Sutton, Players Honored at Sports Dinner

LEGENDARY COACH: Eddie Sutton holds a trophy after recording 700 wins at Oklahoma State. He went on to garner 804 wins in his career. Sutton will be honored at the annual Tustenugee Awards taking place on Aug. 2 for his contributions.

Courtesy Tulsa Sports Charities

Baylor star Quincy Acy received the Eddie Sutton Tustenugee Award at the Tulsa Sports Charities Legends in Sports dinner Aug. 2 at the Southern Hills Marriott. The Tustenugee Award is given to the player who best exhibits the traits of tenacity and unselfishness that Sutton advocated throughout a 37-year Division I coaching career. Matt Howard of Butler University received the first Eddie Sutton Tustenugee Award, in 2011.

In the language of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, one of the Five Civilized Tribes that settled in Oklahoma, “tustenugee” means “warrior.” The award is sponsored by the John and Jerry Marshall Foundation. John Marshall was a roommate of Sutton at .

Acy was among five finalists selected by a national panel of media members, headed by ESPN’s Doug Gottleib, according to Tommy Thompson, executive director of Tulsa Sports Charities. The remaining finalists were Jae Crowder, Marquette; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky; Tu Holloway, Xavier (Ohio); and Rob Jones, St. Mary’s (Calif.).

The dinner also honored Sutton, the former Oklahoma State coach and College Basketball Hall of Fame member who retired with 804 collegiate wins.

Sutton played for Henry Iba at Oklahoma State (Oklahoma A&M until his senior year of 1957-58) and took the first steps on his coaching journey at Tulsa Central (1959-66).

The journey took him to Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and the University of San Francisco. He has the rare distinction of having taken two schools (Arkansas and Oklahoma State) to the Final Four, and he was the first coach to lead four schools to the Tournament.

It was at his alma mater that Sutton enjoyed his greatest success. Returning in 1990, Sutton was faced with the challenge of restoring the honor and tradition of Cowboy basketball that had been dormant in the years leading up to his hiring.
During his 17 years at the helm, the Cowboys played in the Tournament 13 times and went to the Final Four twice. He is the second-winningest coach in school history, behind only his mentor, Henry Iba, with a record of 368-151.

Sutton was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
The Larry W. Brummett Courage Award also will be presented during the Legends dinner to an athlete who has overcome physical adversity with determination and spirit. Brummett was chairman, president and chief executive officer of ONEOK from June 1994 until his death in August 2000.        

Thompson says proceeds from the dinner will benefit Thunderbird Youth Academy in Pryor, in addition to helping fund three scholarships. Tulsa Sports Charities has endowed scholarships in the names of Bill and Nita Connors for Oklahoma State University, Dr. George Maurerman for the University of Tulsa, and Wayman Tisdale for the University of Oklahoma through the OU Club of Tulsa.

Updated 08-15-2012

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