Sutton Pulls Out Of Wichita State Coaching Search

Wednesday, April 11th 2007, 3:01 pm

By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Scott Sutton, who led Oral Roberts to its first consecutive NCAA tournament berths, said Wednesday he is withdrawing from consideration to be Wichita State's next head coach.

But he left open the possibility he could some day leave Oral Roberts for another job.

"I've always said it would take a special place for me to even consider leaving ORU, or even consider talking to someone," Sutton said Wednesday at a news conference at the Mabee Center. "And I think that shows what type of job I think Wichita State is. I think it's a great job."

Sutton, who has spent his entire coaching career at Oral Roberts, had been contacted by Wichita State on Tuesday, and said he owed it to himself, his staff and his family to listen to the school.

Wichita State is looking for a new coach after Mark Turgeon was hired by Texas A&M on Monday.

Sutton, the son of longtime Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, is 144-102 in eight seasons as Oral Roberts' head coach and has led the Golden Eagles to the past three Mid-Continent Conference regular-season titles and the league's last two tournament championships.

The 36-year-old said he wanted to build on the school's back-to-back NCAA berths.

"I think there's unfinished business here," Sutton said. "There may be a day down the road that I take another job, but right now my focus is trying to make this program and our team the best it can be."

An ORU athletics spokesman said it is likely the school will offer Sutton a contract extension, but those negotiations had started before the Wichita State job opened.

"We're obviously thrilled that Scott has decided to remain at ORU," athletic director Mike Carter said. "He's a big part of our athletic family, and we look forward to watching our men's basketball program continue to grow under his leadership and guidance."

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