FAYETTEVILLE – Eddie Sutton, the former Arkansas Razorbacks basketball coach, finally and officially will be named today to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, multiple sources reported Friday.
Sutton, 84, compiled an 804-328 record head coaching Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and the University of San Francisco. After five years coaching Creighton in Omaha, Neb. to an 82-50 record in five years capped by a 23-7 season and NCAA Tournament berth for 1973-74, Sutton was hired by the late Arkansas Athletic Director-Head Football Coach Frank Broyles in April, 1974.
Sutton immediately galvanized basketball in a football dominated state following 17-9 and 19-9 seasons with the 26-2, 16-0 SWC champion Razorbacks in 1976-77 fueled by the Fabled Triplets, Naismith Hall of Famer Sidney Moncrief, Ron Brewer and Marvin Delph and eventual fellow Arkansas Sports Hall of Famer and defensive forward Jimmy Counce.
In 1978 with Brewer, Delph and Counce as seniors and Moncrief a junior, the Razorbacks went 32-4, and all the way to the Final Four, losing to eventual national champion Kentucky and then winning the last NCAA Tournament consolation game with Brewer’s buzzer beater beating Notre Dame. Arkansas tied Houston at 14-2 for the SWC championship before its run to the Final Four that included a triumph over 1960s’ and 70’s dominant UCLA.
The Moncrief led 1979 Razorbacks went 25-5, tied for another SWC championship and went to the NCAA Elite Eight losing a heartbreaker to the Larry Bird led Indiana State Sycamores.
From 1979-80 through his final Arkansas seson in 1984-85, Sutton’s Razorbacks, fueled by All-Americans Scott Hastings, Darrell Walker, Alvin Robertson and Joe Kleine among others, won two more SWC titles and were second four times and always in the NCAA Tournament.
Sutton went 260-75 at Arkansas before coaching Kentucky four years to an 88-39 record and two SEC championships before resigning under pressure. He reemerged at Oklahoma State, his alma mater, and from 1991-2006 went 368-151 and twice took the Cowboys to the Final Four.
Two victories shy of 800 career victories when forced to resign after an alcohol related automobile accident, Sutton won his final six games coaching San Francisco in 2007-2008. Sutton previously was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City.