13th Season at OSU
|Alma mater (year):|
Oklahoma State ('58)
Eddie Sutton has achieved many feats in his 42-year career as a head basketball coach. His most recent accolade is his nomination for induction into the National Basketball Hall of Fame.
Coach Sutton just finished his 12th season at his alma mater, and 32nd season overall at the Division I level. He recently became just the 14th coach in Division I history to record 700 wins in a career. Oklahoma State's 85-80 win over the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Feb. 20 was a milestone that few will reach.
Under his guidance, OSU has advanced to postseason play in 11-of-12 years, and has won 20 games or more 10 times. In the 2000-01 season, Sutton passed John Wooden and Denny Crum into 14th place (sixth among active coaches) in career victories.
There is only one active coach (Bob Knight) ranked ahead of Sutton in both victories and winning percentage, and OSU's boss ranks behind only Dean Smith in victories through 32 or fewer years of coaching.
Sutton, who previously coached at Creighton, Arkansas and Kentucky, was the first coach in NCAA history to lead four different schools to the national tournament and was joined in the exclusive club by Lefty Driesell and Jim Harrick following the 2000-01 campaign.
With Sutton and Henry P. Iba among members of the 700-win club, OSU is one of only two schools -- the other being Kentucky -- with two coaches among the 700-game winners, and Sutton is involved in both.
In his 12 seasons in Stillwater, Sutton has guided the Cowboys to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, 10 20-win seasons and six first- or second-place finishes in conference play. OSU's NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001-02 was its fifth-straight postseason appearance.
In the 1999-2000 campaign, the Cowboys reached the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in Sutton's Cowboy career. OSU went on to the Elite Eight for the first time since the 1995 Final Four campaign, making OSU one of just 10 schools to reach the regional semifinals twice in the previous seven tournaments.
The 1997-98 season turned out to be one of milestones for Sutton, who reached the 600-victory plateau when OSU defeated Texas A&M in Stillwater on Jan. 24, 1998. He became just the seventh coach in Division I history to win 600 games in 28 years or less, joining Denny Crum, Bob Knight, Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, Jerry Tarkanian and John Wooden.
He also earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 1997-98 after leading the Cowboys back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons. Having previously been honored by the Big Eight, Southeastern and Southwest Conferences, he is one of only two coaches nationally to have won conference coach-of-the-year awards in four different leagues.
Sutton's top year at Oklahoma State came in 1995, when he used that season to once again prove he is without equal when it comes to coaching the game of basketball.
Oklahoma State's coach, who rekindled the spirit of Cowboy basketball when he arrived in 1990, accomplished something that only one other coach in the basketball history of OSU has done. By guiding O-State to Seattle and the 1995 Final Four, Sutton joined Mr. Iba, who had taken Oklahoma A&M to each of its previous Final Four appearances. Sutton, who played for Mr. Iba at Oklahoma A&M, was tabbed the 1995 National Coach of the Year by Basketball Times magazine.
When Sutton arrived in Stillwater on April 11, 1990, he inherited an Oklahoma State program that had made just one appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 25 years and had only seven winning seasons during that same period.
It didn't take long for Sutton to dramatically impact basketball at his alma mater. In his first season (1990-91), he guided the Cowboys to a 24-8 record, a Big Eight Conference title and a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament appearance, where OSU lost in overtime to Temple. The following season, OSU improved to 28-8, finished second in the Big Eight and made a return trip to the Sweet 16, where the Cowboys lost by three to Michigan's much-hyped Fab Five.
A 20-9 record in 1992-93 and a 24-10 mark in 1993-94 both included second-place finishes in the rugged Big Eight Conference and trips to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. OSU advanced to the championship game of the league tournament in 1994 as well.
The 1994-95 season, however, was the high mark for Oklahoma State basketball in the last four decades. It was a season of peaks and valleys for the Cowboys. OSU lost two of its first three games before rolling off seven-straight wins. The Cowboys then lost back-to-back road games at Arizona State and Providence, and won only two-of-five games from December 22 to January 14.
But after a disappointing one-point loss at Michigan State, OSU began a surge that kept the Pokes playing basketball until the first week of April. The Cowboys went 17-4 over the rest of a season that ended with a national semifinal loss to eventual national-champion UCLA.
Eddie Sutton had proven once again that he is one of the best in the history of the game. One nationally prominent coach put it succinctly: "If you are playing Oklahoma State and everything else is even and it comes down to coaching ... you lose."
OSU has won at least 17 games in each of Coach Sutton's years at the helm -- no small feat considering that OSU teams had reached that level in just four of the previous 25 years.
The numbers he has put together speak volumes for his coaching legacy. Only Knight ranks ahead of Sutton on both the career winning percentage and career victory lists among active coaches.
In 32 years of coaching at the Division I level, Sutton has won 702 games while losing just 278 for a winning percentage of 71.6 percent. He is a four-time national coach of the year and seven-time league coach of the year.
