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End Of A Storm

Dec. 22, 2003
Dec. 22, 2003

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Dec. 22, 2003

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End Of A Storm

DIED Of pulmonary fibrosis, Norm Sloan, 77, the coach who led
North Carolina State to its 1974 NCAA basketball title. In an era
when only one team from a conference could go to the NCAA
tournament, the Wolfpack first defeated Maryland in an epic,
triple-overtime ACC final, then proved at the Final Four that
UCLA could indeed be beaten, halting the Bruins' string of seven
championships.

This is an article from the Dec. 22, 2003 issue Original Layout

In the sweep of N.C. State basketball, Sloan bridged two eras. He
had played in Raleigh for fellow Hoosier Everett Case, and he
would bequeath to his extroverted successor, Jim Valvano, the
nucleus that won the Wolfpack's 1983 crown. Sloan left his alma
mater for Florida in 1980 in part because N.C. State wouldn't
match the Gators' salary offer. (Dean Smith's powder-blue
powerhouse at North Carolina also got to him: "If you're in a
beauty contest, you want to win. But when the same contestant
always wins, it's time to find a new contest.") He then took
Florida--which had never made the NCAAs--to the tournament three
times in 10 years before retiring in the wake of a scandal in
which Gators guard Vernon Maxwell alleged he had received cash
payments from Sloan and other coaches. (Sloan denied any
involvement.)

Known as Stormin' Norman for his combustibility on the sideline,
Sloan said of his emotionalism, "I blow up. In some cases that's
hurt me, but that way I don't have to play a silly little game
and let it eat at me." Sloan, who went 627-395 in his career and
was named ACC coach of the year three times, had a keen respect
for history. After Case died in 1966, he was granted his wish to
be buried along U.S. Highway 70 so that he could wave to "the
boys" as their bus headed down Tobacco Road for a game. When N.C.
State returned after beating Marquette in the '74 final, Sloan
ordered the bus to pull up to Case's grave, and the boys saluted
him in return.

--Alexander Wolff

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN D. HANLON (SLOAN) NETTY DRESSER Sloan never looked better than after beating Maryland in '74.