Steve Sloan, former Alabama All-American QB and athletics director, dies at 79

Steve Sloan, the former Alabama football quarterback and athletics director, died Sunday in Orlando, Florida at the age of 79, according to an obituary written by Wayne Atcheson, a former UA sports information director.

Sloan spent the past three months in memory care. He died at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital with his wife, Brenda, by his side.

Born in Austin, Texas, Sloan was an All-American and two-time national champion at Alabama. He became the SEC MVP in 1965 and was named the best college quarterback with the Sammy Baugh Trophy in 1966.

Sloan served as the backup quarterback to Joe Namath to begin Sloan's time at Alabama, so Sloan played defensive back to start. But when Namath was suspended for the 1964 Sugar Bowl, Sloan filled in and led Alabama to a 12-7 victory. The next two seasons, Alabama won national championships. The first, Sloan was a backup to Namath and filled in when Namath was injured. Then the next season, Sloan became a captain and led the Crimson Tide to another national championship, with a victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Sloan was named MVP of that game.

During his time at Alabama, Sloan was also a founding member of Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

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After Sloan's playing career at UA, the Atlanta Falcons drafted him, and he played two seasons as a backup. Then he went back to Tuscaloosa and began his coaching career. He joined the Alabama staff from 1968-70. He was also golf coach in 1969.

After two offensive coordinator stints, first at Florida State then Georgia Tech, Sloan became the coach of Vanderbilt at 27. In 1974, Sloan was named SEC coach of the year after leading the Commodores to their first bowl game in almost 20 years.

He later became the coach of Texas Tech, where he received Southwest Conference Coach of the Year in 1976, before Ole Miss hired him as coach from 1978-1982. His last head coaching gig was at Duke, where he worked from 1983-1986.

Steve Sloan, former Alabama All-American quarterback.
Steve Sloan, former Alabama All-American quarterback.

Sloan then transitioned to becoming an administrator. He started at Alabama, where he served as athletics director from 1987-1989. During that time, Sloan launched the donation program "Tide Pride" which still exists to this day.

After his stint at UA, he became athletics director at North Texas, Central Florida and Chattanooga, until he retired in 2006.

Among his career accomplishments, Sloan was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (2000) and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (2003). He also played in the U.S. Senior Open at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Sloan was also selected to receive the Paul W. Bryant alumni-athlete award in 2019.

Sloan is preceded in death by his son Jonathan, parents C.L. "Preacher" and Virginia Byrd Sloan and stepmother Samye Jean Phillips Sloan. He is survived by his wife Brenda Faw Sloan, to whom he was married for 55 years, and his son, Stephen Jr. of Lima, Peru.

Funeral arrangements for Steve Sloan

The funeral will be held on Thursday, April 18 at St. Luke's Methodist Church in Orlando, Florida, per Atcheson. Visitation will be at 1 p.m. ET and the service will start at 2 p.m. The church will live stream the service.

Sloan will be buried in his hometown, Cleveland, Tennessee in the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Steve Sloan, former Alabama All-American quarterback.
Steve Sloan, former Alabama All-American quarterback.

Nick Kelly is the Alabama beat writer for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network, and he covers Alabama football and men's basketball. Reach him at or follow him @_NickKelly on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Steve Sloan: Former Alabama All-American QB, AD dies at 79