As basketball fans across the country remember the life of Eddie Sutton, many are reflecting on the components of a career that finally in 2020 earned him a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame.
These days after a storied career of his own, former Tulsa radio host John Erling runs a non-profit organization called Voices of Oklahoma which is dedicated to interviewing prominent Oklahomans and documenting an audio narrative of their life. Known for nearly four decades as one of the nation’s best interviewers in talk radio, Erling has now put together a labor of love that includes some of the state’s biggest names. Over the years, Erling has sat down with personalities like evangelist Oral Roberts, country singer and Hee Haw star Roy Clark, Sooners Coach Barry Switzer, and more.
Here are just a few of the snippets from a hall of fame life and career.
1. Eddie Sutton’s Exclusive Club
He would go on to coach at Southern Idaho, Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State. But he left the Cowboys just a few wins short of 800. After the University of San Francisco made a midseason coaching change, Sutton took the Dons through the end of the 2007 season and then retired. With that career, he built an 804-win record, that made him one of only nine coaches to do so. That club includes Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and West Virginia’s Bob Huggins — along with Bob Knight of Indiana and Texas Tech, Dean Smith of North Carolina, Jim Calhoun of Connecticut and Adolph Rupp of Kentucky.
“When I retired from OSU I didn’t think that would ever happen. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Then the athletic director called me from The University of San Francisco. He said they were going to have to make a change and let a coach go,” Sutton remembered. “He asked me if I would come out and finish out the season. I thought about it and my son encouraged me to do it. I ended up going out there and coaching the San Francisco Dons for the last half of the season. I won enough games to win over 800.”
Sutton coached 19 games at the University of San Francisco and finished his career with an 804-328 record.
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