Former Coach Steve Sloan Dies

SEC Coach of the Year led Commodores to the Peach Bowl in 1974

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Vanderbilt football head coach Steve Sloan died Sunday at 79.

According to an obituary from former Alabama sports information director Wayne Atcheson, Sloan passed away in Orlando after three months of memory care at Orlando Health Phillips Hospital.

Sloan was at the helm of the Commodores for two seasons, capturing SEC Coach of the Year honors in 1974 while leading Vandy to the Peach Bowl. He went 12-9-2 in two seasons in Nashville before departing to become the head coach at Texas Tech. His Vanderbilt staff included future Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells as defensive coordinator.

He also served as head coach at Ole Miss and Duke and capped his coaching career as offensive coordinator at Vandy in 1990 under Watson Brown.

In addition to coaching, Sloan was an athletics administrator at Alabama, North Texas, UCF and Chattanooga.

Sloan’s 1974 Commodore squad went 7-3-2, highlighted by a 24-10 win over No. 8 Florida and a 21-21 tie with Tennessee to close out the regular season.

Vanderbilt capped the season by playing in just the school’s second bowl game (after the 1955 Gator Bowl) against Texas Tech in the Peach Bowl. The Dores and Red Raiders played to a 6-6 draw on a rainy day in Atlanta.

Sloan was born in Austin, Texas, but raised in Cleveland, Tennessee. He went on to play quarterback at Alabama, serving as the backup to the legendary Joe Namath. Sloan also played defensive back for the Crimson Tide. In 1964, Sloan played most of the season for an injured Namath, leading Alabama to a 10-1 record, the SEC title and a consensus national title.

Sloan became the full-time starter in 1965 and led Alabama to its second consecutive national title, going 9-1-1 with a win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. He was drafted by the Falcons and started just one game in two seasons before becoming a coach.

He was an assistant coach at Florida State and Georgia Tech before getting the head job at Vanderbilt. Following the Peach Bowl, Sloan departed for Texas Tech and took the Red Raiders to two bowl games in three years before returning to the SEC as head coach at Ole Miss. Following five seasons at Ole Miss, he capped his head coaching career at Duke.