Hall of Fame college basketball coach Sutton dies at 84


Legendary Oklahoma State coach and recently named Hall of Famer Eddie Sutton died Saturday night at his home in South Tulsa, Okla. He was 84.

Sutton’s family told The Oklahoman that Sutton died of natural causes, surrounded by his three sons and their families, including nine grandchildren.

Sutton coached the Cowboys for 16 years from 1990-2006, ranking second in school history in wins (368) and first in win percentage (.709, 368-151), helping the team make 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the school’s most recent two trips to the Final Four.

In April, Sutton was named among nine honorees in the Class of 2020 to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, after being a finalist five times. The class — which will include another posthumous induction in Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant — is scheduled to be enshrined Aug. 29.

In a statement to the Oklahoman, the Sutton family said that their father felt his selection to the Hall “was an honor and a tribute to the great players he coached and outstanding assistant coaches that worked for him.”

Sutton also coached five years at Creighton (1969-74), 11 years at Arkansas (1974-85), four years at Kentucky (1985-89) and one year at San Francisco (2007-08) on an interim basis, finishing his career with a record of 804-328 in 50 seasons while making 26 NCAA Tournament appearances and three trips to the Final Four. He was the first coach to ever take four different schools to the tournament.

Two of Sutton’s sons went on to coach basketball in college, including Sean Sutton spending 13 years as his assistant with the Cowboys before taking over as head coach from his father for three seasons (2006-2008).

The family recalled lessons taught by their father and mother Patsy Sutton, who died in 2013, saying in the statement, “Dad and Mom treated their players like family and always shared the belief that his teachings went beyond the basketball court. He cherished the time he spent at every school and appreciated the support from their loyal fans. He believed they deserved so much credit in the success of his programs.”

Beyond his Oklahoma State success, Sutton ranks third in Arkansas history in wins (260) and second in win percentage (.776, 260-75), helping the Razorbacks to the Final Four in 1978.

—Field Level Media