Legendary football coach Darrell K Royal and his wife, Edith, stood before the Texas State Legislative Committee in March to make the first public announcement that Royal has been living the past several years of his life with dementia. With close family friends by their sides, the couple spoke of the effects of living with the disease. They also announced the establishment of the Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research. Lance Armstrong, Matthew McConaughey and Mack Brown serve on the organization’s board of advisors, helping the Royals in their fight against dementia.
Royal coached at Texas from 1957 to 1976, boasting a 167-45-7 overall record. He won 3 National Championships, 11 Southwest Conference titles, and never once, in 20 seasons with the Longhorns, had a losing record. As far as Royal’s current health, he still remembers former players, past games, even specific plays he ran in his days as a coach. The “events of the here and now are much more difficult to recall,” Edith said.