One of the best things that Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown has done in his tenure in Austin has been embracing the traditions and the past of the storied program, a major key in reviving the sleeping giant.
And no single person was more responsible for the successes of Texas football than legendary head coach Darrell K. Royal, with whom Brown had a strong relationship, for reasons that went beyond football.
It was no surprise, then, to see the heartfelt sentiments expressed by Brown in a release through the school on Wednesday after the news broke that DKR had passed away:
"Today is a very sad day. I lost a wonderful friend, a mentor, a confidant and my hero. College football lost maybe its best ever and the world lost a great man. I can hardly put in words how much Coach Royal means to me and all that he has done for me and my family. I wouldn't even be at Texas without Coach. His council and friendship meant a lot to me before I came to Texas, but it's been my guiding light for my 15 years here.
"Coach gave so much more to the State of Texas and college football than he took away. He forgot more football than most of us will ever know, including me. His impact on the game, the coaches and players, the community and the millions of lives he touched, is insurmountable. He will be missed in so many ways.
"I lost my Dad when I was 54, and Coach filled a real void in my life and treated me like family. Sally and I gained a lot coming to Texas and being a part of this tremendous program but no more than our relationship with Coach and Edith. They were our closest of friends. Our heart pours out to Edith and the family and our thoughts and prayers are with her and the family. We will always be there to lend any and all support that we can as she and Coach always did for us."
RIP, coach. You will never be forgotten.