COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Head coach Matt Bragga has completed his coaching staff with the appointment of Donnie Suttles as Tennessee Tech baseball's pitching coach. Suttles will manage the bullpen for the Golden Eagles, handling responsibilities that include handling situational defense situations, mechanics and pitching changes.
"Coach Suttles absolutely blew us away throughout the interview process," Bragga emphasized. "He is an incredible person first and foremost with great character and great priorities. He comes in as our pitching coach, but knows the entire game extremely well. His background in this game as a professional and collegiate player, and his desire to be the best coach he can possibly be, has given him an incredible base of knowledge that he then puts into use with his communication and teaching skills.
"We are blessed to have Coach Suttles as our pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. We are thrilled to have him and his wonderful family join the Tennessee Tech baseball family."
Hailing from Marion, N.C., Suttles comes to Cookeville from TC Roberson High School, where he was the acting head coach from 2007-2010. TC Roberson was ranked within the top five programs in North Carolina by Baseball America from 2007-2010, having climbed as high as the number two spot in 2007 with a 23-4 record.
A member of the Professional Baseball Representatives (PBR), Suttles also acted as the North Carolina State Games coach and developed the North Carolina pro player clinic for players and coaches in 2010.
Prior to his time at TCR, Suttles was the pitching coach at his alma mater, McDowell High School, from 2004-2006, an American Legion Coach from 2003-2006 and an assistant coach at Gardner Webb University from 2003-2004. His coaching experience commenced with his role as a player instructor for the Cleveland Indians' Class A affiliate, the Columbia Redstixx.
Suttles' experience on the diamond goes far beyond coaching however, as he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 12th round of the 1998 MLB First Year Player Draft, following his junior year at Western Carolina University. He was named the most athletic player in the draft for the Indians, the 1998 Top Prospect in the Appalachian League and the 1998 Team Pitcher of the Year, and posted ERA and strikeout stats that ranked fourth and fifth in the minors. In 1999, Suttles pitched the Columbus Redstixx (South Atlantic League) to the first half championship.
At Western Carolina, Suttles was a member of the 1997 Southern Conference regular season and post-season champion team, was named the SoCon pitcher of the week three times, and honored as Pitcher of the Year for the Rocky Mount Rockfish in the CPL Summer League.
"I am looking forward to a great experience with the Tech Baseball Program," Suttles said. "It is a great pleasure to work with leaders like Matt and Larry Bragga, and Justin Hogan. They are not only great people but extremely talented coaches.
"In just a few days of practice I have seen an abundance of talent in these student athletes," he continued. "I look forward to making a run at Omaha with these coaches, players and this University."