Suitts suits WSN boys basketball just fine

Published 7:49 pm Monday, May 28, 2007

By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
W.S. Neal High School's search for a new boys varsity basketball coach ended Thursday when the Escambia County School Board approved the hiring of Tommy Suitts.
The 59-year-old Suitts has 37 1/2 years of coaching experience. Among his coaching stops include head coaching jobs with Rice University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also had an assistant coaching stint at the University of North Alabama.
Suitts, who played for the University of Alabama and graduated from there in 1969, has also had several high schools stops. His most recent position was as the head boys coach at Class 6A member Clay-Chalkville.
Suitts inherits a W.S. Neal program that has lost 29 straight games on the floor. That streak includes all 27 games from this past season although the Blue Eagles officially picked up two forfeit wins over Escambia County.
While Suitts' hiring comes at the end of the school year, Hathcock expects him to be with the W.S. Neal program in time to salvage at least part of a summer program.
Hathcock indicated one big advantage Suitts will have that none of his recent predecessors have had is he will not be involved in a fall sport. Last fall preceding coach Robbie Grace, who is an assistant football coach, had just one week of pratice before the Blue Eagles began regular season play and that week was interrupted by Thanksgiving.
Hathcock indicated Suitts will be coaching a spring sport, but that assignment has not yet been determined.
Suits is expected to arrive at W.S. Neal Tuesday.