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Norm Sloan, 1926-2003

Norm Sloan, former head coach at NC State, died this morning at Duke Hospital.

Norm was a graduate of NC State, where he lettered in basketball, and was coached by Everett Case, and was a classmate and teammate of Vic Bubas, who later coached Duke. Both won multiple Southern Conference Championships, including 1950 and 1951 victories over Duke. Norm and Vic were assistants under Case in the early years of the ACC.

Norm left NC State in 1957 to become head coach at The Citadel, where he built the program from being a laughing stock to as good a record as 15-5, including winning the George Mikan Award for Most Improved Team. After four years, he went from there to Florida, where he coached until 1966, when he returned to NC State.

While at NC State, he won three ACC Championships, one NCAA Championship, and had the last undefeated season for an ACC team. His greatest teams included legendary players like David Thompson, Tommy Burleson, Mo Rivers, Tim Stoddard, and Monty Towe.

In 1980, Sloan resigned from NC State to resume coaching at Florida, where he ended his career.

While at NC State, Sloan was a notorious target of the Duke students in the stands. At one game, a student dressed in drag to ape Sloan's wife's custom of singing the National Anthem at Reynolds, and after commenting that the Duke students spent the days before basketball games doing nothing but drinking, the Duke students greeted him with the chant, "Have a drink, Norm Sloan, have a drink!"

Sloan was a feisty coach who was willing to stand up to media-favorite Dean Smith. His plaid jacket may be left as a relic of the 1970's, but his spirit will be missed.