Norm Sloan

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Norm Sloan
Norm Sloan, 35-year-old white man, shown in white shirt and coaching shorts, kneeling for team photo.
Florida Gators men's basketball
coach Norm Sloan, circa 1961.
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1926-06-25)June 25, 1926
Anderson, Indiana
Died December 9, 2003(2003-12-09) (aged 77)
Durham, North Carolina
Playing career
1947–1949 NC State
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1951–1955 Presbyterian
1955–1956 Memphis State (Asst.)
1956–1960 The Citadel
1960–1966 Florida
1966–1980 NC State
1980–1989 Florida
Head coaching record
Overall 627–395 (.614)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (1974)
ACC Tournament Championships (1970, 1973, 1974)
ACC Regular Season Championships (1973, 1974)
SEC Regular Season Championship (1989)
Awards
SoCon Coach of the Year (1957)
SEC Coach of the Year (1961)
ACC Coach of the Year (1970, 1973, 1974)

Norman Lesley Sloan, Jr. (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.

Early years[edit]

Sloan was born in Anderson, Indiana in 1926 to Norman and Mary Sloan.[1][2] He is of English descent through his 4th great-grandfather.[3] He attended Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, where he lettered in basketball.

College playing career[edit]

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.

Coaching career[edit]

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.

University of Florida[edit]

In 1960, Sloan became the first full-time basketball coach at the University of Florida.[4] 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 playing at the intercollegiate level.[5] The Miami Herald dubbed Sloan the "father of UF hoops" for his achievements in the 1960s.[5]

North Carolina State[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.

Return to Florida[edit]

After a salary dispute with NC State, Sloan returned to Gainesville in 1980 and turned 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 guard Vernon Maxwell and center Dwayne Schintzius. 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.

Resignation[edit]

Sloan was forced to retire on October 31, 1989—just days before the start of the 1989–90 season—in the wake of an NCAA investigation into the Gators program.[9][10]

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 without Sloan's knowledge. Sloan had also purchased a plane ticket to Boston for Maxwell in the summer of 1987 so that Maxwell could serve as a counselor at a basketball camp. Two years earlier, one of Sloan's assistants had 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 the university paying travel expenses for players and recruits, which is not allowed. The basketball program lost scholarships because of the infractions, and 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. Sloan was personally penalized with a five-year show-cause penalty, which had the effect of blackballing him from the collegiate coaching ranks.[11]

Later, Sloan stated that the situation was "mishandled". In a 1990 interview, Sloan said that the University of Florida's athletic compliance office was partially to blame for his "unconscious" violations of NCAA travel rules because they "went through the channels of athletic administration at the university unquestioned". He also opined that university administration had "overreacted" to problems in the basketball program because of previous NCAA violations in other sports and had forced him to resign unfairly. "The findings certainly don`t justify what has happened... My reputation was completely destroyed and the careers of two young, promising assistants (Monte Towe and Kenny McCraney, who were also forced to resign) were destroyed. That`s tragic, and the university worked hard at getting it done."[12]

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

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 at both NC State (trailing only Case) and Florida (Billy Donovan surpassed him in 2006).[13]

Sloan was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

After coaching[edit]

