Florida Gators men's basketball
coach Norm Sloan, circa 1961.
June 25, 1926|
December 9, 2003 (aged 77)|
Durham, North Carolina
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1955–1956||Memphis State (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
NCAA Division I Tournament (1974)|
ACC Tournament (1970, 1973, 1974)
ACC regular season (1973, 1974)
SEC regular season (1989)
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 was a native of Indiana and played college basketball and football at North Carolina State University. He began a long career as a basketball coach months after graduating from college in 1951, and he was the men's basketball head coach at Presbyterian College, The Citadel, North Carolina State University, and two stints as at the University of Florida. Over a career that spanned thirty-eight seasons, Sloan was named conference coach of the year five times and won the 1974 national championship at North Carolina State, his alma mater.
Sloan was born in Anderson, Indiana in 1926 to Norman and Mary Sloan. He is of English descent through his 4th great-grandfather. He attended Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, where he lettered in basketball.
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. During the fall semesters, he played on the NC State Wolfpack football team as a reserve quarterback and was a member of the school's track and field team.
Sloan quit the basketball team before his senior year (1950–51) due to an ongoing dispute with Case over playing time. Instead, he concentrated on football for coach Beattie Feathers and saw the field more often as the backup to starter Ed Mooney. 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.
University of Florida
In 1960, Sloan became the first full-time basketball coach at the University of Florida, where in the past, an assistant football coach had usually coached basketball as well. 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. The Miami Herald dubbed Sloan the "father of UF hoops" for his achievements in the 1960s.
North Carolina State
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), Kenny Carr, 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.
Return to Florida
A salary dispute with the athletic director at NC State caused Sloan to leave the school, and the construction of the modern O'Connell Center basketball arena at the University of Florida helped convince Sloan to return to Gainesville in 1980. After three losing seasons, he turned the Florida Gators basketball program around for a second time, primarily by convincing several top in-state high school recruits such as Vernon Maxwell and Dwayne Schintzius to attend college in Florida. From 1984 through 1989, Sloan's Gators posted winning records in six straight campaigns and made the first six postseason tournament appearances in program history when they were invited to the NIT Tournament in 1984, 1985, and 1986 and the NCAA Tournament 1987, 1988, and 1989. Sloan's last three squads each won over twenty games, which had previously been accomplished only once at Florida, and his final team won the school's first Southeastern Conference regular season basketball championship.
Sloan compiled a 150–131 record over nine seasons in his second stint at Florida, giving him an overall record of 235–194 in fifteen years with the Gators.
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 for the travel expenses of recruits and players. It also harshly criticized Sloan, finding that he had engaged in unethical conduct by paying Maxwell's airfare. The basketball program lost two scholarships in 1991-92 and one scholarship in 1992-93 because of the infractions. As severe as these penalties were, 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 until 1995 at the earliest.
Later, Sloan stated that the situation was "mishandled". In a 1990 interview, Sloan said that the university'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 athletic director Bill Arnsparger and other officials had "panicked" at the problems in the basketball program because of previous NCAA violations in other sports. He believed that the prospect of being handed a "death penalty" led them to force 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."
Awards and accomplishments
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. His 266 wins at NC State are still second in NC State history, trailing only Case. His 235 wins at Florida (232 if vacated games aren't counted) were the best in Florida history until Billy Donovan surpassed him in 2006.
Sloan was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Sloan coached briefly in Greece after leaving Florida, then retired to Raleigh, North Carolina. 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
|Presbyterian Blue Hose (Little Four) (1951–1955)|
|The Citadel Bulldogs (Southern Conference) (1957–1960)|
|Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1960–1966)|
|NC State Wolfpack (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1966–1980)|
|1969–70||NC State||23–7||9–5||T–2nd||NCAA Regional Third 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 Second Round|
|Florida Gators (Southeastern Conference) (1980–1989)|
|1983–84||Florida||16–13||11–7||T–3rd||NIT First Round|
|1984–85||Florida||18–12||9–9||T–5th||NIT First Round|
|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|
Postseason invitational 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.
- The Citadel Bulldogs
- Florida Gators
- History of the University of Florida
- List of college men's basketball coaches with 600 wins
- List of NCAA Division I Men's Final Four appearances by coach
- List of North Carolina State University people
- NC State Wolfpack
- University Athletic Association
- Hotel Roosevelt fire
- "Norm Sloan's dad dies at age of 82". Gainesville Sun. August 3, 1986.
- Clark, Dennis S. "Sloan, Norman L." in Porter, David L., ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing. pp. 440–441. ISBN 0313309523.
- 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.
- 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.
- Phillips, Mike (December 10, 2003). "Father of UF hoops passes". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on June 26, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "Ex-N.C. State Coach Norm Sloan Dies at 77". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 11, 2003.
- "Norm Sloan Dies at 77". NC State Wolfpack. December 9, 2003. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- "NC State's 2013 Hall of Fame Class: Norm Sloan". NC State Wolfpack. November 19, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- McCallum, Jack (14 December 1981). "Four on the Floor in Florida". Sports Illustrated.
- Associated Press, "Florida Coach Retires At School's Request," The New York Times (November 1, 1989). Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Huguenin, Mike (December 10, 2003). "Former Gators Basketball Coach Norm Sloan Dies". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
- 1990 Florida infractions report
- "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.
- Brockway, Kevin (December 10, 2003). "Ex-Florida hoops coach dies". Gainesville Sun. 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.