ORU's Scott Sutton says top assistant leaving for Southern Illinois
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
4/17/12 at 5:02 PM
Oral Roberts head coach Scott Sutton said he is losing a key part of his coaching staff.
Sutton said Tom Hankins, his lead assistant for the past 13 years, is leaving to take a similar job at Southern Illinois University.
SIU hasn’t issued a release, but expects to confirm the hiring in the next few days, said Tom Weber, SIU assistant athletic director for media services.
Such a hire would reunite Hankins, a former Edison standout, with his old ORU boss, Barry Hinson, who was hired last month to head up the SIU program.
Hankins was an ORU assistant during Hinson’s two years as head coach in 1997-99 and remained on as lead assistant when Sutton was elevated as the Golden Eagles’ head coach the following season.
“Obviously, he’s been a big part of our success here for the past 15 years and he’s part of our family,” Sutton said. “We’ll miss him, but I support his decision, and I think he will help Barry rebuild SIU basketball.”
The Salukis’ 8-23 record in 2011-12 was their worst in 26 years, and they haven’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 2007.
Hankins could not be reached for comment. He and Sutton are literally family. They married sisters. Hankins and wife Annie have two daughters and a son.
Hankins primarily coaches big men and works in developing scouting reports and recruiting. He was instrumental in developing the Kansas City pipeline that brought 2012 seniors Dominique Morrison, Michael Craion and Rod Pearson to campus.
The trio helped lead the Golden Eagles to the Summit League regular-season title and a school-record 27 wins at the Division I level.
Morrison was named Summit League player of the year and finished as ORU’s No. 5 career scorer with 2,080 points.