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Associated Press Darrell Royal, who led the University of Texas Longhorns to three national championships, died in Austin, Texas. He was 88. His death was announced Wednesday by the University of Texas, which did not say when he died. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. When Royal was named the Texas football coach in 1957, he took over a team that had won only one game the previous season. When he retired after 20 seasons, he had coached the Longhorns to 11 Southwest Conference championships and 16 bowl appearances, and he never had a losing team. He was named national coach of the year five times and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. His squads pioneered a wishbone running offense that influenced college football far beyond the Austin campus. Texas had fine teams in the 1940s under coach Dana X. Bible but never finished atop the national rankings. Royal not only reached that pinnacle three times, but also endeared himself to Longhorns fans with his homespun style. As for passing: “Three things can happen, and two of them are bad.” As for attitude: “You’ve got to think lucky. If you fall into a mud hole, check your back pocket. You might have caught a fish.” Royal, who was an All-American player at Oklahoma, coached stars like Earl Campbell and Roosevelt Leaks at running back, Scott Appleton at tackle and Tommy Nobis at linebacker, compiling a record of 167-45-5 at Texas.


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