Sullivan, the 1971 Heisman Trophy victor at Auburn who went on to coach TCU and Samford, died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. During his senior season, Sullivan completed 162 passes on 281 attempts for 2,012 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to the Heisman. Sullivan only played professional football from 1972-1976 before leaving the league to enter the business and coaching world. Sullivan spent six seasons on the Auburn staff, before moving on as head coach at Texas Christian University, offensive coordinator at UAB, and head coach at Samford.
Sullivan's family, in a statement Sunday, said he died at home, surrounded by loved ones.
Sullivan was a graduate of John Carroll Catholic High School he went to Auburn on an athletic scholarship in 1968, He took over as starting quarterback his sophomore year and won Auburn's first Heisman in 1971 and set several school and SEC records. "We extend our deepest condolences to the entire Sullivan family". The Heisman Trophy victor had a varied career but was best known for his years as a college football quarterback and coach-and his optimism in the face of cancer, 247 Sports recalls.
© Dave Martin, AP Auburn Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson (left), Pat Sullivan (center) and Cam Newton (right) are introduced prior to the annual spring A-Day game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, April 14, 2012.
Sullivan coached at TCU from 1992-97 where he compiled a record of 24-42-1.
Sullivan step down as Samford's head coach in 2014 after eight seasons to move into another role at the university, the university said. Sullivan was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1991.
Sullivan and Beasley's uniform numbers, 7 and 88, along with Jackson's No. 34, are the only three Auburn jerseys to be retired.
In addition to the Heisman Trophy, Sullivan also earned the Walter Camp Award in 1971 and was the Sporting News Player of the Year.
Sullivan was married to Jean Hicks and they had three children, Kim and twins Kelly and Patrick Jr. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and fought a long and hard battle as a result of his treatments. "The family is appreciative of everyone's outpouring of love and support", the statement said.
He was on the search committee when Auburn hired coach Gus Malzahn. I will forever be indebted to Coach Sullivan for helping bring me back to Auburn to serve as the head football coach. He was a kind and humble gentleman, who was an Auburn legend.