R.C. Slocum (Interim)
Special Assistant to the President R.C. Slocum has been named interim director of athletics by Texas A&M President Mark A. Welsh III, effective Feb. 1, 2024. This marks the second time Slocum has been asked to take over in an interim role during a search for a new AD. He also was asked to serve in the role in 2019.
“Coach Slocum has been a champion for Texas A&M on and off the field for more than 50 years,” Welsh said. “His passion for this university, knowledge of Aggie athletics and commitment to the success of our student-athletes are second to none, and I’m grateful for his willingness to once again step into this interim role.”
R.C. Slocum has been associated with Texas A&M University every year since 1972 with the exception of one football season at USC. The all-time winningest football coach in Texas A&M history is as comfortable in the home of a recruit, or in the conference room with a board of directors of a major corporation. After he completed his coaching career at Texas A&M, he was retained as a special assistant to the Texas A&M University President. He served as Interim Athletics Director in 2019 and will do so again in 2024.
The National Football Foundation Hall of Fame member (2012) is so highly thought of on a national level he was most recently selected to serve on the College Football Playoff Committee. Slocum, a member of the Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame has also been inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as well as being honored by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
R.C. Slocum was the architect of the most successful decade in the history of Texas A&M football finishing the 1990’s with 94 victories, the most by any Division I football program in the state of Texas in any decade at that time.
A gentleman with a great passion for the game of football, Slocum completed his 14th season at the helm of the Aggie football program and compiled very impressive numbers on a national scale. He ended the 2002 season as the sixth winningest active head coach with a career record of 123-47-2 (.721) in his 14 years at Texas A&M and never had a losing record.
The 123 victories in his first 14 years ranked eighth all-time as he joined the ranks of coaching legends such as Barry Switzer (137) of Oklahoma, Tom Osborne (137) of Nebraska, Steve Spurrier (132) of Duke and Florida, Joe Paterno (131) of Penn State, LaVell Edwards (129) of BYU, Amos Alonzo Stagg (128) of Springfield and Chicago and Oklahoma’s Bud Wilkinson (124).
Slocum reached 100 victories faster than any other active head coach at the time. Slocum and the Aggies defeated Oklahoma State (21-3) at Kyle Field in the eighth game of the 1999 season. It marked the eighth game in Slocum’s 11th season. Coach Paterno hit the century mark in the ninth game of his 11th season.
Slocum’s 14th season tied him with Homer Norton for the longest head coaching tenure in Aggie football history.
Well respected by his coaching peers, Slocum was named to the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees in January of 2001. He served three years on the AFCA’s Rules Committee and has coached in three All-Star Games. He coached in the 1992 Japan Bowl played in Tokyo and he coached in the East-West Shrine All-Star Game in January of 1993. He was selected by the AFCA to serve as an assistant coach in the 2003 Hula Bowl.
Slocum was respected by members of the media as well earning a citation of honor by the Football Writers Association of America in 2004 for his long and honorable career in collegiate athletics and his contributions to football.
Along the way, Slocum won six championships (three SWC, one Big 12 Championship and two Big 12 South titles) and had the best record in the league another season (1994). He was the league Coach of the Year four times and was up for National Coach of the Year honors in 1994. The Aggies played in 11 bowl games and five of those were New Year’s Day bowl games. The Aggies finished the season in the Associated Press Top 25 on 10 occasions, and three times finished among the nation’s Top 10. The Aggies were especially tough to beat at home winning 85 percent of the games played at Kyle Field accumulating a 67-11-1 (.854) home record. During Slocum’s tenure, the Aggies compiled a 29-game unbeaten streak (1990-95) and a 22-game unbeaten streak (1996-2000) at Kyle Field. Slocum posted a 30-1 record against non-conference foes at Kyle Field.
In the decade of the 1990’s, the Aggies averaged over nine wins a season and ranked as the sixth winningest team in Division I-A with 94 wins. Texas A&M compiled a league record 29-game Southwest Conference unbeaten streak (1991-95).
His relationship with the NFL was considered by the league as one of the best. From running one of the best Pro Day testing dates in the spring, to being accessible to the scouts and coaches throughout the year, Slocum did his best to make sure his players received notice from the NFL. In fact, Slocum had 64 players drafted and many more sign free agent contracts.
