Fred Akers

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Fred Akers
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1938-03-17) March 17, 1938 (age 80)
Blytheville, Arkansas
Alma mater University of Arkansas
Playing career
1958–1959 Arkansas
Position(s) Halfback, kicker, punter
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1963–1964 Edinburg HS (TX)
1965 Lubbock HS (TX)
1966–1974 Texas (co-OC)
1975–1976 Wyoming
1977–1986 Texas
1987–1990 Purdue
Head coaching record
Overall 108–75–3 (college)
26–12–1 (high school)
Bowls 2–8
Accomplishments and honors
1 WAC (1976)
2 SWC (1977, 1983)

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.

Akers' notable accomplishments include a Heisman Trophy for Earl Campbell in the 1977 season and 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 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, he left to become the head football coach at Purdue University. He 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.[1] 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 coaching post.

Akers is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. As of August 2008, Akers lives in Horseshoe Bay, Texas.[2]


Purdue University hired Akers to replace Leon Burtnett.[3] The Akers hiring caused starting quarterback Jeff George to transfer due to the Akers running style offense as opposed to Burtnett's passing offense.[3]

Coaching tree[edit]

Assistant coaches under Fred Akers who became NCAA head coaches:

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Wyoming Cowboys (Western Athletic Conference) (1975–1976)
1975 Wyoming 2–9 1–6 7th
1976 Wyoming 8–4 6–1 T–1st L Fiesta
Wyoming: 10–13
Texas Longhorns (Southwest Conference) (1977–1986)
1977 Texas 11–1 8–0 1st L Cotton 5 4
1978 Texas 9–3 6–2 T–2nd W Sun 9 9
1979 Texas 9–3 6–2 3rd L Sun 13 12
1980 Texas 7–5 4–4 T–4th L Astro-Bluebonnet
1981 Texas 10–1–1 6–1–1 2nd W Cotton 4 2
1982 Texas 9–3 7–1 2nd L Sun 18 17
1983 Texas 11–1 8–0 1st L Cotton 5 5
1984 Texas 7–4–1 5–3 T–3rd L Freedom
1985 Texas 8–4 6–2 T–2nd L Bluebonnet
1986 Texas 5–6 4–4 6th
Texas: 86–31–2 60–19–1
Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten Conference) (1987–1990)
1987 Purdue 3–7–1 3–5 T–6th
1988 Purdue 4–7 3–5 6th
1989 Purdue 3–8 2–6 8th
1990 Purdue 2–9 1–7 T–8th
Purdue: 12–31–1 9–23
Total: 108–75–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. ^ "Akers resigns Purdue football coaching post". Bangor Daily News. November 29, 1990. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "Where are They Now?: Fred Akers".
  3. ^ a b "Purdue, Terps hire coaches". Eugene Register-Guard. December 11, 1986. Retrieved December 16, 2013.