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UT Longhorns 1969 Championship Season

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1969 - 70

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  •  “Game of the Century” 
  •  James Street 42-yard run against Arkansas 
  •  Tom Campbell intercepts final AK drive, securing UT victory 
  •  Cotton Bowl Classic: UT vs Notre Dame 
  •  Coach Darrell K Royal gives a moving locker room speech after the Cotton Bowl victory, dedicating the win to defensive back Freddie Steinmark, who had been diagnosed with bone cancer during the season. In this footage, Steinmark is at the game on crutches after a recent leg amputation. Steinmark became a symbol to cancer victims nationally. He passed away in 1971. 
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  • About the video
  • Darrell K Royal Darrell K Royal
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This production highlights the University of Texas Longhorns' iconic 1969 season. Headed by legendary coach Darrell Royal, the season was punctuated by a number of comebacks that allowed the Longhorns to go undefeated and clinch the 1969 National Championship title. The season also includes one of the most iconic college football games in the history of the sport, the “Game of the Century,” where UT, with an 18-game winning streak, made a narrow comeback against Arkansas, who were also 15-games undefeated. In 1970 the Texas Longhorns faced Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish at the Cotton Bowl Classic and defeated them 21 to 17 to win the national championship. This film captures many of the high points of that season from the close game against Arkansas to coach Darrell Royal’s moving speech in the locker room after the Longhorns had secured the title.
Darrell K Royal was a collegiate football coach revered for leading the Texas Longhorns in twenty winning seasons from 1957 to 1976.
Royal was born on July 6, 1924 in Hollis, Oklahoma. His middle name, K, has been said to represent his mother, Katy, who died of cancer when Royal was a baby. He experienced more tragedy with the deaths of two of his sisters at young ages. During the hard economic times of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, Royal had to supplement his father’s income by taking on a paper route and picking cotton. His family was so poor that he used a can of baking powder as a football until he and his brothers were able to pool their money to buy a real one.
With the outbreak of World War II, Royal joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. While playing football for the 3rd Air Force team, he was scouted by the University of Oklahoma. There he majored in business and became a star quarterback and defensive back. When he graduated, Royal knew he wanted to coach football. He held assistant coaching positions at North Carolina State, Tulsa, and Mississippi State. He briefly coached the Edmonton Eskimos in Canada before returning to Mississippi as head coach in 1954, where he remained for two years.
In 1956, Royal became head coach at the University of Texas, where he became the most successful coach in the history of the program. In his first year, he quickly turned the losing team into a winning one, ending the season with an appearance at the Sugar Bowl. Royal remained for a record twenty years without a single losing season. During his tenure, Texas won national championship titles in 1963, 1969, and 1970. They also won eleven Southwest Conference titles and went to sixteen bowl games. Although he received some criticism for his coaching tactics, Royal was ultimately considered a legend. He retired in 1976, but stayed at Texas as an athletic director for four more years. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, and the football stadium at the University of Texas was renamed in his honor in 1996. 
Royal married Edith Thomason in 1944, and they had three children -- Mack, David Wade, and Marian. Two of his children, David and Marian, preceded him in death. Darrel Royal died on November 7, 2012 from complications of Alzheimer’s. His wife founded the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease in his honor.