Nashville, Tenn. – Pat Sullivan, Auburn University’s first Heisman Trophy winner and a multi-sport star at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, was inducted Wednesday into the National High School Hall of Fame. Sullivan’s induction at the 30th annual Hall of Fame Ceremonies closed out the 93rd National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Summer Meeting being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center here.
Sullivan is just the second athlete from Alabama to be inducted into the NFHS Hall and ninth inductee overall. Bart Starr, the MVP of Super Bowl I as the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, was the first. Starr, who attended Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, was inducted in 1989. Cliff Harper (1987) was the first from the state to be inducted, followed by Dan Gaylord (1988), Starr (1989), Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (1990), the late Wallace “Mickey” O’Brien (1992), Glenn Daniel (1999), Sam Short (2007) and Dan Washburn (2011). Harper and Scott, like Washburn, are former AHSAA Executive Directors inducted as administrators. Daniel and Wallace were inducted as coaches, Gaylord and Short as officials.
Sullivan, currently the head football coach at Samford University, was joined in the Class of 2012 by athletes Kevin Johnson, Fred Hoiberg and Tracy Hill, basketball standouts from California, Iowa and Colorado, respectively. Former NFHS Executive Director Bob Kanaby, New Jersey native, was inducted as an administrator. Coaches inducted were Georgia basketball coach Ron Bradley; Oregon swimming coach Rod Harman; South Dakota basketball coach Larry Luitjens; and Catherine Neely, volleyball coach from Chattanooga’s East Ridge High School.
South Carolina football ref Truman Owens and Maine soccer official Bob White were chosen as contest officials, and speech coach Jan Heiteen of Illinois was selected in the fine arts category.
Sullivan was a three-sport standout at John Carroll Catholic from 1966-69 where he was considered the top football player in the state of Alabama in his junior and senior seasons (1967, 1968) as the quarterback. He was a two-time all-state selection and was named the top player in the nation by one publication. Sullivan was named all-state twice in basketball, averaging 18 points per game, and in baseball as the team’s shortstop.
At Auburn, he led the Tigers to a 26-7 record in three years as the team’s quarterback, winning the 1971 Heisman Trophy. He played parts of seven seasons in the National Football League before launching his college coaching career. After serving as an assistant at Auburn and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and head coach at Texas Christian University, Sullivan was named head football coach at Samford University in 2006. He is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Courtesy AHSAA Media Relations