Big 12: Darrell Royal

Q&A: Former Texas WR Jordan Shipley

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
10:30
AM ET
Jordan Shipley retired from the NFL in February, and he has never been busier.

The former All-America wide receiver at Texas had an easy time transitioning into life after football following his three-year stint in the pros. Shipley has a burgeoning TV career as the host for "Bucks of Tecomate" and "Tecomate Whitetail Nation" on Outdoor Channel and is chasing his love of fishing, hunting and all things outdoors.

Shipley is also trying out acting in his spare time. He's portraying former Texas great Cotton Speyrer in "My All American," a movie about Freddie Steinmark and UT's 1969 national title team which is filming in Austin. ESPN.com recently caught up with him to talk about his new ventures, his brother and his former coach.

[+] Enlarge Jordan Shipley
John Grieshop/Getty ImagesJordan Shipley has traded professional football for an acting and outdoor television hosting career.
First off, how is the life of a movie star treating you so far?

Shipley: Oh man, I was laughing the other day because they gave me my own trailer. I think they have to. That deal is going to be really fun. Growing up here, you hear all these stories about the national championship teams in '69 and '70 and Freddie Steinmark and all these guys. To have it made into a movie is pretty special. I'm happy to be a part of it and playing Cotton.

How do you like seeing the old-time uniforms and haircuts?

Shipley: What I'm having to get used to is no facial hair. I've been bearded for a while now, so I still haven't gotten used to that. But the uniforms, it feels a lot like junior high when you have the big pads. The biggest difference is being in pads for 12 hours a day. In the NCAA and NFL, they can only keep you on the field so long. That's been a little different.

How is working with Aaron Eckhart? Think he's doing a good job portraying Darrell Royal?

Shipley: Actually, I've talked to Aaron a ton. The other day, I probably visited with him for an hour and a half. He's taking the role very seriously and it's obviously big shoes to fill. I took him to the stadium and showed him around, showed him the building and the old pictures of these guys in the movie, all the memorabilia. I think he's going to do a great job.

How did you get your break with Outdoor Channel?

Shipley: It's a pretty incredible deal. David Morris, who's a hunting legend, was co-hosting the shows with Jeff Foxworthy for a long time. I've basically taken Jeff Foxworthy's spot. It's awesome and it's a full-time job.

Josh Hamilton was supposed to come down on a hunt with these guys and his whole family got sick and had to cancel. They called me and I came down. I was in Amarillo and I drove all the way down to Laredo, about 11 hours, with my wife and did the hunt. That went great and David pulled me aside and said he was looking for somebody to take the load off of him and eventually become the face of "Tecomate." He said, 'If you think you might be ready to be done playing football ...' and I didn't even let him finish. 'I'm ready. Sign me up.' Really, I guess I should thank Josh Hamilton.

I'd imagine that kind of work takes you all over the country, right?

Shipley: Yeah, for my hosting next year we have hunts on the docket for Montana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and then I'll have some in Texas. It's all over the place.

Is there pressure when the cameras are following you on a hunt and you need results?

Shipley: There is, yeah. One hunt this year, it was down to the wire, the last afternoon of my hunt. With our schedule there's no extra days, you've got to get it done. I shot my deer from 300-something yards the last day and it was the only one I saw that was potentially for the show. So yeah, it's pressure. It's a lot like playing a football game. You've got the cameras on you and you've got to make something happen.

You knew your playing days would end eventually. Is it crazy to you that this is what you ended up doing? Or was this your plan all along?

Shipley: This is crazier to me than playing in the NFL. This was my dream job. A lot of people laugh about that. My uncles were giving me a hard time, saying, 'What are you trying to do, do all of our dream jobs?' I wanted to do something in the outdoor industry, I knew that, but to get a hosting job on one of the highest-watched show in outdoor television has been a huge blessing. It kind of just happened.

You spent some time this spring fishing with Mack Brown. How'd that go?

Shipley: It was fun. He wanted me to show him Lake Austin because he spends a lot of time out there and he knew I'd caught some really good fish out there. I took him out there and showed him some of my fishing holes, and we're going to do that again sometime.

Did he seem like he's enjoying the time off and the chance to relax?

