NEW YORK—R.C. Slocum, the all-time winningest head football coach in Texas A&M history, has been named to the 2012 National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame today.
“I am very humbled by this honor,” Slocum said from his ranch just north of College Station. “This great game of college football has meant so much to me through the years. To be able to join a group of coaches that I looked up to and admired during my career, and now to be associated with them is an unbelievable honor. This is validation of the players, the assistant coaches and the entire staffs I was so fortunate to work with here at Texas A&M. The 12th Man, our awesome student body and the former students, created an atmosphere at Kyle Field that was also crucial to our success.”
Slocum finished his head coaching career at Texas A&M with an overall record of 123-47-2 in his 14 years. The 123 wins in his first 14 seasons ranked eighth all-time at the close of his career joining the likes of Barry Switzer (137), Tom Osborne (137), Steve Spurrier (132), Joe Paterno (131), LaVell Edwards (129), Amos Alonzo Stagg (128) and Bud Wilkinson (124). At the time of his 100th win, Slocum had reached that milestone quicker than any other active head coach. Slocum reached the mark in his eighth game of his 11th season, while Joe Paterno had reached 100 wins in the ninth game of his 11th year. The 14 years as an Aggie head coach tied Slocum with Homer Norton, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, for the longest head coaching rein in A&M history and Slocum’s combined 30 years (16 as an assistant coach at Texas A&M) is the longest football coaching tenure in school history.
Slocum stocked the trophy case with six championships which included three consecutive Southwest Conference crowns (1991-92-93), two Big 12 South Championships (1997-98) in the first three years of the league’s existence, as well as hoisting the 1998 Big 12 Championship banner by defeating the nation’s top-ranked team, Kansas State, in double overtime. The 1997 Big 12 Championship Game in San Antonio pitted the Aggies against a Nebraska squad that would go on to win the national championship.
In the decade of the 1990’s, Slocum compiled 94 victories which was the most by any Division I football program in the state of Texas at that time. The Aggies compiled an undefeated record of 10-0-1 for the best record in the SWC in 1994 despite not being eligible for another title. It marked the first Aggie unbeaten season since Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and the Texas A&M football team of 1956 finished 9-0-1.
Slocum was a finalist for National Coach of the Year in 1994 and was the league Coach of the Year on four occasions. Texas A&M played in 11 bowl games in Slocum’s 14 years and five of those were New Year’s Day bowl games. The Aggies would finish in the Associated Press Top 25 on 10 occasions and finished among the nation’s Top 10 three times.
The Aggies were especially tough to beat at Kyle Field winning 85 percent of the games played in College Station accumulating a 67-11-1 (.854) home record. During Slocum’s tenure, the Aggies compiled a 29-game unbeaten streak (1990-95) as well as a 22-game unbeaten streak (1996-2000) at Kyle Field.
As Texas A&M closed out the Southwest Conference football era, Slocum’s SWC winning percentage of .865 (44-6-2) stands atop the record books ahead of legendary Texas head coach Darrell Royal’s .797 percentage. Royal and the Longhorns won 21 straight league games from 1968-71 to establish a record, but Slocum’s Aggie teams from 1991-93 broke that mark by winning 22 straight including the record-breaker against Texas, 18-9, in 1993.
A member of the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Slocum had 64 players drafted by the NFL including eight first-round selections.
As his victory totals increased, Slocum surpassed former Texas A&M head coaches and Hall of Fame coaching legends such as Homer Norton, D.X. Bible and Paul “Bear” Bryant.
“More important than the individual coaching records are the championships and the accomplishments of the team,” Slocum stated. “The true rewards in coaching are seeing young men grow and mature into successful men and leaders in their respective communities.”
Making his coaching numbers even more impressive is the fact that of his 47 career losses, 23 were by seven points or less, and all but five of the losses came at the hands of teams that were ranked in the Top 25 at some point of their respective season.
In Slocum’s final season (2002) as head coach in Aggieland, the Aggies defeated the Associated Press top-ranked team, the Oklahoma Sooners, 30-26, with Aggie offensive coordinator Kevin Sumlin calling the plays. Sumlin, a two-time finalist for national Coach of the Year honors, is the current head coach at Texas A&M.
One of Slocum’s shining moments as a true gentleman came during a period of tragedy at Texas A&M. The annual Bonfire collapsed in 1999 and Slocum and his players went to the scene to assist in any way possible which included moving logs from the stack. At the Thanksgiving night memorial service at an overflowing Kyle Field, Slocum’s words and the actions of his players helped some deal with their pain. The following day, the Aggies gave everything they had on the gridiron and upset Texas, 20-16, to continue with the healing process.
Before becoming the head coach at Texas A&M on Dec. 12, 1988, Slocum served 19 years as a collegiate assistant coach in three major conferences with 16 years at Texas A&M, two seasons at Kansas State and one season under John Robinson at USC.
Under Slocum’s defensive tutelage, the Aggies would be known for their defensive style of play. As the Aggies won the 1985 SWC title, the birth of the “Wrecking Crew” defense was coined by Chet Brooks as the defense led by coordinator Slocum wrecked everything in sight including making four goal line stops against Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson of Auburn in the 1986 Aggie Cotton Bowl victory.
Born in Louisiana and raised in Orange, Texas, Slocum was a tight end at McNeese State University and was honored by his alma mater as a Distinguished Alumnus.
Slocum is currently a Special Assistant to Texas A&M President Dr. R. Bowen Loftin and he continues to be active in many community affairs having served as Chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network in Central Texas, has been the grand marshal at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade which helps raise money for young people pursuing education in agriculture. In addition to his work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Slocum also is a major supporter of the Scotty’s House, a home for abused children and their families in the Bryan-College Station community.
Slocum is married to the former Nel Jennings. Slocum has two sons, Shawn and John Harvey. Both are Aggie graduates and Shawn is currently an assistant coach on the Green Bay Packers staff with a Super Bowl Championship ring, and John Harvey works in the oil industry in Houston.
Slocum will be honored at the National Football Foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Waldorf=Astoria on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.
TEXAS A&M PLAYER & COACHES IN THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Dana X. Bible
Paul “Bear” Bryant
John David Crow