his first love was basketball
took Gallatin County to
Sweet Sixteen Tournament
Helen E. McKinney
WARSAW, Ky. (March 2010) During his colorful
career as a high school coach, Charles Jock Sutherland took
Gallatin County to the Sweet Sixteen in 1959. Basketball had always
been his first love, one with which he never could sever ties.
Born on March 14, 1928, Sutherland grew up near the University of Kentuckys
Alumni Gym and Memorial Coliseum. This geographical placement took effect
on Sutherland, molding him for a future that would place him forever
amidst his passion, basketball.
At a young age, Sutherland would often sneak into Alumni Gym to watch
Kentucky basketball practices conducted by legendary coach Adolph Rupp.
Little did he dream he would one day be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic
Hall of Fame in 1999.
Jock Sutherland will
hold a book signing
at the Gallatin Co.
Public Library on
Knowing a thing or two about basketball, Sutherland played
high school basketball at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Ky., under
Coach Ralph Carlisle. He started there as a sophomore in 1945, and two
years later as a senior he was the teams leading scorer. Encouraged
by Carlisle, Sutherland decided to become a high school coach and went
on to become one of the most successful coaches in Kentucky High School
Sutherland proceeded to the college level by becoming an assistant coach
under C.M. Newton at the University of Alabama. While there he made
headlines in 1969 when he recruited Wendell Hudson, the first black
student to participate in varsity sports for the university.
He returned to Lafayette as a teacher and coach for 14 years. His Lafayette
team won the state tournament in 1979, after which Sutherland retired
from coaching. For the next 20 years, he worked as a Basketball Color
Analyst for the University of Louisville Cardinals on WHAS sports broadcasts.
A new book has been written about Sutherland: Jock: A Coachs
Story, by Stuart Warner. Both men will appear for a discussion
and book signing at 7 p.m. on March 11 at the Gallatin County Public
Library, located at 209 W. Market St., in Warsaw.
Warner said the book started out to be one thing 30 years ago.
He said Sutherland is a colorful character and he had written seven
or eight chapters on the book before stopping.
He took the project up a few years ago in March 2007 when he went to
meet former players from the Gallatin High School team. He was
still Coach to them, said Warner. He made them young again.
Warner said finishing the book was something he knew he needed to do
to get deeper into this person and his impact on young boys.
He wanted to present a fuller picture of a man who had touched
a lot of lives.
Warner met Sutherland during a brief stint as a player at Lafayette.
Sutherland left to go to Alabama and Warner became a sportswriter for
the local paper after graduating. Over the years, Warner said he became
better as a writer, one that could now provide a more in-depth picture
of a man who had inspired so many around him.
Warner said the book was a joint project. The coach played a big
part throughout the entire project.
The man who became a father-figure to so many over the years grew up
without a father, said Warner. Sutherlands father, an alcoholic,
left when he was only 2 months old.
But Sutherland had a great effect on all those around him. Monty Roberts
was one of the players on the Gallatin High School team in 1959. He
said that after he graduated, My dad and the Coach were the two
men I modeled my life after. Jock pushed me outside my limits.
Roberts, 69, has contacted all of his former teammates and hopes they
will all attend the book signing to support Sutherland. We love
him, said Roberts. Sutherland will celebrate his 82nd birthday
on March 14.
He was pretty strict when we were playing ball, said Roberts.
But he did us a favor. Roberts said Sutherland would explain
he was strict because he was trying to pull the potential out
of his players.
Roberts has read Jock: A Coachs Story and said the
book is very touching. Its a good coaching story. There
are moments when it brought tears to my eyes.
For more information, contact the Gallatin
County Public Library at (859) 567-2786. Light refreshments will be
served. The 270-page book is available through local bookstores, online
through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, from Sutherlands website
or directly from the publisher at www.windpub.com/books/jock.htm.
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