Steve Sloan was a local legend in his hometown of Cleveland, Tenn., before graduating from high school. Now nearly 40 years later, Sloan is returning to his Southeast Tennessee roots to take over the reins as Director of Athletics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Sloan, who has served in that same capacity at the University of Central
Florida since July, 1993, was introduced Friday at a news conference as UTC's athletics director by Chancellor Bill W. Stacy.
"We have done this the Chattanooga way," Stacy said. "Athletics is one of those items that can give us that national role model for excellence.
Today, we struck a blow for a resurgence of a new era in University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletics."
Sloan replaces Oval Jaynes, who worked as UTC's athletics director since January 1998. Jaynes has been reassigned within the University by Dr. Stacy to handle the newly-acquired Engel Stadium project.
"I'm really glad to be home," Sloan said. "I feel good about that. I
loved growing up in Cleveland. This really brings back a lot of memories.
I am fortunate to be able to come home. It is a thrill for me to be here.
"Probably the biggest challenges we have here is putting our management and operating structures in place and our operating budget. We'll work on that immediately. The next biggest problem is our staff here is doing three or four jobs, and we would like them to do maybe just two."
Sloan's 15 years of experience as a collegiate athletics director and his
long-standing ties to the Chattanooga community and the surrounding area made him Stacy's top choice among an extremely qualified pool of candidates. Prior to leading the UCF program, Sloan served as athletics director at the University of Alabama from 1987-89 and at the University of North Texas from 1990-92.
While at UCF, he oversaw the Golden Knight football program's elevation to the NCAA Division I-A level, a task completed in 1996. UCF captured 36 Atlantic Sun Conference Championships during his tenure, and its teams boasted 26 NCAA Tournament berths.
Under Sloan, the Golden Knights' sports programs pulled off an outstanding feat, claiming the Atlantic Sun Conference all-sports trophies for both men's and women's programs in the same academic year, 1995-96. Overall, he led UCF to three men's all-sports trophies and three women's awards.
He also led the Golden Knights to 36 Atlantic Sun Conference Championships
and 26 NCAA Tournament berths, and the school won the Conference Academic Champion Trophy in 1997-98.
Sloan, who also took the North Texas football program to Division I status, began his collegiate administrative career as an assistant football coach
at his alma mater, the University of Alabama. He coached under Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1968-71 while also working as the Tide's men's golf coach in 1969.
Sloan served one year each as an assistant football coach at Florida State in 1971 and Georgia Tech in 1972 before becoming Vanderbilt's head coach in 1973. Sloan directed the Commodores' football program for two seasons and was named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1974.
The 57-year-old Sloan also had head football-coaching stints at Texas Tech University from 1974-77, at the University of Mississippi from 1978-82 and at Duke University from 1983-86. While at Ole Miss, he also served as assistant athletics director.
Sloan is a graduate of Alabama with a degree in business and education. He played quarterback for Bryant from 1963-65. In 1965, he earned All-America honors and guided the Tide to an Orange Bowl victory and the National Championship. The NFL's Atlanta Falcons drafted him in 1966 where he played for two seasons.
Born August 19, 1944, in Austin, Texas, Sloan had an outstanding high
school athletic career at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, Tenn. In 1961-62, he earned All-State honors in football and basketball and was named one of the top prep golfers in the state.
In the summer of 1995, Sloan fulfilled a lifelong dream of competing in a major golf championship when he qualified for, and played in, the U.S. Senior Open at The Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame on March 3, 2000, and was selected as one of the top athletes of the Century from the state of
Tennessee by Sports Illustrated.
Sloan is also the author of two books, Calling Life's Signals (1966) and A Whole New Ballgame (1975). He is married to his former high school
sweetheart, Brenda, and they have two sons, Stephen Jr., 29, and Johnathan, 27.
Sloan will remain at UCF until the end of the academic year or until the
school hires his replacement.