Slocum’s coaching tenure at Texas A&M was second to none. The 2002 season was his 30th season as a collegiate coach in Aggieland. He spent 16 years as an assistant coach and took over the head coaching reins prior to the 1989 season.
“There is something very special about Texas A&M,” Slocum said. “I’ve had opportunities throughout my career to move on to other colleges and the NFL, but I chose to stay at Texas A&M. I have been honored to serve as the head football coach at such an outstanding university.”
As his victory totals increased, Slocum surpassed former 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 accomplishments of the team,” Slocum said. “The true rewards in coaching are seeing these young men grow and mature into successful men and leaders in their communities.”
“I was blessed to be able to play for a college head coach like Coach Slocum,” San Francisco 49er Jason Webster said. “He cares about you as a person and wants to see you achieve excellence in everything you pursue.”
In 2001, five Aggie football players– Jay Brooks, Seth McKinney, Harold Robertson, Christian Rodriguez and Amon Simon, played their final year of eligibility with a degree already in their hands.
As the CEO of the football operation and in addition to his winning ways on the field, words such as hard worker, dedicated, persistent, organized, patient, honest and loyal have been used to describe Slocum.
In addition to those qualities, Slocum treated each and every football player as if he was his son. Discipline when they need it, as well as hugs and encouragement to help them reach their full potential.
“When Coach Slocum recruited me, he was up front and a man of his word,” Houston Texan Aaron Glenn said. “After my experience at Texas A&M, my younger brother Jason (New York Jets player) was an easy recruit for Texas A&M because my family knew Coach Slocum would treat him like his son.”
His squads were noted for their aggressive style of play and even in games where the score ended in favor of the opponents, the games were close. Of Slocum’s 47 losses, 23 have been by seven points or less, and all but five have been to teams ranked in the Top 25 at some point of the season.
In the 2002 season, Coach Slocum and the Aggies defeated the Associated Press No. 1-ranked team, the Oklahoma Sooners. No other Aggie football team in the school’s history had ever defeated the AP top-ranked squad.
In 2001, Texas A&M averaged a school-record 82,711 for the six home games. The mark exceeds the official capacity of 82,600 for the stadium. Coach Slocum and the Aggies continue to set new record crowds for football in the State of Texas as 87,206 watched the Aggies defeat Notre Dame at Kyle Field and then 87,555 jammed into the stadium to watch the annual matchup with the Texas Longhorns on the day after Thanksgiving.
In 2000, the Aggies tangled with the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners at Kyle Field with a record crowd of 87,188 in attendance as well as the ESPN GameDay crew. The Aggies battled the Sooners down to the wire falling just short as a fourth-down pass from the four-yard line fell incomplete.
A gentleman on and off of the field, Slocum and his team stood tall in a period of tragedy. With the Bonfire collapse of 1999, Slocum and his players went to the scene to assist in any way possible. At the Thanksgiving night memorial at Kyle Field, Slocum’s words and the actions of his players helped deal with some of the pain. The following day, the Aggies went out and gave everything they had before 86,129, a record football crowd in the State of Texas, and defeated the Texas Longhorns, 20-16, to assist the healing process.
“With everything our A&M family had been through (prior to the game), I just thought it was right the way it turned out,” Slocum said following the victory.
The Aggies went on to face Penn State in the Alamo Bowl, a team many considered the best in the country, and a defense which had the first two players selected in the NFL draft. A&M closed out the season with an 8-4 mark, and finished in a tie for second place in the Big 12 South.
The lessons such as handling adversity and responding in a positive manner and never quitting can transcend the gridiron to everyday life. Never was a team more reflective of its coach than the 1998 Big 12 Champion Texas A&M Aggies.
After opening the season against the second-ranked Florida State Seminoles on national television in the Kickoff Classic, the Aggies reeled off 10 straight wins in 10 consecutive weeks. Included in the streak was a Kyle Field victory against second-ranked Nebraska which snapped the country’s longest winning streak at the time.
