Eddie Can Tie Mr. Iba

Eddie Sutton never dreamed when he began his college coaching career at Creighton with an 84-64 victory over Wisconsin-Oshkosh back in 1969 that he would be chasing Henry Iba on the all-time winningest coaches list.

But that's the case for the 68-year-old Sutton, who can tie Mr. Iba for seventh place on the victory list when the sixth-ranked Cowboys (11-1) face Missouri (9-5) tonight at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tipoff for the Big 12 Conference game is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Sutton has 766 career wins (766-293 overall record) during a 35-year collegiate coaching career. Iba won 767 games during his coaching career. Sutton began the season 10th on the all-time winning list but surpassed Ed Diddle of Western Kentucky (759 wins) in the Cowboys' 81-29 victory over Washington State in December.

After passing Iba to move into seventh place on the list, Sutton will trail current New Mexico State head coach Lou Henson who is sixth on the list with 779 victories. Lefty Driesell is fifth with 786 wins.

Sutton played for Iba at then Oklahoma A&M from 1956-58 and then became a graduate assistant to Iba for a year. His first head coaching position was at Tulsa Central High School where he compiled a 119-51 record from 1959-66. He moved to Southern Idaho Junior College for three seasons (83-14) before being named head coach at Creighton in 1969.

Sutton told the Tulsa World last week that when a student does well it is a compliment to the teacher – in this case Iba.

"I think you wold have to look at it that way," Sutton said in the Tulsa World interview. "Certainly this would not be possible if I hadn't had him as a coach and learned the things he taught me. I give him a lot of credit for him helping me establish the philosophy I have of how to coach the game."

Nearly 44 percent of those 766 victories have come in the last 15 years while he's patrolled the sidelines as head coach of the Cowboys. Sutton's teams have won 336 games, while losing but 129, since he returned as head coach at OSU in 1990.

This year's senior-dominated squad has a chance to be one that Sutton remembers for a long time. The Cowboys are trying to duplicate last season's run when they won the Big 12 regular season title, captured the Big 12 postseason tournament and then made a run to the Final Four.

Senior point guard John Lucas leads the Big 12 in scoring (18.9 points) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9). Seniors Joey Graham (18.4 points and 6.8 rebounds) and Ivan McFarlin (11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds) have contributed significantly to the Cowboys' success.

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