smith from Notre Dame fame said " Darrell was sort of an old head in a young body. .... He was always two or three chess moves ahead of everyone else".

Hall Middlesworth Said "Darrell Royal Is The Best Football Player I’ve Ever Seen For His Weight…What A Punter He Kicks With His Head” .

Roundy Coughlin Said Darrell Royal "Owns One Of The Most Brilliant Masses Of Football Cerebellum We’ve Seen Caged In One Skull…Never Witnessed Better Play Selection...."

Walter Stewart of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal said after the OU and Memphis football game that DKR "Gave Us A Clinical Critique Which Was Magnificently Lucid And Economically Complete.” 

Chronology of Coach Royal's road to Texas after Graduation from O.U. 

  1. Spring 1950 - El Reno High School head Coach only lasted two paychecks before he realized that coaching at the college level was his calling;

  2. Spring 1950 interviewed with Vanderbilt and was rejected;

  3. 1950 turned down a job as the head coach of ACC because he did not think he was ready for that position;

  4. March 1950 joined the North Carolina State staff to help install the Split- T;

  5. 1951 joined Tulsa University as the backfield coach;

  6. 1952 was hired as an assistant on the Mississippi State staff; (it was his last year as an assistant coach);

  7. 1953 was the youngest head coach (28) in the history of the CFL ;

  8. 1954 hired as Head Coach of Mississippi State ;

  9. 1955 turned down a job to Coach Missouri;

  10. 1956- hired by University of Washington (Royal was hired to salvage a football program under probation for illegal payments to athletes); and

  11. 1957- University of Texas

In the book "Darrell Royal Dance With Who Brung Ya " by Mike Jones and edited by Dan Jenkins, there are some great quotes that reveal DKR football insight and personal beliefs.   .  Here are some of them

  • " that pride is the best possession you have. When you take the pride away from a player, you've destroyed the best tool you've got. If you hurt him, you've hurt the team."

  • Short yardage is the key to winning a football game "That stuff on the middle of the field is for entertainment ....."

  • After winning an important game "I'll tell you , when every man is fired up, you can catch a faster man".

  • After being criticised for a winning conservative offense that had no flair Royal said " I can assure you that nothing is as entertaining as winning........ we'll work harder on that (passing) . But we'll do it because we think it'll help us win, not because it's better showbiz."

  • "You hear guys who went to another school in our for 20 minutes about why they didn't want to go to Texas. But you'll never hear a Longhorn explaining why he didn't go to another school."

The book "The Darrell Royal Story" by Jimmy Banks states that as a young age boxing taught DKR that "over-respect for your opponent can be just as dangerous as under-respect, and that you should not let people bluff you just by putting on a big show."





The video below makes Coach Royal's point.  One boxer was putting his bluff in on the other boxer. It did not work. The lesson learned- Coach was not going to let other teams bluff the Longhorns.


Don't Over-respect your opponent

Jimmy Banks also said that Darrell disliked alibis.  Royal said "if you did it, it's    obvious , and if you didn't deliver, that's obvious too; so there's no use trying to alibi or cover up."  

Jimmy Banks book is full of many other interesting facts about DKR including"


  • In College He Was Small but he did Not Know It. In his mind and in his spirit he felt bigger than he was.  It Is No Accident That during Royals Early Years At Texas He Loved Recruiting Small slow Guys Who Thought They Were Big and fast. 

  • He Was Afraid Of Public Speaking. Once While An Assistant Coach At North Carolina State He Completely Forgot His Speech At A Banquet. Royal said "I got up to talk and drew a complete blank. If you've never had this happen to you, you don't know how frightful it is and how painful it is ...... I finally just said I am sorry And sat down."  It Was After This Embarrassing Episode That DKR decided  "If I Am Going To Stay In Coaching I Have To Whip This Thing (Fear of public speaking) Or Get Out And Try Something Else".


  • The Reason he had reservations about using The Forward Pass- In his early years as a College coach  He Lost A CFL Playoff Game on a Perfect Pass that Bounced Off The Receivers Hands Into The Hands Of A Defender Who then Ran It Back For The Winning Touchdown. He Said That Loss Due To A Pass Interception "Made Me More Conservative" On Offense .

  • He Hated The Kick-Off Rule That Awarded A Team 20 Yards If They Downed The Ball In The End Zone. His Point " Why Should A Team Be Given Twenty Yards Because You Got It Too Close To Their Goal Line.... " He Said "They should Give The Kicking Team One Rouge (Point) If The Receiving Team Does Not Return The Kickoff From The End Zone."

