Florida Gators men's basketball
coach Norm Sloan, circa 1961.
June 25, 1926|
|Died||December 9, 2003
Durham, North Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Memphis State (Asst.)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
Norman Sloan (June 25, 1926 – December 9, 2003), nicknamed "Stormin' Norman," was an American college basketball player and coach. Sloan played college basketball for North Carolina State University, and thereafter, he was the men's basketball head coach for Presbyterian College, The Citadel, the University of Florida and North Carolina State University in a career that spanned thirty-eight seasons.
College playing career
Sloan received an athletic scholarship to attend North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he played guard for coach Everett Case's NC State Wolfpack from 1947 to 1949. He was one of Case's original six "Hoosier Hotshots," a group of high school stars Case recruited from Indiana. As a member of the Wolfpack, Sloan was a classmate and teammate of Vic Bubas, who later coached the Duke Blue Devils from 1959 to 1969. Sloan was a member of three Wolfpack teams that won Southern Conference championships in 1947, 1948 and 1949. In a dispute with Case over playing time, Sloan did not play his senior basketball season in 1950–51, but chose instead to concentrate on playing quarterback for coach Beattie Feathers' NC State Wolfpack football team instead. In addition to football and basketball, he was also a member of the Wolfpack track and field team.
Sloan graduated from NC State with a bachelor's degree in education in 1951.
Sloan was the head basketball coach and assistant football coach at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina from 1951 to 1955, where his Presbyterian Blue Hose men's basketball teams compiled a 69–36 record in four seasons. He coached for a single season at Memphis State University in Memphis, Tennessee during 1955–56, working as an assistant basketball coach for the Memphis State Tigers basketball team.
Sloan left Memphis in 1956 to become head coach at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, where he built The Citadel Bulldogs basketball program from a conference also-ran to a respectable 15–5 in 1959. His first Bulldogs team in 1957 won the George Mikan Award for Most Improved Team in the Nation and he was named the coach of the year by the South Carolina Sportswriters Association that year. His Citadel teams compiled a 57–38 record in four years.
In 1960, Sloan became the first full-time basketball coach of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. His Florida Gators men's basketball teams tallied an 85–63 record in six seasons, including the school's first victory over an Adolph Rupp-coached Kentucky Wildcats team in 1965. He was unable to get the Gators into postseason play during this time; during the 1960s, only one team per conference was guaranteed an NCAA bid. Nonetheless, he revived a Gators program that had been, according to Florida historian Norm Carlson, essentially an intramural program at the collegiate level.
Sloan was named head coach at his alma mater, North Carolina State, in 1966, and his NC State Wolfpack basketball teams won three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championships in 1970, 1973 and 1974. His 1973 Wolfpack team was undefeated (27–0), but missed that year's NCAA tournament due to questions about the recruiting of high school phenomenon David Thompson. A year later, he led the Wolfpack to a 30–1 record and the school's first NCAA national championship. En route, the Wolfpack defeated the UCLA Bruins in the NCAA Final Four, ending UCLA coach John Wooden's run of seven straight NCAA championships. Sloan's Wolfpack beat Marquette, 76–64, in the 1974 NCAA championship game.
Sloan's overall win-loss record at NC State was 266–127 in fourteen seasons. His greatest teams included legendary players such as Thompson, Tommy Burleson, Moe Rivers, Tim Stoddard (who went on to pitch in Major League Baseball), and Monte Towe. "Stormin' Norman" was as well known for his garish red-and-white plaid sports coat as he was for his ACC battles with Lefty Driesell at Maryland and Dean Smith at North Carolina. He was selected the National Coach of the Year in 1973 by Basketball Weekly, and again in 1974 by the USBWA and the Associated Press.
Sloan returned to Gainesville in 1980, turning the Florida Gators basketball program around for a second time. Sloan's Gators won over twenty games and made the NCAA Tournament in each of his last three seasons—the school's first NCAA Tournament appearances ever—led by star forward Vernon Maxwell. This was capped off with Florida's first Southeastern Conference regular season basketball championship in 1988–1989. His teams compiled a 150–131 record in those nine seasons, giving him an overall record of 235–194 in fifteen years with the Gators. His reputation as "Stormin' Norman" continued during his feuds with LSU Tigers coach Dale Brown. Sloan was forced to resign just days before the start of the 1989–90 season in the wake of an NCAA investigation into the Gators program.
