2016 Campus Speaker
2016 Campus Speaker
R.C. Slocum was the architect of the most successful decade in the history of Texas A&M football. Under Slocum, the Aggies finished the 1990’s with 94 victories, the most by any Division I football program in the State of Texas in any decade. Slocum’s last season at A&M was 2002, and at that time, he was the sixth winningest active coach with a career record of 123-47-2 (.721). The 123 wins in his first 14 years ranks eighth all-time as he joins the ranks of coaching legends such as Barry Switzer (137), Tom Osborne (137) , Steve Spurrier (132), Joe Paterno (131), Lavell Edwards (129), Amos Alonzo Stagg (128), and Oklahoma’s Bud Wilkinson (124). Slocum reached 100 victories faster than any other active head coach. Slocum and the Aggies defeated Oklahoma State 21-3 at Kyle Field in 8th game of his 11th season as a head coach. Slocum’s 14 seasons as head coach ties him with Homer Norton for the longest head coaching tenure in Aggie football history.
After taking over as head coach in 1989, Slocum won six championships: three SWC Championships, Two Big 12 South Championships, and the 1998 Big 12 Championship. He was the league Coach of the Year four times and was up for National Coach of the year another season (1994). The Aggies played in 11 bowl games and five of those were New Year’s Day bowls. The Aggies, under Slocum, finished 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 for a 67-11-1 (.854) record. During Slocum’s tenure, the Aggies compiled a 29 game unbeaten streak (1990-95) and 22 game unbeaten streak (1996-2000) at Kyle Field. Slocum posted a 30-1 record against non-conference foes at Kyle Field. The only loss was a close one to a highly ranked Virginia Tech squad. In conference play, A&M compiled a Southwest Conference record unbeaten streak of 29 games, four straight seasons without a conference loss. As A&M closed out the Southwest era, Slocum’s conference winning percentage of .865 (44-6-2) was the best in league history and was ahead of the .797 percentage set the legendary coach of the University of Texas, Darrell Royal.
R.C. is a native of Orange, Texas where he was an All-District end at Stark High School. Following high school, he attended McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. There, he was a four year letterman and set school records for receiving as an end. Following his senior season, he was named Most Valuable Lineman. While earning his undergraduate degree at McNeese, R.C. was named to Blue Key National Honor Fraternity. He also received a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. In 2002, he was recognized as a McNeese Distinguished Alumnus, and in 2003 was inducted into the McNeese Athletic Hall of Fame.
After graduating from McNeese, R.C. started his coaching career at Lake Charles High School and then moved to Kansas State University. In 1972, he began a long association with Texas A&M as an assistant on new head coach Emory Bellard’s staff. First, he coached receivers and then moved to the defensive side of the ball in 1973. He coached defensive ends, later he moved to linebackers and then added the title of defensive coordinator. In 1981, Slocum took a brief leave from Aggieland and served as defensive coordinator under John Robinson at the University of Southern California. His defense led the Pac 10 Conference in 1981 and he had a consensus All American linebacker in Chip Banks. In 1982, R.C. came back to A&M as defensive coordinator for new coach Jackie Sherrill. He served in the capacity until 1985, when he added the title of Assistant Head Coach. The 1985 season saw the Aggies lead the SWC in defense and win the conference championship. The first of three straight championships and the foundation of the reckless style of defensive play that later led A&M’s defense to be called the Wrecking Crew. In 1989, R.C. was named head coach of the Aggies and served as head coach for 14 seasons. During that time, the Aggies never had a losing season.
Since 2002, Slocum has served as Special Advisor to the President of Texas A&M. He also is still involved with college football through his position as President of the American Football Coaches Foundation. R.C. has received many awards in recognition of his outstanding career. In addition to the McNeese State Athletic Hall of Fame, he is also a member of the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame and the Southeast Texas Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2013, R.C. was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame. Other awards include, the prestigious Touchdowner Award of the Houston Touchdown Club in 1999, the General Robert Neyland Award in 2011, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Heart Association Bryant Awards in 2013, and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, 2014, presented by the American Football Coaches Association. R.C also served as a trustee of the American Football Coaches Association. Slocum was invited to coach in three post-season all-star games, the Japan Bowl in Tokyo, Japan, the East-West Shrine Game in Palo Alto, California, and the Hula Bowl in Maui, Hawaii. In 2013, Slocum was inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in a gala in Washington, D.C.
Slocum is married to the former Nel Jennings. They have three sons, all A&M graduates, Shawn Slocum, an assistant coach at Arizona State University, John Harvey Slocum, who works in oil field services in directional drilling, and Randy Jennings, who works for Halliburton.