Former Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton will be a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class that will be announced Saturday, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.
It was first reported by the Tulsa World.
The source said the Sutton family is “overjoyed” by the announcement.
The class will be officially announced Saturday (noon ET, ESPN), a day that would have been the start of the Final Four in Atlanta.
Sutton led Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State to the NCAA tournament. Kentucky reached the Elite Eight under Sutton, and he led both Arkansas (1978) and Oklahoma State to the Final Four (1995, 2004).
He is one of 10 Division I coaches with 800 or more career wins — only Bob Huggins and Cliff Ellis have reached the milestone and have yet to be voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 2001, Sutton was the public face of the Oklahoma State community’s recovery following a plane crash that killed eight people, including two players and six people connected to the program.
He is widely respected as one of the top coaches in the history of college basketball, but his case for the Hall of Fame — he’d previously been a finalist multiple times — had been hindered by multiple scandals and experiences with alcoholism.
In 1989, he resigned from Kentucky after then-assistant Dwane Casey had been accused of sending money to top recruit Chris Mills and an entrance exam score for Eric Manuel was questioned. Kentucky was placed on probation for three years and banned from the postseason for two years.
At Oklahoma State, a drunk-driving accident led to his resignation in 2006. He was succeeded by his son, Sean. After the incident, Sutton became an advocate for people suffering from alcoholism and other addictions.
His career officially ended at San Francisco, where he took over midseason and recorded his 800th win during the 2007-08 season as an interim coach.
Sutton, now 84, has dealt with health issues in recent years. He now struggles to speak, per Chris Hunt, a filmmaker who recently completed a documentary, “Eddie: The Costs of Greatness,” about Sutton’s life.