After winning the Big 12 South title for the second straight year, the Aggies advanced to the Big 12 Championship Game in St. Louis against top-ranked (coaches poll) Kansas State. The Aggies trailed KSU, 27-12, entering the fourth quarter. Much like the Aggies’ head coach, the A&M players remained steady and kept fighting to tie the game at 27-27. A&M won the game in double-overtime, 36-33.
“Coach Slocum was calm and had that look about him in the fourth quarter,” 1998 Lombardi and Bednarik Award winner Dat Nguyen said. “He just knew we were going to mount a comeback and I think that helped us relax and have fun and win.”
“I couldn’t have been more proud of a group of players and coaches,” Slocum said. “The team chemistry was outstanding and they expected to succeed. The 1998 Aggie football team simply refused to quit.”
It was fitting as the final seconds ticked off of the clock before an overflow crowd of 75,349 at Kyle Field on November 28, 1997, the winningest coach in Texas A&M history put the team before himself as the Texas A&M Aggies secured a Big 12 South Division Championship with a 27-16 win over the archrival Texas Longhorns. That win, the 83rd of his career at Aggieland, established R.C. Slocum as the winningest coach in school history.
In 1997, the Aggies won the Big 12 South Division crown with a league record of 6-2 and advanced to the Big 12 Championship Game against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers beat A&M on the way to a National Championship. The Aggies received an invitation to play in the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic and took the higher-ranked UCLA Bruins down to the wire in a 29-23 loss.
In the 1996 inaugural season of the Big 12 Conference, the Aggies were one of the youngest teams in the league and finished with a 6-6 overall record. Five of the six losses came to teams who reached bowl games.
As Texas A&M closed out the Southwest Conference football era, Slocum’s SWC winning percentage of .865 (44-6-2) was tops in the league’s history beating the .797 (109-27-2) percentage set by the legendary Darrell Royal of Texas.
Texas A&M finished off the 1995 season in style with a 22-20 win over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl. A&M recorded a 9-3 overall record and finished No. 15 in both polls. Each of the three losses were to teams ranked in the Top 25.
Perhaps Slocum’s greatest coaching accomplishment came in the 1994 season. Despite no television and no bowl opportunities, the team reflected the calm and steady influence of its head coach. The team went about its business of winning football games and finished with a 10-0-1 record, the first unbeaten season in school history since the 1956 squad led by Paul “Bear” Bryant finished with a 9-0-1 mark. A&M ended the 1994 season ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and Slocum was named SWC Coach of the Year by several publications marking the fourth straight year for him to be so honored. At this point of his career, A&M had gone four straight years without losing a conference game (28-0-1).
The 1993 squad put together a perfect Southwest Conference season with a 7-0 league record, becoming the first SWC school to fashion three straight perfect league years. Before a sold-out Kyle Field and a national television audience on Thanksgiving, the Aggies defeated Texas, 18-9, to win their 22nd straight league game. The victory broke the streak set by Darrell Royal and the Texas Longhorns of 21 straight (1968-71). It marked the 100th meeting between the two schools and the victory clinched a third straight trip to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl Classic.
A&M continued to attack the record books in 1992 as the team finished the regular-season with a perfect 12-0 record. The Aggies became only the fifth NCAA team since 1935 to win 12 regular-season games and the 12 wins set a school record. The Aggies won the SWC title by a three-game margin, marking the second straight season to accomplish that feat. Slocum was a finalist for the National Coach of the Year and he was named the SWC Coach of the Year.
In 1991, the Aggies opened SWC play with a 37-14 victory over Texas Tech in Lubbock and marched through the league undefeated and winning the championship by three games over their closest competitor. Slocum was named SWC Coach of the Year and he joined the ranks of coaching greats Paul “Bear” Bryant, Homer Norton and D.X. Bible as the only coaches in school history to lead an Aggie team through an undefeated conference season. Bryant, Norton and Bible are all members of the College Football Hall of Fame.
In Slocum’s second season as head coach, the Aggies finished with a 9-3-1 record and set a bowl record for points scored with a 65-14 Holiday Bowl victory over BYU.
In 1989, A&M finished with an 8-4 record and played in the John Hancock Bowl. The eight wins tied Slocum with D.X. Bible for the most wins by a first-year Aggie head coach.
