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Johnny “Lam” Jones Homecoming (1976)

Wallace and Euna Pryor

No Sound on Film | 1976

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TAMI Tags
  •  Welcome home Jones 
  •  Crowds await Lam’s arrival 
  •  Johnny Lam Jones makes his way through the crowds with Coach Darrell Royal behind him 
  •  Jones at the podium 
  •  The gold medal 
 
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  • About the video
  • Wally Pryor Wally Pryor
  • Darrell K Royal Darrell K Royal
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This news footage captures Johnny Jones as he returns to his hometown of Lampasas for his 1976 Olympic homecoming reception. At the Summer 1976 Olympics, held in Montreal, John Wesley “Johnny Lam” Jones, won a gold medal in the 4x100 meter relay. He would go on to run track for the University of Texas of Austin and was also recruited for football by the university's head coach, Darrell Royal. The film begins with crowds of fans waiting in anticipation as Jones arrives by plane. Royal speaks to the crowd before Jones appears on stage. The mayor of Lampasas presents Jones with a key to the city. Close-ups of the medal itself are also featured in the footage.
Known to many as the “Voice of the Longhorns,” Wally Pryor served as the announcer for UT sports from 1953 until 2002. While his voice was certainly recognizable he also played an active role as a producer – for KTBC, amongst others – and regularly served as an emcee for various events. Wally regularly worked as a producer for his older brother Richard “Cactus” Pryor. The films in the Wallace and Euna Pryor collection represent a range of films. including home movies, various pieces he produced, and films featuring himself or Cactus Pryor.  
Darrell K Royal was a collegiate football coach revered for leading the Texas Longhorns in 20 winning seasons from 1957 to 1976.
 
Royal was born on July 6, 1924 in Hollis, Oklahoma. His middle name, K, has been said to represent his mother, Katy, who died of cancer when Royal was a baby. He experienced more tragedy with the deaths of two of his sisters at young ages. During the hard economic times of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, Royal had to supplement his father’s income by taking on a paper route and picking cotton. His family was so poor that he used a can of baking powder as a football until he and his brothers were able to pool their money to buy a real one.
 
With the outbreak of World War II, Royal joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. While playing football for the 3rd Air Force team, he was scouted by the University of Oklahoma. There he majored in business and became a star quarterback and defensive back. When he graduated, Royal knew he wanted to coach football. He held assistant coaching positions at North Carolina State, Tulsa, and Mississippi State. He briefly coached the Edmonton Eskimos in Canada before returning to Mississippi as head coach in 1954, where he remained for two years.
 
In 1956, Royal became head coach at the University of Texas, where he became the most successful coach in the history of the program. In his first year, he quickly turned the losing team into a winning one, ending the season with an appearance at the Sugar Bowl. Royal remained for a record 20 years without a single losing season. During his tenure, Texas won national championship titles in 1963, 1969, and 1970. They also won 11 Southwest Conference titles and went to 16 bowl games. Although he received some criticism for his coaching tactics, Royal was ultimately considered a legend. He retired in 1976, but stayed at Texas as an athletic director for four more years. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, and the football stadium at the University of Texas was renamed in his honor in 1996. 
 
Royal married Edith Thomason in 1944, and they had three children: Mack, David Wade, and Marian. Two of his children, David and Marian, preceded him in death. Darrel Royal died on November 7, 2012 from complications of Alzheimer’s. His wife founded the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease in his honor.