Steve Sloan, former Alabama QB, longtime coach, administrator, dead at 79

Steve Sloan

ORLANDO, Fla. — Steve Sloan, who backed up Joe Namath at Alabama before leading the Crimson Tide to a pair of national championships during the 1960s and later coached and served as an athletic administrator at several schools, died Sunday. He was 79.

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Sloan died at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in Orlando, Florida, with his wife of 55 years, Brenda Sloan, at his side, according to an obituary written by former Alabama sports information director Wayne Atcheson. He had been in memory care for the past three months and had retired to Florida, reported.

Sloan, a native of Austin, Texas, grew up in Cleveland, Tennessee, The Tennessean reported. He backed up Namath as a sophomore in 1963, filling in for “Broadway Joe” in a Sugar Bowl victory against Mississippi.

He led the Tide to a national title in 1964 and was a consensus All-American in 1965 when he directed Paul “Bear” Bryant’s squad to a second straight national crown, according to

After college, Sloan was picked in the 11th round of the 1966 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons for their inaugural season, according to

He appeared in eight games over two seasons before returning to Bryant’s staff at Alabama in 1968, reported. He was also an offensive coordinator at Florida State and Georgia Tech before becoming a head coach.

Sloan coached at Vanderbilt, Texas Tech, Ole Miss and Duke. In 14 seasons he compiled a 68-86 record and went to three bowl games, according to

Sloan began his head coaching career at Vanderbilt in 1973 and was named the Southeastern Conference coach of the year in 1974. The Commodores earned a berth in the 1974 Peach Bowl -- only the second in the program’s history, The Tennessean reported. The school’s first bowl game was in 1955.

Sloan moved to Texas Tech in 1975, and the following season he led the Red Raiders to a 10-victory season, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

He later coached at Ole Miss (1978-82), where he went 20-34-1; and at Duke (1983-86), where the Blue Devils were 13-31.

Sloan also served as athletics director at Alabama (1987-89), North Texas (1990-92), Central Florida (1993-2002) and Chattanooga (2002-06), according to WIAT-TV.

In Orlando, he oversaw the UCF program’s move to Division I status, reported.

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