In September 1990, the NCAA imposed two years' probation on the Gators for violations dating back to 1985 under Sloan. The Gators' 1987 and 1988 NCAA Tournament appearances were erased from the record books due to Maxwell being retroactively declared ineligible; Maxwell had admitted to taking money from agents. Additionally, Sloan was penalized with a five-year show-cause penalty, which had the effect of blackballing him from the collegiate ranks until 1995. According to the NCAA, Sloan arranged for Maxwell to fly to Boston to serve as a counselor at a basketball camp for free during the summer of 1987—which would have made Maxwell ineligible for the 1987–88 season even without him taking money from agents. Two years earlier, one of Sloan's assistants allowed a recruit's mother to use the return leg of the recruit's airline ticket to return home after the recruit enrolled in summer school. In the NCAA's view, this amounted to Florida picking up the tab for the recruit's transportation expenses. The NCAA said it would have imposed even harsher penalties, such as a ban from postseason play and live television in 1990–91, had Sloan not been forced out.
He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Sloan's career win-loss record was 627–395, and his victory total ranks him twenty-sixth on the career list of Division I coaches. He is still the second-winningest coach in NC State history, trailing only Case. His 235 wins at Florida (232 if vacated games aren't counted) were the best in Gators history until Billy Donovan surpassed him in 2006.
Sloan lived in Raleigh, North Carolina following his retirement from coaching. He died of complications related to pulmonary fibrosis on December 9, 2003 at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.
Head coaching record
|Presbyterian Blue Hose (Little Four) (1951–1955)|
|The Citadel Bulldogs (Southern Conference) (1957–1960)|
|Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1960–1966)|
|North Carolina State Wolfpack (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1966–1980)|
|1969–70||NC State||23–7||9–5||T–2nd||NCAA Regional 3rd Place|
|1973–74||NC State||30–1||12–0||1st||NCAA Champion|
|1975–76||NC State||21–9||7–5||T–2nd||NIT Semifinals|
|1977–78||NC State||21–10||7–5||T–2nd||NIT Finals|
|1979–80||NC State||20–8||9–5||T–2nd||NCAA 2nd Round|
|Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1980–1989)|
|1983–84||Florida||16–13||11–7||3rd||NIT 1st Round|
|1984–85||Florida||18–12||9–9||5th||NIT 1st Round|
|1986–87||Florida||23–11*||12–6||2nd||NCAA Sweet 16*|
|1987–88||Florida||23–12*||11–7||T–2nd||NCAA 2nd Round*|
|1988–89||Florida||21–13||13–5||1st||NCAA 1st Round|
* NCAA appearances in 1987 and 1988 were subsequently vacated due to Vernon Maxwell being declared ineligible. Official record for 1986-87 is 21-10, official record for 1987-88 is 22-11.
& Record at Florida is 232-192 (147-129 for second stint) without vacated games.
- The Citadel Bulldogs
- Florida Gators
- History of the University of Florida
- List of college men's basketball coaches with 600 wins
- List of North Carolina State University people
- NC State Wolfpack
- University Athletic Association
- Associated Press, "Ex-N.C. State coach Norm Sloan dead at 77," Sports Illustrated (December 9, 2003). Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- Associated Press, "Florida Coach Retires At School's Request," The New York Times (November 1, 1989). Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- 1990 Florida infractions report
- Kevin Brockway, "Former Gators coach Norm Sloan dies at 77," Ocala Star-Banner, p. D1 (December 10, 2003). Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Dortch, Chris, String Music: Inside the Rise of SEC Basketball, Brassey's, Inc., Dulles, Virginia (2002). ISBN 1-57488-439-5.
- Koss, Bill, Pond Birds: Gator Basketball, The Whole Story From The Inside, Fast Break Press, Gainesville, Florida (1996). ISBN 978-0-8130-1523-1.
- Peeler, Tim, Legends of NC State Basketball, Sports Publishing L.L.C., Champaign, Illinois (2004). ISBN 1-58261-820-8.