Darrell K Royal memorabilia at auction includes photos with Willie Nelson, Lady Bird Johnson, more


Ricky Llamas

An auction employee holds up a framed memorabilia from the Royal Collection on Sunday at the Austin Auction Gallery.

David Maly

Members of the public got a chance Sunday to take home memorabilia that belonged to legendary former head football coach Darrell K Royal.

Items auctioned included Alamo Bowl and 2006 Rose Bowl rings, a 1973 photo of Darrell K Royal and his wife Edith Royal with Willie Nelson and Lady Bird Johnson and a photo of Charles Duke, lunar module pilot on the 1972 Apollo 16 mission, attempting to form a Hook ‘em hand gesture on the moon.

Darrell K Royal died Wednesday of complications of cardiovascular disease at the age of 88. Ross Featherston, spokesperson for Austin Auction Gallery, said planning for the auction began in late August, and Edith Royal wanted to continue with the auction after her husband’s death for several reasons.

“This is about sharing their personal collection with the public, with his fans,” Featherston said. “She wanted people to have the opportunity to buy some of those things. There are 243 pieces here that they can [bid on], and they are related to Coach Royal.”

Amy McMurrough, spokesperson for public relations firm McMurrough and Associates, that assisted in publicizing the auction, said Edith Royal also wanted to continue with the auction to take some of the strain off her family.

“She didn’t want to burden her family with the difficulty of having to figure out what to do with things after he passed,” McMurrough said.

She said roughly 600 people placed bids during the auction, with 300 in-person and 300 via internet or telephone.

She said the highest bid was made by a UT alumnus, whose name was not available, for the 2006 Rose Bowl ring at $105,000, roughly $120,000 with buyer’s premium, a tax charged by the auction house. McMurrough said the later bids on that ring produced a lively competition between two bidders.

In addition to the Royal’s items, the auction included pieces from Beau Theriot, an Austin furniture designer.

Featherston said a portion of the proceeds taken in by Featherston and Edith Royal will be given to the Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research.

He said Darrell K Royal’s passing received national publicity, undoubtedly contributing to the auction’s success.

Articles about Darrell K Royal’s death appeared in the Austin-American Statesman, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Daily Texan and more than a dozen other publications.  

Darrell K Royal served as head coach of the Longhorn football team from 1956 until 1976. His record as head coach is 167-47-5, a school record that remains unbroken.

At Saturday’s game against Iowa State the Longhorns ran the first play from wishbone, a formation introduced to college football by Darrell K Royal in 1968, and gained 47 yards with the play. The Longhorns won the game 33-7.

There will be a public memorial for Darrell K Royal at noon Tuesday in the Frank Erwin Center’s basketball arena. He will be buried privately in the Texas State Cemetery in East Austin, an honor reserved for “legendary Texans who have made the state what it is today.”

Printed on Monday, November 12, 2012 as: Historical DKR memorabilia goes on auction