Slocum served 19 years as a collegiate assistant coach in three major conferences before getting the nod as the A&M head coach on Dec. 12, 1988. He served two years at Kansas State in the Big Eight, one year at USC in the Pac-10 and 16 years at Texas A&M in the Southwest Conference.
His first stop on the coaching tour was Kansas State where he served as an offensive line coach for the freshman team in 1970 and was the freshman team head coach in 1971.
In 1972, he came back home to Texas and sat outside the office of newly appointed head coach Emory Bellard and waited patiently for an interview. Slocum was hired as an offensive assistant coach on Bellard’s first staff.
In 1973, Slocum made the switch to the defensive side of the ball. The aggressive style of defense would become the norm around Aggieland. The 1974 defensive unit finished as the country’s No. 2-ranked unit and followed with the 1975 defensive unit being ranked No. 1 in the country. The 1976 defense was ranked No. 3 in the land.
During the summer months, Slocum spent time in professional football coaching linebackers with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
Slocum was promoted to Aggie defensive coordinator in 1979 and 1980 before heading west to USC to serve as John Robinson’s defensive coordinator with the Trojans in 1981. Slocum led that defensive unit to the top spot in the Pac-10 standings and USC went on to play in the Fiesta Bowl.
Having been raised in Texas, Slocum jumped at the opportunity to return to Texas A&M in 1982 as defensive coordinator. In 1985, he would be promoted to assistant head coach and that season would mark the beginning of three straight championship seasons as well as three straight appearances in the Cotton Bowl. The birth of the “Wrecking Crew” defenses came about as Chet Brooks and the defense led by coordinator Slocum wrecked everything in sight.
That 1985 defense was No. 1 in the SWC and No. 8 in the national rankings. The 1986 unit was No. 2 in the SWC and No. 4 in the country. The 1987 defense was once again No. 1 in the SWC and No. 7 in the land. That 1987 team climaxed with a 35-10 victory over Notre Dame in the 1988 Cotton Bowl. Later that year (Dec. 12), Slocum would be named the head coach at Texas A&M.
Slocum was born Nov. 7, 1944, in Oakdale, Louisiana. At the age of one, he and and his family moved to Texas. He knew the meaning of hard work in the town of Orange, from selling newspapers to shining shoes, to working in the refineries in the Golden Triangle. He played football under the direction of Ted L. Jeffries, a member of the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Fame, at Stark High School in Orange. Slocum earned All-District honors on a state semi-finalist team in 1963. From Orange, Slocum headed to McNeese State University and played football.
At McNeese State, Slocum was voted the team’s most valuable lineman in 1967 as a tight end and he left with five school records. He caught 33 passes his senior season for 471 yards to establish two records. The 33 receptions is still the 8th-best single season effort by any McNeese State receiver. For his career, Slocum caught 74 balls, currently 10th best on the all-time list, for 945 yards and seven touchdowns. He also played defense. Slocum earned his undergraduate degree in 1967 and received his master’s degree in education administration and supervision in 1968. He was also a member of the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity.
Slocum was honored by his alma mater as a Distinguished Alumnus and a presentation was made prior to the 2001 Texas A&M vs. McNeese State football game at Kyle Field. In the summer of 2018, he was named to the Cowboys’ 75th anniversary team.
Upon leaving McNeese State, Slocum stayed in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to begin his coaching career on the high school level. He served as the defensive coordinator at Lake Charles High School in 1968-69 before moving on to the college ranks.
Slocum is a man who makes a good impression with his straight forward approach based upon the Golden Rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated.”
Slocum was presented with the Houston Touchdowner of the Year Award in 1999. Some of the previous winners of the prestigious award include Darrell Royal, Roger Staubach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Dana X. Bible, Johnny Unitas, John David Crow, and Tom Landry.
Slocum has been active in numerous charities including the Chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network in Central Texas. He has been the grand marshal at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade and served three years on the American Football Coaches Association Rules Committee.
Slocum has two sons, Shawn and John Harvey. Shawn, Texas A&M Class of ‘1987, served an assistant coach on the Texas A&M staff and is currently coaching with the Arizona State Sun Devils as an associate head coach and special teams coordinator. John Harvey, Texas A&M Class of ‘01, is a successful businessman.
Slocum is married to the former Nel Jennings. Nel has one son, Randy.