Oklahoma football: The David Boren/Darrell Royal connections
Darrell Royal died last week at age 88. His OU connections are well-documented, as a great Bud Wilkinson player in the 1940s and a great Barry Switzer adversary in the 1970s. But OU president David Boren says Royal’s ties with the Sooners go into the contemporary era.
Boren sent me a note over the weekend. He told me some things I didn’t know and some things I had forgotten.
“I thought you might like to know about my long family relationship with him,” Boren said.
Boren said his uncle, John Axton, who would go on to become a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame, was one of Royal’s coaches at Hollis High School in the early 1940s. And John’s wife, Mae Boren Axton, taught Royal in high school English. Mae Boren Axton was the sister of Lyle Boren, David Boren’s father and a U.S. Congressman. Mae Boren Axton also wrote “Heartbreak Hotel,” one of Elvis Presley’s greatest hits. The Axtons’ son, Hoyt Axton, David Boren’s cousin, became a country music singing and songwriting star.
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