William “Bill” Edward Slatten
By Sparta Live | March 18, 2002 12:00 am
William “Bill” Edward Slatten, 78, of Sparta, passed away March 15, 2002, at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville.
Slatten was born Feb. 10, 1924, to Alec and Minnie Felts Slatten and was a member of First United Methodist Church.
Slatten was an outstanding athlete in high school as a member of both the football and basketball teams. As a basketball player, he was the leading scorer in the Upper Cumberland Conference and in Middle Tennessee, a member of the All-Regional and All Mid-State teams and captain of the White County Warriors, all in 1944.
Slatten spent two years immediately after graduation from high school as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged in 1945.
He enrolled in Tennessee Tech in 1946 and continued his athletic career by lettering for the Tennessee Tech basketball varsity four years. He received his B.S. Degree in Social Science in 1950 and began graduate studies at George Peabody College for Teachers. he received his M.A. Degree in 1952.
Slatten’s highly successful coaching career began in Byrdstown in 1950, where he taught and coached the girls’ and boys’ basketballs teams and the football team until 1952.
He then returned home to White County for the next six years as a teacher, girls’ and boys’ basketball coach and assistant football coach. Slatten’s Sparta girls’ team set a record that stood for 20 years in the State of Tennessee, with 79 consecutive victories during 1956-1958. When the team won these games, they not only broke their own record of 65, but set a new state record that stood until 1978.
>From 1950-1958, Slatten led girls’ teams that won 279 games, while losing only six. This was a phenomenal record that is virtually unmatched, in the annals of Tennessee girls high school basketball.
In 1958, Slatten moved to Lebanon as assistant principal at the high school and as girls’ basketball coach. His coaching career ended in 1962, at which time his teams had amassed a total of 782 wins and 91 losses.
Slatten coached the White County High School boys’ basketball team to state tournament twice and Lebanon High School girls once.
>From 1962-1970, Slatten served as White County Superintendent of Schools. He was an efficient and competent administrator, having re-entry of White County High School into the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and completion of building programs at Doyle, Findlay and White County High School.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Roy Slatten, Toy Slatten, Waymon Slatten and Robert Slatten; and one sister, Bessie Young.
Survivors include his wife, Martha Johnson Slatten of Sparta; one daughter and son-in-law, Lucy and David Pittman of Marietta, Ga.; two sons and one daughter-in-law, Steve Slatten and Bruce and Beth Slatten all of Sparta; one brother, E.J. Slatten of Flat Rock, Mich.; two sisters, Essie England and Hattie Pitman both of Sparta; and three grandchildren, Robin Pittman, Andy Pittman and Will Slatten.
Services will be held at 11 a.m., March 18, 2002, at Hunter Funeral Home with burial in Highland Cemetery. Susan Gardner will officiate.
Hunter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.