BREAKING NEWS Person at Huntsville City School graduation tests positive for coronavirus Full Story
BREAKING NEWS 41,362 coronavirus cases confirmed in Alabama; 12,273 in last 14 days Full Story

Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan dies at 69

Pat Sullivan (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)
Pat Sullivan (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)

Pat Sullivan was the first player from Auburn University to win the Heisman back in 1971.

Posted: Dec 1, 2019 12:59 PM
Updated: Dec 1, 2019 5:56 PM

Pat Sullivan, Auburn’s first Heisman Trophy winner and one of the program’s all-time greats, passed away Sunday at the age of 69.

A native of Birmingham, Sullivan was a three-year starter at quarterback at Auburn from 1969-71, winning the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 1971. He was a two-time All-American and named the SEC Player of the Year as a junior and senior.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Sullivan, one of Auburn’s all-time greats on and off the field. I will forever be indebted to Coach Sullivan for helping bring me back to Auburn to serve as the head football coach,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “He was a friend, mentor and a man of great character, who was beloved by many generations of Auburn fans. Pat Sullivan is, and always will be, the definition of an Auburn Man. He certainly will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Pat’s wife, Jean, their three children and the entire Sullivan family.”

A three-sport star at John Carroll Catholic High School, Sullivan signed with Auburn in 1968, before freshmen were eligible to play varsity football. As a sophomore in 1969, Sullivan emerged as one of college football’s elite quarterbacks, passing for nearly 1,700 yards with 16 touchdowns.

As a junior in 1970, he led the nation in total offense with 2,856 yards (2,586 pass/270 rush), leading Auburn to a 9-2 record and top 10 ranking, teaming with receiver Terry Beasley to create the SEC’s most feared passing combination.

“Sullivan to Beasley” became a fabled moniker in Auburn lore, with No. 7 connecting with No. 88 for 1,051 yards, 52 receptions and 11 touchdowns to lead the SEC in 1970. Sullivan and Beasley’s uniform numbers, along with 1985 Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson’s No. 34, are the only three Auburn jerseys to be retired.

In 1971, Sullivan led the Tigers to a 9-0 start, securing Auburn’s first Heisman Trophy with a 248-yard, four-touchdown performance against Georgia. In the Heisman voting, Sullivan edged Cornell’s Ed Marinaro, 1,597-1,445. He finished his senior season with 2,012 passing yards and a career-best 20 touchdown passes.

“On behalf of the Auburn family, we are heartbroken by the passing of Pat Sullivan. He was a kind and humble gentleman, who was an Auburn legend,” Auburn Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. “He made a lasting impact on Auburn as the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner, a coach and longtime ambassador. We extend our deepest condolences to the entire Sullivan family.”

Sullivan concluded his Auburn career with 6,284 passing yards and 53 touchdown passes, gaudy statistics in an era that predated college football’s passing revolution. Sullivan’s 53 TD passes remain the most in Auburn history. He also rushed for 18 career touchdowns.

A second-round pick in the 1972 NFL Draft, Sullivan played four seasons for the Atlanta Falcons before concluding his professional playing career in 1976 with the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers.

He spent five seasons doing radio commentary for Auburn football before joining Coach Pat Dye’s staff in 1986 as quarterbacks coach. Sullivan spent six seasons (1986-91) on the Auburn staff, helping the Tigers win three Southeastern Conference championships in 1987, ’88, and ’89.

Sullivan’s head coaching career began at TCU from 1992-97. After serving as UAB’s offensive coordinator from 1999-2006, he remained in his hometown as Samford’s head coach from 2007-14.

Sullivan is enshrined in the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 1991.

In addition to the Heisman Trophy, Sullivan also earned the Walter Camp Award in 1971 and was the Sporting News Player of the Year.

Sullivan and his wife, Jean, have three children, daughter Kim, and twins Kelly and Patrick. They also have eight grandchildren.

Sullivan Family Statement

“At the age of 69, Patrick Joseph “Pat” Sullivan died peacefully at home on the morning of Sunday, December 1, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and fought a long and difficult battle as a result of his treatments. The family is appreciative of everyone’s outpouring of love and support.”

Auburn Athletics Statements on passing of Pat Sullivan

Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Sullivan, one of Auburn’s all-time greats on and off the field. I will forever be indebted to Coach Sullivan for helping bring me back to Auburn to serve as the head football coach. He was a friend, mentor and a man of great character, who was beloved by many generations of Auburn fans. Pat Sullivan is, and always will be, the definition of an Auburn Man. He certainly will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Pat’s wife, Jean, their three children and the entire Sullivan family.”

Auburn Director of Athletics Allen Greene: “On behalf of the Auburn family, we are heartbroken by the passing of Pat Sullivan. He was a kind and humble gentleman, who was an Auburn legend. He made a lasting impact on Auburn as the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner, a coach and longtime ambassador. We extend our deepest condolences to the entire Sullivan family.”

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 97°
Florence
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 99°
Fayetteville
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 95°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 97°
Scottsboro
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 99°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
Tuscaloosa210739
Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
Franklin86314
Dallas8419
Elmore83614
Baldwin7359
Etowah64413
DeKalb6415
Butler60727
Chambers60027
Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
Unassigned50724
Russell5030
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4576
Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
St. Clair3192
Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 46890

Reported Deaths: 620
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby10765195
Davidson10125115
Rutherford273335
Hamilton257730
Sumner150752
Trousdale14905
Williamson114814
Knox10225
Out of TN10098
Wilson85917
Putnam8147
Robertson80111
Sevier7333
Lake6900
Tipton6205
Bledsoe6181
Bradley6043
Bedford5205
Unassigned5161
Montgomery5137
Macon4213
Hardeman3143
Maury3113
Fayette3012
Hamblen2964
Rhea2740
Loudon2711
Madison2642
Dyer2321
Cheatham2201
McMinn21817
Blount2053
Dickson1940
Cumberland1744
Lawrence1435
Lauderdale1362
Monroe1365
Washington1340
Jefferson1210
Coffee1150
Gibson1101
Obion1062
Anderson1052
Hardin1037
Smith1031
Sullivan1012
Greene862
Franklin823
Haywood812
Wayne800
Cocke760
Marshall741
Hickman730
Warren690
Marion674
White653
McNairy640
Weakley621
Grundy581
Lincoln580
Overton581
DeKalb570
Carter561
Giles551
Hawkins552
Unicoi550
Roane500
Henry420
Campbell411
Polk410
Carroll401
Grainger390
Henderson390
Johnson380
Cannon340
Claiborne320
Crockett323
Meigs320
Perry310
Sequatchie290
Chester260
Humphreys261
Jackson260
Morgan241
Decatur210
Stewart210
Fentress190
Clay160
Scott150
Union150
Houston130
Benton121
Moore100
Lewis70
Van Buren70
Pickett60
Hancock30

 

 

Community Events