John Sutherland enters his sixth season with the Thundering Herd as an assistant coach. After many successful seasons around the country in the game of women's basketball, Sutherland has settled in as a valuable asset to the Marshall program, both on and off the floor. From marketing Marshall women's basketball to the Tri-State community to coaching the Herd's post players, Sutherland's duties at MU are extensive.
Sutherland, 47, owns a wealth of coaching experience. The Cleveland, Ohio, native spent five seasons (1996-01) as the head coach at New Mexico State University prior to joining Royce Chadwick's Marshall staff in 2001. He previously served as head coach at the University of Arkansas for nine seasons and spent three years as an assistant at Notre Dame.
Sutherland's recruiting connections helped land the Herd's first ever top-40 recruiting class in 2001, his first year at Marshall. His main coaching responsibility at MU is that of the Herd's post players. Sutherland coached 2002-03 All-Mid-American Conference player Catie Knable, who also won the league's rebounding championship on the way to becoming Marshall's second most prolific rebounder of all-time. This season he has the luxury of coaching one of Conference USA's dominating centers in Modupe Ishola. The senior has rapidly ascended the Marshall record books and will likely finish in the school's top-five in rebounds and blocked shots.
Ishola and former Herd forward Crystal Champion flourished under Sutherland's tutelage. Both ranked in the top-15 in rebounding in C-USA last season while Ishola led the league in field goal percentage. Champion finished her sophomore season fourth in the MAC in rebounding to go along with nearly 10 points per game en route to an honorable mention All-MAC nod in 2005.
"John knows every aspect of the business," head coach Royce Chadwick said. "He brings outstanding knowledge of basketball as well as the day-to-day operations of a top-flight program. He has experienced it all and I gain daily from that knowledge."
Before coming to Marshall, Sutherland spent five seasons at the helm of the Aggie program, where he compiled a 45-88 record and led NMSU to two postseason tournament appearances. During the 2000-01 season, he surpassed the 200 career win mark.
During his three seasons as an assistant at Notre Dame, Sutherland served as a top recruiter for the Fighting Irish, while assisting with day-to-day office operations, scouting and on-the-floor coaching duties. Notre Dame compiled a 66-25 record during his time in South Bend, Ind., including a 28-6 mark in the 1995-96 season. The Irish also notched its first ever NCAA Tournament win under Sutherland's watch, on the way to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Sutherland left Arkansas after nine seasons as the winningest coach in school history - he now stands at No. 2 - by guiding the Razorbacks to a 174-88 record. The Razorbacks' phenomenal success during Sutherland's tenure catapulted UA to five postseason appearances. He led Arkansas to two SWC Championships, was named the Southwest Conference Coach of the Year three times and was honored as the ¬Women's Basketball Coaches Association of America's District VI Coach of the Year in 1991.
Sutherland is a 1981 graduate of Kent State University and served as a volunteer assistant with the Golden Flashes between 1981 and 1984. He earned his master's degree in athletic administration from Marshall in 2006.
Sutherland is married to the former Suzanne Wikman. The couple has three sons--Josh (18), Sean (12), and Isaac Anthony (4).