AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Darrell Royal, the legendary former University of Texas football coach for whom the Longhorns’ stadium is named, has died in Austin, the university said Wednesday. He was 88.
The Longhorns’ winningest coach had a record of 167-47-5 from 1957-1976. He coached the team to three national championships and 11 Southwest Conference titles. In 1996, the university renamed its football stadium Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
“Today is a very sad day,” said Mack Brown, the University of Texas head football coach. “I lost a wonderful friend, a mentor, a confidant and my hero. College football lost maybe its best ever and the world lost a great man.”
Royal, who had Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife, Edith Royal, in February launched an Alzheimer’s research fund.
“Darrell Royal was a coaching icon and the face of football in the Lone Star State for a generation of Texans,” Texas Governor Rick Perry said. “His legacy can be counted in national championships, but also in his unending devotion to his university and in the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Royal is survived by his wife and a son.
Reporting By Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Vicki Allen and Eric Walsh