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Former Wildcats, sports figures pay their respects to Eddie Sutton

It’s a sad day in the sports world, and the basketball community continues to pay its respects to the late Eddie Sutton. The Hall of Fame coach died Saturday evening at the age of 84. Although his four seasons at Kentucky were far from perfect, he left a lasting impression on his former players and other important figures from across the basketball community. Today, those figures are remembering the life and legacy of Coach Sutton.

WKYT sports reporter Alex Walker dug up this video from the station’s archives, showing Rob Bromley’s introductory conversation with Sutton after he was named Kentucky basketball’s head coach. Coach Sutton was thrilled to get the call.

“I was so thrilled when the president [Otis A. Singletary] and [Athletic Director] Cliff [Hagan] called me yesterday. They interviewed me, and then they called me back about two hours later,” Sutton recalled. “Dr. Singletary said we’d like for you to be our basketball coach. And I said I would crawl all the way from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Lexington to be your coach. This is the best coaching job, in my opinion, in the country.”

Later in his career, he took his team to country music star Waylon Jennings’s Nashville home before UK’s matchup against Vanderbilt. Waylon’s young son had become a big Kentucky fan, so Sutton and the team enjoyed a meal with the family during their stay in Music City in 1988.

Throughout his time in the Bluegrass, Sutton also hosted a TV show with WKYT’s Rob Bromley titled the “Eddie Sutton Show.”

Here’s an episode from 1987, where the duo discusses the Cats’ recent performances, including the UK Invitational Tournament win.

Several former Wildcats posted tributes to their head coach on Twitter.

Other UK figures also reacted to the news on social media, including current head coach John Calipari.

Several national voices also commented on Sutton’s life and legacy.

Current ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes played under Coach Sutton at the University of Arkansas before ultimately joining his staff as an assistant coach at Kentucky from 1987-89.

May he rest in peace.

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

4 Comments for Former Wildcats, sports figures pay their respects to Eddie Sutton

  1. Bluehender
    12:50 pm May 24, 2020 Permalink

    Great to see the touching tributes here. He was a great coach…and he was a Wildcat. RIP Coach Sutton…

  2. UKgrad80
    2:34 pm May 24, 2020 Permalink

    Thanks thoroughly enjoyed watching that and seeing the Wildcats back then. What about those uniforms looked so great without those hideous checkerboards!!!

  3. ukkatzfan
    4:38 pm May 24, 2020 Permalink

    Last season when the troubles were all out and the team was playing below their level, they had a road game against Syracuse. It was a day game at the Carrier Dome (?) with the Sunlit ceiling. Was the highlight of that season for me, Cats had a 5 on ZERO break with Rex, LeRon, Manuel and 2 others. Only time I ever seen a 5 on zero break and it was very likely the top 3 UK team with ‘15 and ‘96. For a couple seconds, I seen what should have been. I believe he loved the game as much as anyone. RIP Coach.

  4. BigBlueFoo42777
    10:16 am May 25, 2020 Permalink

    It takes someone willing to sacrifice alot to be the head coach at UK. Sutton was no exception. RIP coach. Very little love has been thrown his family’s way from the bbn. Thanks to the Sutton family and all the charity work you did while you were here and after you moved on.