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Sean Sutton, Pat Knight prepare for leading roles


May 28, 2004
It didn't surprise me when a recent report indicated that Sean Sutton will eventually take over the Oklahoma State coaching duties from his father, Eddie.

The 35-year-old associate head coach has served 11 years on the Cowboys staff. The younger Sutton is ready for a head-coaching job, and sitting next to his dad has prepared him big-time.

Texas Tech associate head coach Pat Knight also coached under his father, Bob Knight, at Indiana.
I've seen him grow and mature over the years. Sean Sutton has a great understanding of the game. He quarterbacked Kentucky and Oklahoma State as a point guard. In fact, he helped the Cowboys reach the Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons (1991 and '92).

He has been a vital part in every facet of Oklahoma State's success. The younger Sutton has worked on recruiting, X's and O's, practice situations. He has received a clinic on how to coach from one of the best -- his father, a future Hall of Famer.

The question is, when will Eddie Sutton step down?

He just led Oklahoma State to the Final Four, and he's chasing that magical 800-win plateau. He's just 45 wins away from that mark, and no eligible coach has been denied a Hall of Fame berth at 800 Ws.

Rest assured, Eddie Sutton would love to reach that milestone.

At another Big 12 school, there's another "like father, like son" situation: Texas Tech has named Pat Knight associate head coach under his dad, Robert Montgomery Knight.

The Red Raiders have enjoyed three straight 20-win seasons, a first in school history. The younger Knight has an impressive resumé on the sidelines.

After his four-year collegiate playing career, Pat joined the staff of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, where he served as an administrative assistant and scout. In 1997 he was an assistant coach with the Connecticut Pride of the CBA. The following year he assumed the head-coaching responsibilities of the Wisconsin Blast of the IBL.

Then it was back to college, returning to his alma mater as an assistant at Indiana for two years. Then it was one year at Akron before his three-year stint as an assistant coach at Texas Tech. As the Red Raiders' assistant coach, his responsibilities include on- and off-campus recruiting as well as practice and game preparation.

He's getting ready for the opportunity to become a Division I head coach. It's so incredible to see players you watched move on to follow in the footsteps of their loved ones.

It won't be long until Pat Knight brings his wealth of knowledge, passion and special intensity to the sidelines as the head of his own program. He has a way of communicating with athletes.

Sean Sutton and Pat Knight will keep their family names going in the head-coaching world for years to come.

Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he has been an ESPN analyst ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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