2013 marks the second season that former NFL Tight End David Sloan will coach the Owl's Tight Ends and assist with Special Teams. Sloan is in his fourth season overall at Rice, having spent his first two as an Offensive Graduate Assistant and Special Teams Quality Control Coach.
In his first season, Sloan had arguably one of the best Tight End units in the country in Vance McDonald, Luke Willson and Taylor Cook. McDonald finished his career ranked in the Owls top ten in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and became the first Owl since ND Kalu in 1996 to be invited to play in the Senior Bowl. Willson was a four-year starter who was drafted by the Toronto Argos of the CFL prior to his senior year and was a standout in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January. Cook's solid year was also further evidence that he had made the successful transition from quarterback to tight end.
Sloan's contributions in Special Teams were also noteworthy as his punt return unit became the first to score a touchdown since 1997 and his kickoff return unit also became the first to take one the distance since 1984.
When Sloan joined the Owls in 2010, he reunited with Rice head coach David Bailiff, who was on the staff at the University of New Mexico in 1993 when Sloan signed with the Lobos out of junior college.
A two-time Academic All-Conference selection while playing basketball at Fresno City College from 1990-91, Sloan made the jump to football in the fall of 1992.
He caught the eye of Bailiff after catching 13 passes for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. He signed with New Mexico and earned All-WAC Honorable Mention as a junior in 1993. He improved on that effort as a senior, earning first-Team All-WAC honors and was named one of the Lobos' team co-captains after catching 24 receptions for 320 yards and 1 touchdown during his senior campaign. After his senior year, he played in the Blue Gray All-Star Game, Senior Bowl and participated in NFL Scouting combine in Indianapolis.
Sloan was selected as the sixth pick in the third round in 1995 by the Detroit Lions and became a starter midway through his rookie season and the Lions won seven straight to earn a playoff spot. He enjoyed his best season in 1999, when he earned All-Pro honors after catching 47 passes for 591 yards and four touchdowns as the Lions again reached the playoffs.
Sloan started for the NFC in the 2000 Pro Bowl and was named as an alternate in 2001. He led the Lions with seven touchdown passes in 2001. He was signed by New Orleans in 2002 and retired after the 2003 season. He finished his NFL career with 199 receptions, for 2251 yards and 17 touchdowns including seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns in three playoff games.
He and his wife Jennifer have two daughters: Trinity (8) and Bentley (6)