Sutton won't remain USF coach beyond this season
Eddie Sutton, who came out of retirement last week to be San Francisco's interim coach, has no intention of remaining on the job permanently.
The program will be in better shape when I leave here than it was when I arrived.
-- Eddie Sutton
"I am giving my walking papers when this season ends," the 71-year-old Sutton said at a Thursday news conference at the Dons' gym. The story was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Sutton, who retired as Oklahoma State's coach after the 2005-06 season, said his priorities remain a pair of fund-raising projects in Oklahoma and spending time with his wife and grandchildren.
San Francisco announced on Dec. 26 that Jessie Evans requested a leave of absence and would step down as basketball coach. The Dons (4-10) have lost their two games with Sutton on the bench. He has 798 victories in 36 seasons as a Division I coach at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State.
The Dons play host to Holy Cross, their final nonconference opponent, on Saturday.
"The program will be in better shape when I leave here than it was when I arrived," Sutton said Thursday, according to the Chronicle.
Sutton retired in May 2006 about three months after a drunken driving accident caused him to miss the Cowboys' final 10 games of the 2005-06 season. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor aggravated drunken driving and two other charges.
His short tenure will make things interesting when it comes to recruiting. Sutton plans to call a list of players in the near future, explaining to them he is the interim coach and determined to bring back some respect to a program that back in the 1950s won consecutive NCAA titles with stars such as Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.
With such limited time, Sutton said he will hold two practices a day whenever possible -- meaning close to seven hours of court time. Sutton knows his team won't compete with Gonzaga and Saint Mary's for the WCC title, but he does think the Dons can win some league games.
"We can out-coach a lot of teams, I believe," senior center Danny Cavic said.
Sutton believes it could be three weeks to a month before the Dons are competitive and more consistent -- though he's already pleased with the improvements he's seeing in the gym each day.
And how about win No. 800?
"It may not come for a while," Sutton said with a grin. "There will be a few more coaches who get 800 but there won't be many."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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