Former Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan died Sunday morning, according to a statement from his family. He was 69.
The family said Sullivan died peacefully at his home after battling a long illness.
"He was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and fought a long and difficult battle as a result of his treatments," the family statement said. "The family is appreciative of everyone's outpouring of love and support."
Sullivan was Auburn's first Heisman winner when he won the award in 1971. He passed for 2,262 yards and 21 touchdowns against 13 interceptions that season.
In three seasons with the Tigers, Sullivan passed for 6,534 yards, 54 touchdowns and 41 interceptions and guided the team to a 26-7 record. There is a statue of Sullivan outside Jordan-Hare Stadium along with fellow Auburn Heisman winners Bo Jackson (1985) and Cam Newton (2010). His No. 7 was retired by the Tigers.
He was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 1991.
Sullivan was a second-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1972 but didn't find success at the NFL level. He threw 16 interceptions in just 220 passes over four seasons with the Falcons, completing 42.3 percent of his throws for 1,155 yards and five touchdowns. He started four of 30 games played.
Sullivan later got into coaching -- first as an assistant at Auburn from 1986-91 -- and compiled a 71-85-1 record in 14 seasons at TCU and Samford. He went 24-42-1 at TCU from 1992-97 and 47-43 at Samford from 2007-14.
Among the players he recruited to TCU was LaDainian Tomlinson, who went on to be one of the top college and professional running backs of all-time.
During his Samford stint, Sullivan was dealing with health issues stemming from the battle with throat cancer that began in 2003.
Sullivan was on the Auburn search committee that chose current head coach Gus Malzahn in Dec. 2012.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Pat Sullivan, one of Auburn's all-time greats on and off the field," Malzahn said in a statement. "I will forever be indebted to Coach Sullivan for helping bring me back to Auburn to serve as the head football coach.
"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."
Sullivan's death comes one day after Auburn defeated heated rival Alabama 48-45 in the Iron Bowl.