Charles Ted Sitton (’54), an Abilene Christian University football hero as a student-athlete and later, innovative architect of some of the Wildcats’ top offensive performances as a coach, died April 15, 2016, in Abilene at age 84 following a long illness.
A memorial service will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. today in Abilene’s University Church of Christ (733 E.N. 16th, Abilene, Texas 79601), with arrangements by The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
Sitton was born Jan. 20, 1932, in Stamford, Texas, graduating from high school there in 1949. He met Gloria Pace (’62) in the third grade and they married July 15, 1951. She died Nov. 24, 2013.
As a sophomore at Abilene Christian in 1950, he quarterbacked the Wildcats to their only undefeated, untied season (11-0 record) and a trip to the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Ind. He also competed in track and field as a student-athlete.
After graduation, he coached at Graham (Texas) High School and Abilene High School before joining the ACU staff in 1967. At AHS, his Eagle team won the state track and field title in 1961.
Sitton was ACU offensive coordinator from 1968-78, 1985-86 and 1993-94, leading his teams to NAIA Division I national championships in 1973 and 1977. He developed high-powered passing offenses, with six of his quarterbacks throwing for at least 2,000 yards in 15 different seasons. He coached ACU’s first 3,000-yard passer, four QBs who won first-team all-conference honors and one named first-team all-America. Sitton was ACU’s head coach from 1979-84, winning Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1981.
He worked as the university’s director of quality control and safety from 1987-93, was inducted to the ACU Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Big Country Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Pat and Lillian Sitton; a sister, Peggy (Sitton) Hickey; Gloria, his wife of 62 years; and a son, Chuck Sitton (’78).
Among survivors are a son, Gary Sitton (’76); two daughters, Jani Freeman and Cara Sue Sitton (’81); a brother, Phil Sitton; sisters Patsy Bohannon, Carolyn Coggin and Jeanie Williams; six grandchildren; and six great-children.
Memorials may be made online to the Chuck Sitton Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund (or mailed to Gift Records, ACU Box 29132, Abilene, Texas 79699-9132).