Shipley: He told me before he does anything else, he wants to spend a good amount of time playing golf and fishing. I know him and Miss Sally have gone on some trips. I think it's been great for him to have some time to decompress. We all know that job at Texas is super stressful and a high-demand job. I'm sure he's liked having some time to be a normal person again.

Your brother, Jaxon Shipley, is entering his senior year. What are you expecting this fall?

Shipley: A lot of people don't know this, but he had a pretty significant surgery right before last season started and missed all of two-a-days. They went in and cut the attachments for his groin muscle on both sides and reattached them. They were torn and frayed everywhere. I don't know how he was even back to being able to play. That was four weeks before two-a-days.

He just didn't feel great last year, and I was impressed he played the way he did for going through that. I think watching him in the spring game, he looks like he's way ahead. I think he's going to have a great year.
It's kind of my lucky number. It's the year Footloose came out.

Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 11

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
10:00
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Time to hand out some superlatives from the week that was around the Big 12:

Best offensive performance: David Ash, QB, Texas. Ash took care of business against Iowa State, bouncing back after some struggles earlier in conference play. He completed a 47-yard pass to start the game on a trick play out of the wishbone formation. More on that in a bit. His day only got better. He completed his first 11 passes and finished with 364 yards and two touchdowns on 25-of-31 passing.

[+] EnlargeDavid Ash
Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesTexas' David Ash threw for 364 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's win over Iowa State.
Best defensive performance: Meshak Williams, DE, Kansas State. Williams was everywhere for Kansas State in the Big 12's most dominant defensive performance of the weekend, a 23-10 win over TCU in Fort Worth. He had a pair of sacks and three tackles for loss among his seven stops. Those three TFLs accounted for a loss of 28 yards, too. Williams also batted down a pass. Honorable mention: Lyndell Johnson, LB, Oklahoma State.

Best game: Texas Tech 41, Kansas 34, 2OT. Another week, another OT thriller. This one, though, lacked the presence of TCU. All three Big 12 overtime games have gone multiple extra periods, but Tech's game-winning score came on a cheeky halfback jump pass from Eric Stephens to Darrin Moore. The Jayhawks erased a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit to send the game into overtime, but once again, the Jayhawks came up just short from ending their painful Big 12 losing streak.

Best quote: Gary Patterson, to Bill Snyder after K-State, Patterson's alma mater, knocked off TCU in Fort Worth to go 10-0. "Go win it all," he said.

Best team performance: Texas. It started with a fantastic tribute to Darrell Royal, but the Longhorns' evisceration of Iowa State was as complete a beating as you'll see in a Big 12 game not involving Kansas. Texas' defensive woes looked like a distant memory as the offense outgained the Cyclones by more than 300 yards and won the turnover battle 2-0. The Longhorns had the ball almost twice as long as ISU, ran the ball well and played amazingly efficient offense. Add it up, and you get the worst beating Iowa State's received all year. No small feat. Honorable mention: Kansas State

Worst overall performance: West Virginia's special teams. What a nightmare for this unit. Two different kicks took odd bounces, hit WVU players and were recovered by Oklahoma State to account for both of WVU's turnovers. Another play resulted in a touchback when four different WVU special-teamers got greedy and decided to let a punt bounce one more time. That's a 20-yard mistake, and eight plays later, OSU capitalized with a touchdown to go ahead 48-34. Does that happen if OSU is pinned inside its 5-yard line? It's worth asking.

Worst explanation: Tommy Tuberville. Hey, only Tuberville knows exactly what he was trying to do when he aggressively swiped the headset off a graduate assistant on the sideline in the middle of giving him an earful. His explanation, though, that he was trying to get him off the field and meant to grab his shirt simply doesn't line up with what the video clearly shows. There was no urgency on the part of Tuberville to get the assistant off the field, and he missed his shirt by a long, long way with the swipe. I don't believe Tuberville deserves any truly serious punishment for an incident that looked worse than it actually was, but his explanation was an insult to viewers' vision and intelligence.

