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Eddie Sutton, longtime college basketball coach, dies at 84

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Eddie Sutton, a Hall of Fame basketball coach who led Oklahoma State to 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, died Saturday in Tulsa. He was 84.

Sutton had been in declining health for several years, although he would occasionally attend OSU games, sitting courtside in a wheelchair. The OSU alum and former player under coach Henry Iba, spent the 1990-2006 seasons as the Cowboys’ coach.

Sutton’s teams at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and San Francisco, compiled an 806-326 record over 37 seasons. He took three teams — Arkansas (1978) and OSU (1995, 2004) — to the Final Four. Sutton was also a two-time Associated Press National Coach of the Year (1978, 1986).

He was inducted into the the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2020, joining other legends such as the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kim Mulkey. Sutton, whose 800 wins rank 11th all-time in college basketball history, only had one losing season during his career. 

A native of Bucklin, Kansas, Sutton played for then-Oklahoma A&M from 1956-58. He averaged 8.1 points and as a junior and 8.3 points as a senior. He helped lead the Aggies to 21 wins and the NCAA Tournament in 1958.

The Sutton family released a statement late Saturday night:

“Our beloved Dad and Papa Coach Eddie Sutton, age 84, passed away peacefully of natural causes the evening of May 23rd at his home in South Tulsa. He was surrounded by his 3 sons and their families, which include his 9 adoring grandchildren. He is reunited with his number 1 assistant, his bride Patsy Sutton, who passed away in January of 2013 after 54 years of marriage.”

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