Auburn University revealed that they will be wearing No. 7 on the side of their helmets today at the Outback Bowl honoring Birmingham native Pat Sullivan, who passed away on Dec. 1 at the age of 69.
The special helmets will be worn against Minnesota at the New Year’s Day game.
Here is the special video released by Auburn Football revealing the helmet.
According to Auburn Football, The alternate helmet will feature Sullivan’s jersey number, No. 7, on the left side of the helmet in navy blue with a burnt orange trim. The right side of the helmet will feature the traditional “AU” shield logo. The helmets also feature a gray facemask.
A graduate and three sport star at Birmingham’s John Carroll Catholic High School, Sullivan became Auburn’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 1971.
Beloved in Birmingham
After a brief professional football career, Sullivan returned to Auburn to do radio commentary and later coach quarterbacks under Head Coach Pat Dye. In the mid-90s, he was the head coach of Texas Christian University.
In 1999, Sullivan came home to Birmingham to take over the reins as UAB’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. From 2007 to 2014, he was Samford University’s head coach.
Beloved in Birmingham and throughout the nation, Sullivan had battled cancer since the early 2000s. In 2016, the football field at John Carroll High School was named in his honor.
7 on the helmet
We can’t think of a more fitting tribute to Sullivan than seeing his number 7 on the side of Auburn’s helmets at the Outback Bowl.
“I will forever be indebted to Coach Sullivan for helping bring me back to Auburn to serve as the head football coach,” said Auburn’s Gus Malzahn in statement after his passing. “He was a friend, mentor and a man of great character, who was beloved by many generations of Auburn fans. Pat Sullivan is, and always will be, the definition of an Auburn Man.”
We agree. And we will add – a beloved Birmingham Man too.