CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Veteran basketball coach Tommy Suitts, a former head coach at Rice and Chicago State, has been named an assistant basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University.
"Coach Suitts is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff," said Southeast head coach Scott Edgar. "I have known him for close to 30 years and consider him a great friend who is loyal and trust worthy. Coach Suitts is a tremendous coach with 40 years coaching experience including 17 at the collegiate level and nine as a collegiate head coach.
"Coach Suitts is very familiar with the basketball tradition at Southeast Missouri State, having served as an assistant coach at North Alabama when they won the Division II national championship in 1979. He has an overall record of 505-364 as a collegiate assistant and head coach."
Suitts began his collegiate coaching career in 1974 as an assistant at his alma mater, the University of Alabama. He was an assistant for two years under legendary coach C.M. Newton and helped the Crimson Tide to two Southeastern Conference titles. Suitts spent four seasons as an assistant and chief recruiter at North Alabama and helped the Lions to three Division II final four appearances.
Awarded top defensive honors as a senior at Alabama, Suitts became an assistant coach at Rice in 1979 and moved up to head coach in 1981. His first team at Rice won the Rainbow Classic Championship with wins over 18th ranked North Carolina State and 4th ranked San Francisco. Suitts' teams at Rice defeated six nationally ranked teams.
From 1987 to 1990, Suitts served as the head coach at Chicago State. He brought the new Division I program with only five scholarships to a 12 win season in only two years and graduated more student-athletes than all other athletic programs at the school combined.