COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech basketball coach Mike Sutton was one of six coaches nominated for the 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards. This award, viewed as a 21st century peace prize, honors and recognizes individuals, businesses, athletes, coaches, sports teams, entertainers and schools around the world for their positive contributions.
Nominations were made by non-profit organizations that have benefitted from the unselfish financial and endorsement involvement of coaches around the world. Will Partin of G.O. Ministries nominated Sutton following Tech’s participation in a pre-season foreign goodwill tour in the Dominican Republic.
Sutton joins five other NABC coaches nominated for this year's award in Bill Self (University of Kansas), Scott Nagy (South Dakota State University), Ron Hunter (IUPUI), John Calipari (University of Kentucky), and Glenforest High School Coach William Knopf.
The 2010 Positive Peace Award nominees are judged by the United Nations NGO Voting Academy comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs, such as Rotary International, Pathways to Peace, and Sister Cities International. The Voting Academy will use an established criteria of an athlete's community involvement and impact on their community to determine this year's winner.
"Celebrate Positive congratulates these coaches for exemplifying what giving back to the community means" said Scott Pederson, President and CEO, Celebrate Positive. "Not only are these great coaches, but they are wonderful role models as well. They make the world a more positive place in which to live."
Sutton’s love of the game of basketball and passion for coaching so obviously translates into his advocacy work with the GBS Foundation and any community organization that has the benefit of his support and generosity.
In addition to the recent work that he and his staff have done in the Dominican Republic, the TTU head coach has been very active with the Guillain Barre Syndrome Foundation, after being suddenly bedridden with the disease in July of 2005. He has spoken about GBS and his recovery as part of the GBS/CIDP Foundation 5K and Miracle Mile in Charlotte, North Carolina – “the Foundation is the only volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and improving the quality of live for patients and their families who are stricken with GBS, CIDP and their variants,” said Patricia A. Bryant, Executive Director of
GBS/CIDP Foundation International.
“This nomination is quite an honor, and to just be mentioned in the same sentence with these other coaches is an enormous tribute in itself,” Sutton said. “Since being stricken with Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) in 2005 I have received tremendous support from both the coaching and university communities as well as the general public. The support of all these people reinforces my commitment to assisting the less fortunate who face disability and handicapped issues in their daily lives.
“The trip we took to the Dominican Republic hosted by Will Partin and G.O. Ministries this past summer allowed the young men in our program a chance to see how blessed we all are and how important it is to give back and serve which promotes peace and goodwill wherever we may be,” Sutton added.
Links to videos documenting Coach Sutton’s remarkable bout with GBS, as well as highlights of the team’s trip to the Dominican are available below.