March 24, 2011

Sutton finalist for 2011 Skip Prosser Award; Winner to be announced Friday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – After coaching the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team to one of the most successful seasons in program history, recently retired head coach Mike Sutton is being honored as one of 16 finalists for the 2011 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

The formal presentation of the award winner will be made Friday afternoon at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Houston during the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Final Four.

The award was established in 2008 to honor those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who display moral integrity off of it as well. Prosser posted a career record of 291-146 in 14 seasons as a head coach. During his time at Wake Forest, his teams averaged 21 wins per season while playing in arguably the nation's most difficult league, the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"Congratulations to Coach Sutton for being named one of the finalists for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award," said Tennessee Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson. "Mike is recognized as a leader nationally, and has earned this recognition with his dedication to student-athletes.  It would be a wonderful honor for him to win this award the year he retires from collegiate coaching."

Coach Sutton led the 2010-11 squad to his second 20-win season – his first coming in the 2002-03 season - and the fifth ever in program history, finishing the year with a 20-13 overall record. He saw the program to its fifth post-season appearance in school history and first since 2002, as they accepted an invitation to the 2011 College Insider's Tournament (CIT).

The Golden Eagles also advanced to the final round of the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, upsetting no. 1 seeded Murray State and taking on Morehead State in the championship match-up for the first time since 2003.

Tech also had two players named All-OVC for their regular season performances – Junior Kevin Murphy, first-team All-OVC and junior Zac Swansey, All-Newcomer – and saw three named to the OVC All-Tournament team following the conference post-season.

"Coach Sutton has worked tirelessly during his time here to set precedents that Tennessee Tech University will forever strive to maintain, and this honor is yet another of his accomplishments as a college basketball coach," said newly named Tech Head Basketball Coach, Steve Payne. "I know that the Tech community is proud of Coach Sutton as a finalist for this award, and I'm proud to be succeeding him as head basketball coach at Tennessee Tech."

Sutton is joined by 15 other finalists in being honored, with the winner of this year's award to be decided by the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award Selection Committee. The committee includes Jay Bilas (ESPN College Basketball Analyst), Angela Lento and Joe Dwyer (Co-Founders, CollegeInsider.com), and Reggie Minton (Deputy Executive Director, National Association of Basketball Coaches) amongst other college basketball aficionados.

A full list of this year's nominees follows, and includes names like Brad Stevens (Butler), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburg) and Murray Bartow (East Tennessee State), to name a few.

"It is an honor to be included with such an outstanding group of coaches," Coach Sutton emphasized. "I am humbled to even be considered for the award, and appreciative of the outstanding efforts of my players as they are the most important part of our basketball program and made this nomination possible."


  2011 SKIP PROSSER AWARD FINALISTS

Murry Bartow

East Tennessee State

Rick Byrd

Belmont

Jamie Dixon

Pittsburgh

John Dunne

St. Peter's

Jim Engles

N.J.I.T.

B.J. Hill

Northern Colorado

Rob Jeter

Milwaukee

Sydney Johnson

Princeton

Greg Lansing

Indiana State

Jim Larranaga

George Mason

Chris Mack

Xavier

Mike Sutton

Tennessee Tech

Brad Stevens

Butler

Blaine Taylor

Old Dominion

Wayne Tinkle

Montana

Gary Waters

Cleveland State