Fred Akers (born March 17, 1938) is a former American football player and coach. He served as head football coach at the University of Wyoming (1975–1976), the University of Texas at Austin (1977–1986), and Purdue University (1987–1990), compiling a career college football record of 108–75–3.
|Born||March 17, 1938|
|Alma mater||University of Arkansas|
|Position(s)||Halfback, kicker, punter|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1963–1964||Edinburg HS (TX)|
|1965||Lubbock HS (TX)|
|Head coaching record|
26–12–1 (high school)
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 WAC (1976)|
2 SWC (1977, 1983)
Akers' notable accomplishments as head coach at Texas include national title chances in the 1978 and 1984 Cotton Bowl Classics. In both of those years, Texas went undefeated in the regular season only to lose in their bowl game. Akers coached Earl Campbell in his Heisman Trophy-winning 1977 season.
Akers received criticism from those who believed he failed to match the standard set by previous head coach Darrell Royal. However, much of that was mitigated by an impressive overall record and a winning mark against Barry Switzer of the Oklahoma Sooners, who was 3–0–1 against Texas before Akers came along. However, in Akers' last five years he struggled against Oklahoma, going 1–3–1, and against Texas A&M, losing his last three game to the Aggies by an average margin of 23 points. Akers drew ire from the Texas faithful for losing bowl games at the end of four consecutive seasons (1982–1985). During his tenure in 1978, Akers was lampooned by future Bloom County creator Berke Breathed, whose student strip The Academia Waltz appeared in the school newspaper.
In 1986, after notching Texas' first losing record in 30 years, Akers left to become the head football coach at Purdue University, replacing Leon Burtnett. The Akers hiring caused starting quarterback Jeff George to transfer, due to Akers' running style offense as compared to Burtnett's passing offense. At Purdue, Akers was not nearly as successful as he had been at Texas; his teams only won 12 games in four years, and after the worst season in Purdue's history in 1990 amidst discipline problems, Akers was asked to resign. Akers was rumored as a candidate for the Baylor University job in 1993, that ultimately went to Chuck Reedy, but the Purdue post proved to be his final college coaching post.
Assistant coaches under Akers who became college head coaches:
Head coaching recordEdit
|Wyoming Cowboys (Western Athletic Conference) (1975–1976)|
|Texas Longhorns (Southwest Conference) (1977–1986)|
|Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference) (1987–1990)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
- "Purdue, Terps hire coaches". Eugene Register-Guard. December 11, 1986. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- "Akers resigns Purdue football coaching post". Bangor Daily News. November 29, 1990. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Vernellis, Brian (April 7, 1999). "Akers commands respect with Knights". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana. p. 19. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- "Where are They Now?: Fred Akers".