Published: Wed, December 04, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Former Heisman victor Pat Sullivan dies at 69

Former Heisman victor Pat Sullivan dies at 69

"He was a friend, a mentor and a man of character who was loved by many generations of Auburn fans". Sullivan also won the Walter Camp Award and was the unanimous All-American quarterback in 1971 - the first of the 10 SEC players who have been the consensus All-American QB.

Sullivan's family issued a statement that he had "died peacefully at home" Sunday morning, surrounded by parents. I will forever be indebted to Coach Sullivan for helping bring me back to Auburn to serve as the head football coach.

Sullivan led the nation in full attack as a junior in 1970, teaming with wide receiver Terry Beasley for a 2.586-yard pass. A cancer of the throat was diagnosed in the former quarterback in 2003, and according to the statement, he "waged a long and hard battle as a result of his treatment".

Sullivan's coaching career included six seasons leading TCU, eight seasons as UAB's offensive coordinator and eight seasons as Samford's head coach. He arrived in Auburn in 1968 from John Carroll High School (Birmingham, Alabama), and won the Heisman Trophy in 1971 in his senior year. He was one of the best quarterbacks in college football during his sophomore campaign, passing for almost 1,700 yards and 16 scores.

Our thoughts are with the Sullivan family and Auburn community. Sullivan was an excellent runner, too, and in 1970 he led college football in total offense (2,856), and set an NCAA record for yards per play (8.57). His No. 7 has been retired at Auburn, and he is certainly one of three gamers with a statue exterior of Jordan-Hare Stadium, together with this system's different Heisman Trophy winners, Bo Jackson and Cam Newton. He finished his senior season with 2,012 passing yards and a career-best 20 touchdown passes. His 53 career passing touchdowns remain an Auburn record.

Sullivan was a three-year starting quarterback at Auburn from 1969 to '71.

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Current head coach Gus Malzahn paid tribute to Sullivan.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1991 and is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. After working in private business and as a radio color commentator at his alma mater, Pat Dye hired him as Auburn's quarterbacks coach in 1986.

After Auburn, Sullivan played four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and one with the Washington Redskins in the NFL.

He entered the Alabama Sports activities Corridor of Fame in 1981.

Sullivan is survived by his wife, the former Jean Hicks, and their three children - Kim, Kelly and Patrick Jr. "He was a kind and humble gentleman, who was an Auburn legend", Auburn athletics director Allen Greene said in a statement.

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