Associated Press Photo
AUSTIN, Texas (Sports Network) - Former Texas football coach Darrell Royal passed away on Wednesday.
He was 88 years old.
Royal, who is Texas' all-time winningest coach and for whom the team's stadium is named after, had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
"Today is a very sad day. 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," Texas head coach Mack Brown said. "I can hardly put in words how much Coach Royal means to me and all that he has done for me and my family. I wouldn't even be at Texas without Coach."
Royal took over the Longhorns' program in 1957 after spending two years at Mississippi State (1954-55) and one at Washington (1956), and guided Texas to a 167-47-5 record, winning two National Championships (1963 and 1969) and 11 Southwest Conference titles in his time in Austin.
Texas also won a share of the UPI national championship in 1970 before losing to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.
The Hollis, Oklahoma, native finished his coaching career with a 184-60-5 mark and never had a season with a losing record.
Royal retired from coaching in 1976, but remained as Texas' director of athletics until 1980, when he became a special advisor to the UT president on athletic matters.
He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
"Coach gave so much more to the State of Texas and college football than he took away. He forgot more football than most of us will ever know, including me," Brown said. "His impact on the game, the coaches and players, the community and the millions of lives he touched, is insurmountable. He will be missed in so many ways."