Best play: Jaxon Shipley/David Ash/Greg Daniels, Texas. The Longhorns announced to the world what formation they would open up in, and gained 47 yards anyway. Ash pitched it to Shipley out of the wishbone, a three-back formation popularized by legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal, who died last week. The Longhorns made the move as a tribute to Royal. Shipley threw the ball back to Ash in the backfield, who found Daniels for a 47-yard gain. There was irony in doing so in honor of a coach who said that only three things can happen when you pass the ball, and two of 'em are bad, but this one was very, very good for the Horns.

Most deserving of a thank-you card: Texas A&M. Kansas State looked likely to get squeezed out of the title game by Alabama and Oregon if the Tide, Ducks and Cats all went undefeated. Then the Big 12 expats knocked off the No. 1 team in the country on its home field. Snyder owes you one, Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Football.

Video: Texas honors Royal with wishbone

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
12:27
PM ET

Texas honored former coach Darrell Royal by lining up in the wishbone formation for its opening offensive play against Iowa State.

Podcast: Switzer talks about Royal

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
3:00
PM ET
Former Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer talks about the passing of Darrell K. Royal , the legacy he leaves behind and more.

Video: Friday Four Downs -- Big 12

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
1:00
PM ET


David Ubben tackles Collin Klein's injury, a tribute to Darrell Royal, Kansas State's climb and a very special Cotton Bowl in this week's Friday Four Downs.

Lunch links: Good and bad w/ OSU QBs

November, 9, 2012
11/09/12
12:00
PM ET
We're a Twizzlers family.

Lunch links: Tributes to Darrell Royal

November, 8, 2012
11/08/12
12:00
PM ET
Metaphor?

Video: Remembering Darrell Royal

November, 7, 2012
11/07/12
3:30
PM ET

A look at the impact made by late coach Darrell Royal at Texas.
video
A Texas legend has died.

From our news story:
AUSTIN, Texas -- Darrell K Royal, the former Texas football coach known as much for his folksy, simplistic approach to life as for his creative wishbone offenses and two outright national championships, has died. He was 88.

University of Texas spokesman Nick Voinis on Wednesday confirmed Royal's death. Royal had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and recently fell at an assisted living center where he was receiving care.

Royal will certainly be missed in the world of college football and in the Texas community.
Candy-induced comas today, anyone?

HornsNation links: Friends to the end

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
2:05
PM ET
HornsNation has more coverage of the Texas Longhorns:

Carter Strickland writes: Through 60 years of music, football, fame, successes and failures, Willie Nelson and Darrell Royal have been friends. Now as their relationship reaches its final act, it remains unquestioned and enduring.

William Wilkerson writes Insider: 2014 defensive end and soon-to-be Texas target Dequone Shaw had a breakout sophomore season and is only getting better.
We're looking at coaches this week on ESPN.com. It's a big subject, sure. In our blog network, we'll be breaking it down each day to smaller topics.

Today, a simple question: What would a program look like without the winningest coach in program history? Which coaches had the biggest impact?

Here's how it breaks down for each program in the Big 12 (all-time record in parentheses):

[+] EnlargeBill Snyder
Brett Davis/US PresswireKansas State's winning percentage plummets without Bill Snyder.
BAYLOR: 524-530-44 (.497)

  • Winningest coach: Grant Teaff: 128-105-6
  • Wins without winningest coach: 396
IOWA STATE: 500-594-24 (.458)

  • Winningest coach: Dan McCarney: 56-85
  • Wins without winningest coach: 444
KANSAS: 572-560-58 (.505)

  • Winningest coach: A.R. Kennedy: 52-9-4
  • Wins without winningest coach: 520
KANSAS STATE: 475-612-41 (.439)

  • Winningest coach: Bill Snyder: 159-83-1
  • Wins without winningest coach: 316
OKLAHOMA: 821-307-44 (.718)

  • Winningest coach: Barry Switzer: 157-29-4
  • Wins without winningest coach: 664
OKLAHOMA STATE: 530-523-47 (.503)

  • Winningest coach: Pat Jones: 62-60-3 (Mike Gundy needs three wins to tie Jones)
  • Wins without winningest coach: 468
TEXAS: 858-330-33 (.716)

  • Winningest coach: Darrell Royal: 167-47-5
  • Wins without winningest coach: 691
TCU: 593-514-57 (.534)

