(1961 Game Worn)


There was a time when the University Of Texas football program was mediocre and would you believe, posted a 1-9 record? The early to mid-1950's saw the mighty Longhorns down on their luck and the powers that were decided to replace coach Ed Price with "one of the enemy." Former Oklahoma University QB and Oklahoma native Darrell Royal who had made a coaching name for himself at a number of collegiate stops was the man picked to turn around the proud Longhorn program. His debut was immediately successful with a 6-4 record that included victory over the A&M Aggies and an invitation to the Sugar Bowl. Ascension was complete in 1961; a 10-1 record, SWC Championship, and a victory over Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. 1961 was also the beginning of a championship career that made Royal one of the all time greats, the foundation leading to 9-1-1 in '62, 11-0 in 1963, and 10-1 in 1964. The great tradition of linebackers was also initiated with Johnny Treadwell and Pat Culpepper getting recognition, Culpepper coming back after graduation to coach linebackers under Royal. Tommy Nobis came to Texas and out of this tradition to set a new linebacking standard just a few years later. RB James Saxton who ran down rabbits to stay in shape and was fast enough to do so, sophs Tommy Ford (HB) and future All Everything Scott Appleton joined senior Jack Collins (the first Texas Football Magazine cover boy) to propel Texas to the top of the charts. The iconic Texas helmet with the Longhorn emblem and burnt orange numerals was augmented by the center stripe and HELMET HUT''S #25 from that 1961 team, worn by FB Derrell Oliver is a beautiful example from that period of time. The stripe was removed in 1963 and in 1967 so were the numerals, making the helmet utilitarian but elegant and streamlined. Regarding the uniform, Royal's famous quote sums up his philosophy and uniform inclinations best. When asked if he was going to add adornments to the helmet or add stripes on the sleeves  of the all burnt orange game jerseys, he quipped, "Hell no! I'm not going to candy this thing up. These are work clothes."