New University of Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings last week announced the hiring of former Georgetown assistant men’s basketball coach Kevin Sutton who spent the past three seasons on The Hilltop.
Prior to Georgetown, Sutton spent two seasons on Mike Lonergan’s staff at George Washington and also had a pair of two-year stints as an assistant coach at both James Madison and Old Dominion.
Although Sutton has coached nearly a decade on the Division I collegiate level, he has quite a bit of experience coaching elite high school basketball.
Over the years, Sutton has coached five nationally-ranked high school programs: Flint Hill Prep, Harker Prep, St. John’s Prospect Hall, Montrose Christian and Montverde Academy.
Sutton played for Stu Vetter at Flint Hill before earning a scholarship to James Madison. After his playing days at JMU, Sutton became a graduate assistant under then-head coach John Thurston.
“He fit in better with us than he did with the coaching staff,” said Doug Lowrey, a former Gaithersburg High School standout who played three years at James Madison. “He always related well to people. He was a nice guy.”
I met Sutton during the 1999-00 season when he was building the Montrose Christian boys’ basketball program on Randolph Road in Rockville. I remember college coaches making frequent visits to Montrose to scout their players. In fact, I remember one day in particular when then-N.C. State head coach Herb Sendek and assistant Sean Miller showed up at the school to look at one of Montrose’s top prospects – Levi Watkins who earned Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year honors and eventually signed with the Wolfpack.
After Montrose, Sutton left the area for a spot on Jeff Capel Sr.’s staff at Old Dominion. He later returned to Maryland where he took over the program at Bishop McNamara in Prince George’s County and had an opportunity to coach in the ultra-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
During his tenure at McNamara, Sutton coached a point guard by the name of Ty Lawson who would later emerge into one of the nation’s most sought after recruits at Oak Hill Academy. As a college junior, Lawson led North Carolina to the NCAA championship in 2009 and was an NBA first round draft pick that year.
Over the years, Sutton has built a reputation of being an outstanding teacher of the game of basketball and has literally helped dozens of student-athletes earn college scholarships.
Some of the notable former players Sutton helped develop include George Lynch (North Carolina), Randolph Childress (Wake Forest), Cory Alexander (Virginia) and Nate James (Duke) along with current NBA players such as Bradley Beal and Austin Rivers.
“I got to know Kevin in 2007-08 when we were recruiting one of his players out of Montverde Academy,” said Stallings, a former head coach at Vanderbilt. “He has a wealth of experience and is an excellent teacher and mentor. Kevin is well connected in the recruiting world particularly at the prep school level and within the ACC footprint. When you ask people in the profession about Kevin the feedback is extremely positive and flattering. I am very excited to have him on our staff.”
It’s only a matter of time before Sutton becomes a Division I head coach and you can bank on that.
You can contact Brandy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.