FAYETTEVILLE — Former Arkansas coaches Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton have been named finalists for the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.
The two coaches are among10 finalists for the 2014 class.
The rest of the finalists include: former three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning, NCAA National Championship coach Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s. Previous finalists included again are five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, six-time AAU National Champion Coach Harley Redin and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond.
"We are proud to present a distinguished group of finalists for the Class of 2014 who have made huge strides in the game of basketball," Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a news release. "Each finalist has made a difference to the game in their own way. It’s not going to be easy for the Honors Committee to select the final class members."
Sutton coached at Arkansas for 11 seasons from 1975-85, going 260-75 in his career. He led Arkansas to the NCAA Tournament nine times in 11 years and his 1978 team reached the Final Four. Sutton was named the national coach of the year during a career that also included stops at Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Creighton.
Richardson was hired as Arkansas’ coach following Sutton’s final season and went 389-169 during his 17-year career. He led Arkansas to the NCAA Tournament 13 times, three Final Fours and the program’s only national championship in 1994.
The 2014 class will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four on April 7 prior to the NCAA championship game. Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Hall of Fame.
The 2014 class will be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., in August.