Eddie Sutton, 84, Winning Basketball Coach at Four Schools, Dies


Eddie Sutton, who coached main faculty basketball groups to a complete of 806 victories in a profession spanning 37 seasons and have become the primary coach to take 4 colleges to the N.C.A.A. Division I championship event, died on Saturday at his dwelling in North Tulsa, Okla., a month after his election to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He was 84.

His household confirmed the demise in an announcement however offered no different particulars.

Sutton coached Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State to a complete of 26 N.C.A.A. championship tournaments and reached the Final Four thrice — with Arkansas in 1978 and Oklahoma State, his alma mater, in 1995 and 2004. Several different coaches have since led 4 or extra colleges to the event.

But he skilled troubled occasions that would have contributed to his being handed over for induction into the Hall of Fame six occasions as a finalist earlier than he was lastly elected in early April. His posthumous induction will are available August.

Although he was not accused of wrongdoing, Sutton resigned from his teaching put up at Kentucky after the 1988-89 season, when the basketball program was hit with main penalties by the N.C.A.A. for a number of guidelines violations, many involving recruiting.

“I am innocent,” he advised CBS at the time, however mentioned he didn’t need to struggle for his job out of concern that a persevering with controversy would damage the college and its basketball followers.

Sutton struggled with alcoholism for a few years. In February 2006, whereas he was teaching at Oklahoma State, his car struck one other automobile after he had been ingesting. He pleaded no contest to driving beneath the affect, took a medical depart, resigned in May and was succeeded by his son Sean, who had been an assistant coach. Sutton was fined by the court docket, and his teaching profession was seemingly over.

“Maybe it was God’s way of saying, ‘You’ve got better things to do than just coach — you’ve coached long enough,’” Sutton advised The New York Times in December 2006.

But the University of San Francisco employed him on an interim foundation through the 2007-Eight season when its head coach took a depart of absence. He gained eight video games with the Dons that season after which retired for good.

Edward Eugene Sutton was born on Oct. 12, 1936, in southwest Kansas, within the metropolis of Bucklin, the one baby of Orville and Beryl Sutton. His father was a farmer and an electrician; his mom was a cook dinner at a public college.

He performed basketball for 3 seasons at Oklahoma State (generally known as Oklahoma A&M when he arrived there) within the 1950s beneath the long run Hall of Fame Coach Henry Iba, then served as an assistant coach for him in the 1958-59 season.

Sutton was a high school coach afterward, then became the founding head coach at what is now the College of Southern Idaho, in Twin Falls, building a nationally prominent team in the junior college ranks.

He was the head coach at Creighton, in Omaha, Neb., from 1969 to 1974, taking the Bluejays to the N.C.A.A. tournament in his final season there. He was at Arkansas from 1974 to 1985, at Kentucky from 1985 to 1989 and at Oklahoma State from 1990 to 2006 before ending his career at the University of San Francisco.

Sutton led Arkansas to nine N.C.A.A. tournament appearances. His Final Four team featured three star players known collectively as the Triplets — Sidney Moncrief, Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer.

A big moment for Sutton was when his unranked Arkansas team edged unbeaten and No. 1-ranked North Carolina, led by Michael Jordan, 65-64, in February 1984 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, one of the Razorbacks’ three home courts. Dick Enberg, broadcasting the game, famously coined the ensuing celebration “Pandemonium at Pine Bluff.”

Sutton held his highest-profile coaching post in his four seasons at Kentucky. His Wildcats won two Southeastern Conference tournament championships and went to the N.C.A.A. tournament each time in his first three seasons in Lexington. Then came the calamitous 1988-89 season. While the N.C.A.A. investigation was underway, Sutton’s team went 13-19.

He coached Oklahoma State, in Stillwater, to the N.C.A.A. tournament 13 times, and his 368 victories with the Cowboys are the second-most in school history, behind Iba’s 654.

Sutton’s time at Oklahoma State was marked by a tragedy. Two players, six staff members and broadcasters and two pilots were killed when the plane taking them back from a game against Colorado in January 2001 crashed in a snowstorm soon after takeoff from Denver.

“I’ve had some tough experiences in my life, but that was the toughest thing when I got a call and was told that plane had gone down and everyone was gone,” Sutton was quoted as saying.

In addition to his son Sean, Sutton is survived by his sons Scott and Stephen and nine grandchildren. His wife, Patsy (Wright) Sutton, died in 2013.

In his later years, Sutton often spoke to groups of students at Oklahoma State to share his hard-won insights into addiction, whether it involved alcohol, drugs or gambling.

He remained popular among fans of Cowboys basketball and attended home games sitting in a wheelchair, which he needed because of longstanding back problems.

As the Oklahoma State head basketball coach Mike Boynton told the newspaper The Oklahoman in April, when the Hall of Fame finally recognized Sutton’s achievements, “You have no idea how many people in Stillwater love Oklahoma State just because of Eddie Sutton.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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