Where does Darrell K. Royal rank on or list of top Texas coaches?
Last week, we covered the top 10 Texas football players of all time. Today, we continue "The Horn's Sports Top 10" series as we give you the best Longhorn coaches of all time.
The Horn is continuing it's new series known as "The Horn's Sports Top 10" with the top 10 University of Texas coaches of all time.
#10 Beverly Kearney
The current coach of Texas’ women’s track and field, Kearney is one of the winningest coaches in the history of the sport. She has led the Longhorns to three Indoor National Championships (’98, ’99, ’06) and three Outdoor National Championships (’98, ’99, ’05). Kearney is a 3-time Outdoor NCAA Coach of the Year and a 2-time Indoor NCAA Coach of the Year, while winning 15 Conference Coach of the Year Awards in both the Southwest and Big 12 Conferences. In 2004, she became a member of the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.
#9 Connie Clark
In 1996, Clark became the first head coach of the Texas softball program and has produced results since then that were once thought of as long-term goals. Clark and her Lady Longhorns have made four Women’s CWS appearances and won five Big 12 Conference tournament titles (they also have four Big 12 regular season titles.) Clark led Texas to its first WCWS appearance in just two years, which is still the quickest such time frame in NCAA Division I softball history.
#8 Rick Barnes
Barnes took over the Texas basketball program in 1998 and won the Big 12 regular season championship in his first year. Since then, he has led the Longhorns to two shares of the Big 12 regular season championship (’06, ’08) and two Elite Eight appearances. In 2003, Texas made it to the Final Four for the third time in the program’s history, eventually losing to Syracuse. Texas has never missed an NCAA Tournament under Rick Barnes.
#7 Dana Bible
Texas’ head football coach from 1937 to 1946, Bible was responsible for turning the Longhorn football program around. He won three Southwest Conference titles and two Cotton Bowl Classics. Under his direction, the Texas football teams of 1941 and 1945 became regarded as two of the best teams in Texas history. His 1941 team was the first Longhorn team to reach No. 1 in the AP poll, and his 1945 squad captured Texas’ first 10-win season. His 63-31-3 record is currently fourth in Texas football history.
#6 Cliff Gustafson
Augie Garrido’s predecessor was at the helm of Texas baseball from 1968 to 1996, and those 28 years were chock-full of various team titles. Gustafson produced 1,427 wins that included 22 conference titles, 11 conference titles, and the Texas’ 3rd and 4th College World Series titles (’75, ’83). With Gustafson as head coach, Texas saw 17 College World Series appearances. This 2-time National Coach of the Year winner is part of the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
# 5 Eddie Reese
Reese became the head coach of Texas’ men’s swimming and diving team in 1978, and has since won 10 team national championships, 32 conference championships and eight Coach of the Year awards. Reese took a good swimming and diving program at Texas, which had not produced more than a conference championship, and transformed them into a consistent champion and ultimate powerhouse in college swimming and diving. He has also won three championships in every decade as the coach at Texas.
#4 Jody Conradt
This women’s basketball coach became a legend at the University of Texas and is a member of the Basketball and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. After coming from the University of Arlington and turning around their basketball program, Conradt became coach of the Longhorns in 1976 and saw immediate success. In the 1980s, Texas ranked in the top-10 in all but one year of the decade, reaching No.1 four times (’84-’88). In 1986, Conradt led Texas to a 34-0 undefeated season and the program’s first and only national championship. The 1986 season marked the first undefeated season by a women’s basketball program in the NCAA era. Under Conradt, Texas reached five Elite Eight’s and three Final Four’s, the most recent one in 2003.
#3 Mack Brown
The coach who “couldn’t win the big game” certainly disproved those critics wrong in more recent years. Brown became head coach of the Texas football program in 1998, but was quickly criticized for having great recruiting classes and little to show for them during the season. Brown would eventually get the monkey off his back and come out with two Big 12 championships, a 2005 National Championship and a 2005 Coach of the Year Award. During his tenure, Texas recorded nine straight 10-win seasons (’01-’09) and nine total bowl wins. Mack Brown is currently under contract with Texas until the end of the 2020 football season.
# 2 Augie Garrido
The winningnest baseball coach in NCAA Division I history comes in at 2nd on our list. Since taking over the program for Cliff Gustafson in 1997, Garrido has won seven Big 12 Conference titles and four Big 12 Conference tournaments. The tough, gritty Garrido has also directed the Longhorns to seven College World Series appearances, winning the national championship twice (’02, ’05).
#1 Darrell Royal
Not only the best head football coach, but the best head coach of all time at the University of Texas. Royal’s first year at the university, he took a 1-9 Longhorn squad from the year prior and transformed them into a team with that finished with a 6-4-1 record. Never in his tenure did the Longhorns suffer a losing season. Darrell Royal brought three national championships (’63, ’69, ’70), 11 Southwest Conference championships, and 16 bowl appearances to the Longhorn football program. Texas’ football stadium is also named in his honor.
Let the debate begin...