Auburn Tigers everywhere are celebrating Saturday’s Iron Bowl win, but there’s some sad news to pass along. AU has lost an important member of the family: Pat Sullivan.

Phillip Marshall of 247Sports shared the news that Sullivan passed this weekend. A College Football Hall of Famer, Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy in 1971. As the QB for legendary Tigers coach Ralph Jordan, Sullivan was 162-of-281 passing for 2,012 yards and 20 touchdowns that season. Sullivan’s 1970 season was statistically even better when he led the NCAA in total offense with 2,856 yards and averaged 8.57 yards per play, setting an NCAA record.

At the conclusion of his playing career, Sullivan had recorded 71 touchdowns (53 passing, 18 rushing), which tied an NCAA record. After college, Sullivan played for the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins from 1972-76.

After his playing days, Sullivan did radio color commentary for Auburn for five seasons before joining Pat Dye’s coaching staff in 1986. He was a Tigers assistant through the 1991 season until he became the head coach at TCU. Sullivan coached at TCU through the 1997 season, before resigning. After TCU, Sullivan was offensive coordinator at UAB from 1999-2006. He then took another head coaching job, Samford, in 2007. Sullivan’s final season at Samford was in 2014. He finished with a 71-85-1 record as a head coach.


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Sullivan began a long battle with mouth cancer in 2003. He was 69.