Posted on November 8, 2012 at 7:12 AM
AUSTIN -- Word is spreading across the University of Texas campus of the passing of legendary Longhorn Football Coach Darrell K Royal.
Many argue Longhorn football wouldn't be what it is today without the achievements Coach Royal brought to the team.
The school's football stadium is named in his honor and a statue of Royal stands near the southeast gate. It overlooks the field where the UT football team battles it out to a crowd of roaring fans.
This field isn’t where Royal coached the Longhorns to victory, but his successes helped pave the way for future wins.
Word of his passing is hitting not only the football program hard, but the entire UT Athletics Department.
“I think everyone looked at Coach Royal as just, uh, who we all wanted to be. A good person who did things the right way and had a lot of success,” said the Longhorn’s Tennis Coach Michael Center. “People really looked up to him. He was just someone that, uh, you know, there are very few people that you can kind of put up on a pedestal and he was one of those guys.”
The University of Texas released a brief statement Wednesday morning recognizing Royal as the “winningest coach” in Longhorn football.
Students on campus are hoping the University will honor Royal's life and achievements at the next home game.
“I would expect the next home football game to be a big one as far as just paying tribute and, uh, you know, just what he's done for this program is amazing. I really hope that you know that they come out and support him and his family because it's really important to do that, especially considering the success of the team, especially over the decades,” said UT senior Josh Lauer.
Royal brought the Longhorns three National Championships as head coach of the football program in 1963, 1969 and 1970. He also secured 11 Southwest Conference Championships for the Longhorns.