Fred Akers
Biographical details
Born(1938-03-17)March 17, 1938
Blytheville, Arkansas, U.S.
DiedDecember 7, 2020(2020-12-07) (aged 82)
Horseshoe Bay, Texas, U.S.
Playing career
Position(s)Halfback, kicker, punter
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1963–1964Edinburg HS (TX)
1965Lubbock HS (TX)
1966–1974Texas (co-OC)
1999Shreveport Knights
Head coaching record
Overall108–75–3 (college)
26–12–1 (high school)
Accomplishments and honors
1 WAC (1976)
2 SWC (1977, 1983)

Fred Akers (March 17, 1938 – December 7, 2020) was an American college 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.

Coaching career

Akers' notable accomplishments as head coach at Texas include national title chances in 1977 and 1983.[1] In both of those years, Texas went undefeated in the regular season only to lose in the Cotton Bowl Classic. 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. Twice in his tenure was the team undefeated and ranked in the top 2 of the AP Poll and twice they lost in the ensuing bowl game. 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 games 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.[2] The Akers' hiring caused starting quarterback Jeff George to transfer, due to Akers' running style offense as compared to Burtnett's passing offense.[2] 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.[3] 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.

In 1999, Akers served as head coach of the Shreveport Knights in the short-lived professional Regional Football League.[4]

Personal life

Akers was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In August 2008, Akers lived in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Fred Akers died on December 7, 2020. He was 82 years old.[5]

Head coaching record


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


Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SHRV 1999 3 5 0 .375 5th
Total 3 5 0 .375
Overall Total 3 5 0 .375 RFL Championships (0)


  1. ^ "THE STATESMAN INTERVIEW: FRED AKERS". Austin American-Statesman. September 15, 2015. Archived from the original on October 19, 2020. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Purdue, Terps hire coaches". Eugene Register-Guard. December 11, 1986. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "Akers resigns Purdue football coaching post". Bangor Daily News. November 29, 1990. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  4. ^ Vernellis, Brian (April 7, 1999). "Akers commands respect with Knights". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana. p. 19. Retrieved January 25, 2019 – via
  5. ^ "Where are They Now?: Fred Akers". Archived from the original on 2019-12-10. Retrieved 2008-08-19.