DKR jumps to the Canadian football and then back to American football


Coach Royal Learned Early That The Best Jobs Were At State Universities. He reasoned that The Fan Base was Larger, Budgets Higher, Stadiums Better, And Recruiting Easier. Decades Later When Mack Brown Was the Coach of Tulane Coach Royal Told Him To Leave Tulane And Get To A State University As Soon As Possible. 

Royal knew that he needed to hone his skills as a head coach to enhance his chances to coach a state school so he accepted the head coaching job in the Canadian Football League. Most American coaches believed that coaching in Canada would ruin any chance of ever coaching again in America, but Royal proved everyone wrong. After Canadian football he returned to America and coached three state schools- Mississippi State, Washington, and Texas. 

Coach Royal's returns to America from Canada gave hope to many young coaches who would no longer feared being exiled from American football if they ventured into Canadian football to start their careers. 

In the book "Darrell Royal Dance With Who Brung Ya " by Mike Jones and edited by Dan Jenkins Jones Coach Royal is quoted " "I learned more in that one year (in the CFL) than in any other year of coaching."  The book also states that Vanderbilt  was the only University to ever reject his resume' in Royals meteroic rise to fame.


University of Washington Head Coach




The faculty at The University of Washington in 1955 did not approve of a head football coach (DKR)  receiving a salary twice as much as a full professor.  Since salary is directly related to the importance of the job, status ,and prestige, professors rebelled against coaches making so much money. The "intellectuals" did not want the "brawn" running the campus. The  protest from the professors was so strong that 3/4 of the faculty asking the college administration to minimize the stature of football on the campus and reduce the coaches salary. 

It took the media to quell the uprising at the University of Washington. Jimmy Banks book The Darrell Royal Story sites an article by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that states "Coaches deserve more because they get fired more often than professors- and any job with a high turnover usually commands good money. The article goes on to state that "big-time football is a thing apart from university education, and a professor might as well fret over the salary paid Grouch Marx as worry about how much the football coach makes." Football "is in the entertainment business" and the coach better preform or else






Then there were Many Washington  Fans who did not like DKR's "Roots" but the media continued to support Royal

The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner Sports Writer Melvin Durslag Was The First Person To Point Out That The Young DKR Represented The New Big-Time College football Coach. Wearing A Suit And Tie And Speaking Firmly .  Durslag States The Day Of The "Lovable Slob, Or The Cracker Barrel Con Artist, Or The Phony Moralist Of Old Days Is Gone. "  Melvin Durslag Told The Washington Fans To Give Royal A Chance, But many fans rejected that advise. Washington fans thought His Southern Roots made him a Racist And wanted him to lose so UW would fire him. Knowing this- Royal Responded To The Fans after meeting with them by saying "I've Found That They're All Behind Us - Win Or Tie.!"

"There is no one going through There!!!"

Royal states that he left the University of Washington  because he missed family and friends. Royal said "It is just so far from where I grew up, and where our relatives were. You know, Seattle's right up there in the corner; there's nobody  going through Seattle." There is only the Ocean and Canada to visit. " In Austin, I catch a lot of my friends going through here to some other place, and have a chance to visit with the them."

It was the right decision to leave Washington. He was the only coach who left voluntarily in  40 years. All the others were fired!! 

Royal the dreamer

Royal Was A Dreamer. He Said as a young boy " I Dream Of "Kicking A Ball 90 Yards, (he actually kicked on 81 yards) Or Running Faster Than I Could Ever Run, Or Getting a coaching Job That I Could Never Really have A Chance To Get, And I'd always Daydreamed About Coaching At The University Of Texas". Interestingly he never dreamed of coaching at OU.

With the help of Tonto Coleman An Assistant For Bobby Dodd At Georgia Tech his dream to coach the Longhorns was soon to become a reality.



 Royal Gets The Job.

From the book Here Come THE TEXAS LONGHORNS 1893-1970 written by Lou Maysel in the chapter titled “Royal Renaissance 1957-1960” Lou discuss the interview process to replace Coach Price as head coach for the Longhorn football team.

To replace Coach Price with a new head coach “two separate lists were compiled, one of men of suitable stature to take over both jobs (head coach and Athletic Director) ,and the second of coach-only possibilities." In all, over 100 names went onto the two lists. “Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd had the inside track” for the head coaching job at U.T. but Dodd removed his name from the list and told the Texas Athletic Director D.X. Bible that “ Darrell Royal was one of the bright young coaches in college football”. After a perfect interview process orchestrated by Coach Royal's detailed preparation for the meeting he was hired and received a 5-year contract and $17,500 annually. 


Congratulations to DKR from Bear Bryan




More information on Royals formative years to follow