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1,500 attend campus service for Longhorns coaching legend Royal

AUSTIN, Texas — Former Texas coach Darrell Royal was remembered Tuesday as a humble champion who built a powerhouse football program and a Longhorn brand known around the world.

About 1,500 people attended a campus memorial service for the coach who led Texas to national championships in 1963 and 1969 and a share of a third in 1970. Royal also revolutionized college football when he introduced the wishbone offense in 1968.

Royal died in Austin on Nov. 7 at the age of 88. He was buried at the Texas State Cemetery in a private service Monday.

Royal grew up chopping cotton in Dust Bowl-era Oklahoma and was a standout player for the Sooners in the 1940s. It was Royal who determined Texas would wear not wear "just orange" but burnt orange, and put the Longhorn logo on the players' helmets, Texas president Bill Powers said.

"The rarest of creatures: an Oklahoma Sooner who brought glory and unprecedented success to the University of Texas," Powers said. "He was the real creator of the Longhorn brand that defines our institution around the world today."

Royal was 32 when Texas hired him before the 1957 season. Over the next 20 years, Texas won 167 games and 11 Southwest Conference titles and played in 16 bowl games. Royal, who never had a losing season, retired in 1976.

The 90-minute service drew dozens of Royal's former players and coaching friends and rivals, including former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles, a close friend, and former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, a fierce rival toward the end of Royal's career. Former Heisman Trophy running back Earl Campbell, whom Royal recruited to Texas, former Texas A&M Heisman winner John David Crow and former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum also attended.

"It didn't matter if you were a starter or on the fifth team, he loved you," said James Street, quarterback of Texas' 1969 national championship team.

REFS REPRIMANDED: The Sun Belt Conference reprimanded two replay officials after they failed to properly review calls in two separate games. The conference did not identify the officials.

CAL: Coach Jeff Tedford said he expects to meet next week with athletic director Sandy Barbour to discuss his future after the Golden Bears (3-8, 2-6 Pac-12) finish their worst season in his 11-year tenure.

NEBRASKA: Running back Rex Burkhead is hopeful he'll be able to play Saturday on senior day. Burkhead has missed five games and left three early with a sprained left knee.

1,500 attend campus service for Longhorns coaching legend Royal 11/13/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 8:34pm]
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