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Jessie Evans Steps Down as USF Men's Basketball Coach

Dec. 26, 2007

Note: Eddie Sutton will take over on the sidelines Friday, December 28 when the Dons travel to Weber State.

San Francisco - University of San Francisco head basketball coach Jessie Evans today announced that effective immediately, he will take a leave of absence from his duties for the remainder of the 2007-08 season.

"Coach Jessie Evans has requested a leave of absence for the remainder of the basketball season," USF Athletic Director Debra Gore-Mann said. "I have approved his request. Eddie Sutton has agreed to serve as Interim Head Coach, effective immediately and for the remainder of the 2007-08 season. I (or someone from the USF athletic administrative staff) will be traveling with the team as much as possible for the immediate future to lend my support to the student-athletes and to assist Interim Coach Sutton in any way I can."

Sutton enters his tenure with the University of San Francisco with 798 career Division I coaching victories after stops at Creighton (1969-74), Arkansas (1974-85) and Kentucky (1985-89) before spending 16 seasons at his alma mater, Oklahoma State (1990-06). With two wins, Sutton will become only the eighth coach in NCAA history to record 800 coaching triumphs and is second only to Texas Tech's Bobby Knight on the career wins chart among active coaches.

One of just two coaches to earn coach of the year accolades in four different leagues, Sutton was named AP National Coach of the Year in 1978 and 1986. Sutton has directed his teams to 26 NCAA Tournament berths including three Final-Four trips (1978, 1995 & 2004).

What They're Saying About Head Coach Eddie Sutton

"What a life changing experience for the USF players to be coached by an all-time great. While not an ideal time to be hired, Coach Sutton is going to excite and energize that entire campus and community. In addition, the staff accompanying him will by season end, have this team headed in the right direction."- Bill Self (Current head coach, Kansas)

"Eddie Sutton is a pioneer of college basketball. He exemplifies a teacher, coach, and role model all in one."- Jerry Tarkanian (Former Fresno State, UNLV, Long Beach State head coach)

"I attribute all my basketball success to the every day lessons I learned from Coach Sutton."- Brooks Thompson (Former player and coach at Sam Houston)

"A father figure that enforced discipline and order embodied with care and endless basketball knowledge."- Joey Grahm (Former player and current member of the Toronto Raptors)

"Coach has done more for his players off the floor than on. That is an amazing accomplishment considering all that he has done throughout his career on the floor."- Doug Gottlieb (Former player and ESPN analyst)

"Eddie Sutton is one of the legends of sport. A man who has won everywhere from Creighton to Arkansas to Kentucky to Oklahoma State. He is a hall of fame caliber coach and is still less than four years removed from the Final-Four. So obviously this is a huge coup for San Francisco and a great development for the West Coast Conference in general."- Gary Parish (CBS Sportsline)