  • Winningest coach: Dutch Meyer: 109-79-13 (Gary Patterson is tied at 109-30.)
  • Wins without winningest coach: 484
TEXAS TECH: 524-405-32 (.562)

  • Winningest coach: Mike Leach: 84-43
  • Wins without winningest coach: 440
WEST VIRGINIA: 701-457-45 (.601)

  • Winningest coach: Don Nehlen: 149-93-4
  • Wins without winningest coach: 552

That's a wide variance of wins. It's clear that no man means more to his school than Bill Snyder does to Kansas State. The program has a rather depressing .358 winning percentage if you remove Snyder's win from the equation. He took two seasons to get Kansas State from a perennial doormat to a team above .500. Snyder then went on a historic run that included a Big 12 title in 2003 and two BCS bowl bids.

Don't ever doubt why some consider what Snyder has done in Manhattan as the single greatest coaching job in the history of the game. Snyder's career win percentage at Kansas State is .656, almost double what the program's overall win percentage is. No other coach comes close to those numbers. There's a reason why many of the nation's coaches are often in awe of Snyder and why he is so respected.

The biggest surprise for me was the relative dominance of West Virginia compared to the rest of the Big 12. That .601 win percentage is behind only Texas and Oklahoma over the course of the program's history. And you wonder why folks are so excited about their entrance into the league?

Looking elsewhere, Texas Tech's decision to fire Mike Leach looks worse and worse while the Mike Gundy hire at Oklahoma State looks better and better. Gundy is three wins from passing Pat Jones as the school's biggest all-time winner. He did so in just 89 games while Jones needed 125 matches to reach 62 victories.

Conversely, how about the job Gary Patterson has done at TCU? Sure, the schedule is different, but he's suffered the same amount of losses as Gundy with 50 more wins. He's also reached 109 wins in 62 fewer games than Dutch Meyer.

We're living in the age of some great, great coaches in this league. History shows us that.

Lunch links: Commish talks league future

July, 5, 2012
7/05/12
12:00
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This was awesome. And I don't particularly even enjoy the subject material.

Mack Brown talks retirement, fatigue

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Despite having the support of her administration and two years left on her contract, Texas women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors resigned on Monday, and by Monday night, had a text waiting from Longhorns football coach Mack Brown.

He thanked her for her work, and told her he appreciated her.

"Who in the world knows how somebody feels?" Brown said.

Brown
Brown doesn't know exactly, but when Goestenkors says things like "My heart's telling me it's time to take a break," Brown knew he had some idea of what she was going through.

It came from a conversation with legendary Longhorns coach Darrell Royal back in 2003, when Brown felt similar to Goestenkors.

"I asked him, 'Why did you quit?'" Brown said. "And there were reasons. But he said that when the losses became devastating and the wins became relief and it wasn't fun to even win, because you were supposed to, then I needed to get out."

Brown, then in his sixth season and third of what would be nine consecutive 10-win seasons, said he just needed to "wake up."

Two years later, he won a national championship and his second consecutive Rose Bowl.

That feeling crept back in during the Longhorns' trying 5-7 season in 2010. Even Texas' signature victory of that campaign didn't offer the same kind of pleasure such a win used to, Brown said.

"I remember beating Nebraska, walking off the field and I was worried about [Brown's wife] Sally because she lost her brother," Brown said. "I didn't have any joy in that win and that was stupid because it was a huge win for Texas and these kids. I didn't feel it walking off the field because of her loss and I felt a little guilty I was there without her and her brother being buried."

He saw the same in Goestenkors, Brown said. He needed another wakeup call after 2010, and may have got it in a new staff with two new, young coordinators, Manny Diaz (defense) and Bryan Harsin (offense). Bouncing back for eight wins may have helped, too, but Texas has bigger things in mind for 2012 and beyond: Namely, a return to the excellence Brown established in his first decade at the helm in Austin.

"If you're going to walk around and pout when you lose, act like a baby, and when you win act arrogant, not feel good about a win because Texas is supposed to win -- we don't anoint ourselves supposed to win -- then you're in some trouble and you need to have fun," Brown said. "You need to have joy."

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