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RIP Coach Darrell Royal (1924-2012)

The Associated Press and ESPN.com are reporting that Darrell K. Royal, the former Texas football coach known as much for his folksy, simplistic approach to life as for his creative wishbone offenses and two national championships, has died. He was 88.

University of Texas spokesman Nick Voinis on Wednesday confirmed Royal’s death. Royal had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.

Royal took over as head coach at Texas at age 32 in 1956 after starring as a halfback for Oklahoma and then taking head coaching jobs at Mississippi State and Washington.

In 23 years as a head coach, he never had a losing season, with his teams boasting a 167-47-5 record in his 20 years at Texas, the best record in the nation over that period (1957-1976).

Royal won 11 Southwest Conference titles, 10 Cotton Bowl championships and national championships in 1963 and 1969, going 11-0 each time.

The national title season in 1969 included what was dubbed the “Game of the Century,” a come-from-behind, 15-14 victory by the top-ranked Longhorns over No. 2 Arkansas in the final game of the regular season.

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