Sloan coached briefly in Greece after leaving Florida, then retired to Raleigh, North Carolina.[14] He died of complications related to pulmonary fibrosis on December 9, 2003 at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He was survived by his wife, Joan.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Presbyterian Blue Hose (Little Four) (1951–1955)
1951–52 Presbyterian 21–7 4–2
1952–53 Presbyterian 11–15 4–2
1953–54 Presbyterian 17–8 4–2
1954–55 Presbyterian 20–6 6–0
Presbyterian: 69–36 18–6
The Citadel Bulldogs (Southern Conference) (1957–1960)
1956–57 The Citadel 11–14 5–9 7th
1957–58 The Citadel 16–11 9–6 4th
1958–59 The Citadel 15–5 7–4 3rd
1959–60 The Citadel 15–8 8–4 3rd
The Citadel: 57–38 29–23
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1960–1966)
1960–61 Florida 15–11 9–5 4th
1961–62 Florida 12–11 8–6 4th
1962–63 Florida 12–14 5–9 T–8th
1963–64 Florida 12–10 6–8 T–9th
1964–65 Florida 18–7 11–5 T–3rd
1965–66 Florida 16–10 9–7 T–5th
Florida (first): 85–63 48–40
NC State Wolfpack (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1966–1980)
1966–67 NC State 7–19 2–12 8th
1967–68 NC State 16–10 9–5 T–3rd
1968–69 NC State 15–10 8–6 T–3rd
1969–70 NC State 23–7 9–5 T–2nd NCAA Regional Third Place
1970–71 NC State 13–14 5–9 T–6th
1971–72 NC State 16–10 6–6 T–4th
1972–73 NC State 27–0 12–0 1st Ineligible
1973–74 NC State 30–1 12–0 1st NCAA Champion
1974–75 NC State 22–6 8–4 T–2nd
1975–76 NC State 21–9 7–5 T–2nd NIT Semifinals
1976–77 NC State 17–11 6–6 5th
1977–78 NC State 21–10 7–5 T–2nd NIT Finals
1978–79 NC State 18–12 3–9 T–6th
1979–80 NC State 20–8 9–5 T–2nd NCAA Second Round
NC State: 266–127 103–77
Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1980–1989)
1980–81 Florida 12–16 5–13 8th
1981–82 Florida 5–22 2–16 10th
1982–83 Florida 13–18 5–13 10th
1983–84 Florida 16–13 11–7 T–3rd NIT First Round
1984–85 Florida 18–12 9–9 T–5th NIT First Round
1985–86 Florida 19–14 10–8 4th NIT Semifinals
1986–87 Florida 23–11* 12–6 2nd NCAA Sweet 16*
1987–88 Florida 23–12* 11–7 T–2nd NCAA Second Round*
1988–89 Florida 21–13 13–5 1st NCAA First Round
Florida (second): 150–131& 78–84
Florida (combined): 235–194& 126–124
Total: 624–393

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

* 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Norm Sloan's dad dies at age of 82". Gainesville Sun. August 3, 1986. 
  2. ^ Clark, Dennis S. "Sloan, Norman L." in Porter, David L., ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing. pp. 440–441. ISBN 0313309523. 
  3. ^ Norman L. Sloan Sr.'s parents are Charles and Maud (Jones) Sloan. Source: Norman L. Sloan, Sr.. Findagrave. Accessed April 22, 2015. English descent was found through Ancestry.com records, following the "father" link until reaching John Sloan, in: Norman Lesley Sloan. Ancestry.com. Accessed April 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Knight, Joey (December 10, 2003). "Sloan Brought UF Into Big Time". Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on September 21, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Phillips, Mike (December 10, 2003). "Father of UF hoops passes". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on June 26, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ex-N.C. State Coach Norm Sloan Dies at 77". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 11, 2003. 
  7. ^ "Norm Sloan Dies at 77". NC State Wolfpack. December 9, 2003. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ "NC State's 2013 Hall of Fame Class: Norm Sloan". NC State Wolfpack. November 19, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  9. ^ Associated Press, "Florida Coach Retires At School's Request," The New York Times (November 1, 1989). Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  10. ^ Huguenin, Mike (December 10, 2003). "Former Gators Basketball Coach Norm Sloan Dies". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  11. ^ 1990 Florida infractions report
  12. ^ http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-09-21/sports/9002150330_1_dexter-douglass-arnsparger-college-athletics
  13. ^ "Billy Donovan". Florida Gators. Retrieved April 23, 2015. He won his 200th game at UF on Dec. 3, 2005, and broke the school record for wins (236th) on Dec. 20, 2006, doing so in 92 games fewer than previous record-holder Norm Sloan. 
  14. ^ Brockway, Kevin (December 10, 2003). "Ex-Florida hoops coach dies". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]