Former Longhorn Head Coach Fred Akers Named Honorary Chair of 26th Annual Get Teed Off At OU Golf ClassicFormer University of Texas Head Football Coach Fred Akers has been selected as the Honorary Chair for the 26th Anniversary Get Teed Off at OU Golf Classic, set for Friday, October 10th at the Firewheel Golf Park near Dallas. The golf tournament, an annual sell-out, is the largest Longhorn golfing event in the world and generates scholarship funds for the Dallas Texas Exes.
“I am extremely humbled to be selected by the Dallas Texas Exes as the Honorary Chair of this outstanding golf tournament that helps out students from across Texas,” said Coach Akers. “And it’s always fun to be around our fans and alumni, especially in Dallas the day before that big game. I’ll try to help stir’em up.”
Coach Akers had the challenging duty of following in the coaching footsteps of Longhorn Legend Darrel Royal. However, Akers compiled an impressive record of 86-31-2 at Texas, with Southwest Conference Championships in 1977 and 1983.
Akers also coached another Longhorn Legend – Earl Campbell – in Campbell’s Heisman Trophy year of 1977, and came oh-so-close to winning national championships in 1978 and 1984.
"There is no way to quantify Fred Akers’ contribution to Texas Longhorn football accurately," says Bill Little, Special Assistant to Texas Football Coach Mack Brown and a member of the Texas football staff for more than four decades. "He had the tough task of following a legend, and his teams competed in a Southwest Conference where a number of schools were found to be in serious violation of NCAA rules."
"Destiny wasn’t a kind traveling partner for Fred—with a break or two, his teams would have likely won two National Championships in his ten seasons at UT, " Little adds. " His winning percentage was one of the best in school history, and his tenure as an assistant and as a head coach spanned a period of outstanding success in a time when college football was evolving into the very visible new world of media coverage and television exposure."
Perhaps most impressively, Akers brought home big wins against Oklahoma and a winning mark against Barry Switzer of the Oklahoma Sooners, who was 3–0–1 against Texas before Akers came along. Coach Akers, known for tough defenses, notched a 5-4-1 record against the Sooners, beating Switzer three consecutive times 1979-1981.
And Akers and Switzer go way back. Way back. Both played for Arkansas in 1959, and Switzer, playing at center, hiked the ball so his teammate, placekicker Akers, could knock through a 28-yard field goal against TCU and seal the Razorbacks a share of the SWC championship.
"Freddie Akers handled very difficult and challenging circumstances with grace and class," said Dave Campbell, publisher of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and a personal friend. "He followed Darrell Royal as well as anybody could have. The pressure was out of this world. And he put some big wins on the board for UT against top opponents with incredible defenses and all-out hustle. He's deserving of every honor that will come his way."
Coach Akers is no stranger to the big Texas Exes golf tourney in Big D. He played several years ago when the Dallas Exes honored "Great Players of the 1980's," when former UT quarterback Robert Brewer and All-American kicker Jeff Ward served as Honorary Chairman. He also played when the Exes honored Earl Campbell and Johnny "Lam" Jones.
2013 Honorary Chair Coach Fred Akers has played in the Get Teed Off at OU Classic several times, including when the "Great Players of the 1980's" were honored.
Pictured: Coach Akers, UT Women's Athletic Director Chris Plonsky, former UT QB Robert Brewer.
And finally, Coach Akers is getting the recognition he deserves not only at UT, but in hallowed halls of fame.
"The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is excited that Fred Akers is on the ballot for next year's induction class," says Steve Fallon, Executive Director of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. "When you look at his record as a head coach at Texas and his other great coaching and humanitarian efforts, how can his legacy not be memorialized? And since he had a winning record against OU, Coach Akers is a great choice to be Honorary Chair for the 26th Anniversary Get Teed Off at OU Golf Classic!"