He has taken his teams to the NCAA Tournament 23 times in 32 years, including 22 times in his last 25 years as a head coach. OSU's 2000 NCAA Tournament run marked the 11th Sweet 16 trip in his career.
He has had just one losing season in his 32-year career, and 22 times his teams have won at least 20 games in a year. Sutton began his career by taking over a Creighton team that had not produced a winning record in three seasons and led them to five consecutive winning marks as well as a 23-7 record in 1974 and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas looked to Sutton for the same kind of revitalization when the Razorbacks named him their head coach before the 1974-75 season. The Hogs had not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1958, but under Sutton's guidance, Arkansas posted 17-9 and 19-9 marks his first two seasons before going on to win at least 21 games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the next nine seasons.
While at Arkansas, Coach Sutton was a member of the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee from 1980 until 1985.
His 1977-78 Arkansas team had a 32-4 record and advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Sutton left Arkansas in 1985 for Kentucky, where he promptly guided the Wildcats to a 32-4 record in 1985-86, a No. 3 national ranking and a trip to the final eight of the NCAA Tournament.
At Kentucky, Sutton won two Southeastern Conference championships and was the National Coach of the Year after the 1985-86 season. In his first season at Oklahoma State, Sutton guided the Cowboys to 24 victories, tying the Big Eight record for most wins by a league coach in his first season.
During his tenure at Arkansas and Kentucky, he was a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Board of Directors from 1978-88, and was the president the final year. As president of the NABC, he was one of 24 members that voted on the Basketball Hall of Fame Honors Committee for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Sutton's coaching career began at Oklahoma State as he served as the graduate assistant for Mr. Iba during the 1958-59 season. Sutton then took over at Tulsa Central High School from 1959-66 and had a 119-51 record. He went to Southern Idaho Junior College in 1967 and compiled a three-year record of 83-14 as the head coach.
As a player at Oklahoma State from 1956-58, Sutton was part of the 1958 team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He played guard and averaged 8.3 points per game and led the Cowboys in free throw percentage as a junior (.843).
Coach Sutton has been inducted into several Hall of Fames, including the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (1983), the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor (1995), the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (1996), the Oklahoma State University Hall of Honor (1997), the Creighton University Hall of Fame and the College of Southern Idaho Hall of Fame.
He graduated from Oklahoma State with a bachelor's degree in 1958 and earned a master's from OSU in 1959.
Sutton was born March 12, 1936, in Bucklin, Kan., and attended Bucklin High School before attending Oklahoma State. He is married to the former Patsy Wright and has three sons: Steve, Sean and Scott; three grandsons: Hunter, Spencer, and Steven, Jr.; and one granddaughter, Hallie.
Head Coach, Oklahoma State University, 1990-present
Head Coach, University of Kentucky, 1985-89
Head Coach, University of Arkansas, 1974-85
Head Coach, Creighton University, 1969-74
Head Coach, Southern Idaho Junior College, 1966-69
Head Coach, Tulsa Central High School, 1959-66
Graduate Assistant, Oklahoma State University, 1958-59
Oklahoma State University Varsity, 1956-58
Oklahoma State University Freshman Team, 1955
Oklahoma State University (Bachelor's degree, 1958)
Oklahoma State University (Master's degree, 1959)
Just the third coach in Division I history to reach the 700-win mark in 32 years or less.
Only Dean Smith won more games in his first 32 years as a Division I head coach.
Four-time National Coach of the Year (1977, 78, 86, 95).
Seven-time Conference Coach of the Year (1975, 77, 79, 81, 86, 93, 98).
One of just two coaches nationally to win coach-of-the-year awards in four different conferences.
First coach in NCAA history to lead four different schools to the NCAA Tournament.
Led teams to 23 NCAA Tournament appearances in 32 years, including 12 consecutive from 1977-88.
Six of his teams have finished the season ranked among the nation's top 20, including seven top-10 finishes.
Has produced 22 20-win seasons, including two 30-win seasons.
Has had only one losing season in 32 years as a collegiate coach (13-19 at Kentucky in 1989).
His 24 victories in first season at OSU tied Big Eight record for wins by a first-year league coach.
Has won conference championships in the SEC, SWC and Big Eight and was named Coach of the Year in those three conferences in addition to the Big 12.
Bob Knight is the only active coach that ranks higher in winning percentage and victories.
Ranks fifth among active Division I head coaches in games coached with 980.
Ranks fifth among active head coaches by victories and 11th by percentage.
Ranks 14th all-time in victories and 34th all-time by percentage among all Division I coaches.
Inducted into the OSU Hall of Honor on Oct 24, 1997.
Elected to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
Inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in 1995.
Elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
President of the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1988.
Member of the Board of Directors for the NABC (1978-88).
Member of the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee (1980-85).
Inducted into the Creighton University Hall of Fame and the College of Southern Idaho Hall of Fame.
Active in the Coaches vs. Cancer and the D.A.R.E. program.