Darrell Royal wins 7 SWC titles and a national title in nine seasons--one year after a 10-2 season, Texas finishes 5-5-1 and he is suddenly "retired" at the age of 52.
Who was the athletic director that forced Darrell Royal out?
Answer: Darrell K. Royal (who retired as HFC in 1976) was the athletic director at the University of Texas from 1962-1980, but that fact doesn't square well with the Aggie narrative. Yes, fans and boosters were upset about a .500 season and a 5th place finish in the SWC, but the decision to retire was ultimately the coach's.
That situation is not comparable at all to the actual firings of Joe Paterno and Ralph Friedgen.
This is not an Aggie narrative--Royal was holding two jobs (as many football coaches were in those days) and UT football was under increased scrutiny on and off the field. A new president was coming into UT (Lorene Rogers), and Royal knew he could probably not keep both jobs going forward. Staying on as AD meant Royal could diffuse the criticism, stay on staff, and take the high road vs. digging in and essentially daring the school to let him go (as Paterno did for many years). Dr. Rogers would have faced extraordinary heat if she fired Royal but it would not have been inconceivable.
Coincedentally, Frank Broyles, Royal's peer and counterpart at Arkansas, did the exact same thing, leaving as coach and staying on as AD. Both left after the last game of that season, and Broyles ran the program for another 20 years, moving the Hogs into the SEC and ultimately deep-sixing the late great Southwest Conference. Royal retired as AD in 1980.
To his credit, Royal decided he would rather be an elder statesmen on the Forty Acres than being an ex-coach, which is an honor something Friedgen won't get and neither will Paterno. The role of an elder statesman is often a tricky one,. esp. in football, which is probably why there are so few of them--Vince Dooley, Lavell Edwards, Barry Switzer, Grant Teaff, and Tom Osborne come to mind, but not many.
Today, there are a few in basketball: Carnesecca and Thompson and the ailing Dean Smith, but Bob Knight is estranged from IU, Nolan Richardson and Arkansas are separated, and Tarkanian has distanced himself from UNLV. Some will never be elder statesmen for a specific school (Eddie Sutton, Larry Brown, John Calipari) and most will never rise to the level. It will be interesting to see how the Big East's older coaches (Boeheim, Calhoun, and Huggins, and to a lesser extent, Pitino) will be embraced or diminished in retirement by their respective schools.
Bottom line, every coaching situation is different--even Yale (which is where this thread started). Internet chatter is suggesting former Yale coach (and elder statesman) Carm Cozza lobbied hard for Don Brown to get the job, only to have the school president veto the offer.
Last Edit: Jan 12, 2012 12:38:47 GMT -5 by DFW HOYA