Arkansas has gone and Hogged college coach-of-the-year honors. Hard on the heels of Lou Holtz' recognition --by those who waited until after the bowl doings -- as football's main man, Eddie Sutton has been voted basketball's best in nationwide balloting of sportswriters/casters by The Associated Press.
Sutton took 60 votes, former Marquette assistant Hank Raymonds stepped out of the Al McGuire shadow in his first year as The Analyst's successor at the Warrior helm to draw 37 as runner-up, and Abe Lemons, who directed Texas to a tie with Sutton's Razorbanks in the SWC race, came in third with 33.
Sutton, 26-2 last year and 26-2 this year prior to the current SWC tournament, got his basic training at the knee of an old master: he played guard for Coach Hank Iba at Oklahoma A&M (State now) and worked as a graduate assistant to Iba for a year. . .
P.S. Don't tell anybody in College Park (Greensboro?), but Jacksonville, in firing Don Beasley, says it is going after "an outstanding and successful coach" to bring the school back to national prominence a Ia the Artis Gilmore days. (Beasley says they'd better find some recruiting funds he never was afforded. . . Or that Bradley, terminating Joe Stowell, has placed ads in several newspapers for a coach who can play big-time in Peoria. . . Or that Tennessee's athletic board executive committee will meet next week to decide the future of Ray Mears, the basketball coach whose recurrent emotional exhaustion has reduced, or promoted, him to observer of how well his associate coach, Cliff Wettig, handled the Vols -- big losers this winter. . .
Unbeaten Leon Spinks, in his eight pro bout, won the world heavy-weight championship; unbeaten Sugar Ray Leonard fought his eighth pro bout night before last and hardly anybody outside Dayton, Ohio, knew until much later that he stopped Art McKnight at 1:52 of the seventh round. Somehow, the Leonard publicity mill broke down and word barely leaked out that the Palmer Park pugilist was matched with McKnight -- let alone defeated the Mansfield, Ohio, welterweight whose first loss in 11 profights was a split decision to Roland Pryor on the last D.C. Armory card Feb. 8 (whatever happened to the third "biweekly" Tournament of Future Champions program at Starplex?).
Anyway, 5,453 paid customers saw a pretty even fight through five rounds at Dayton's Hara Arena before Leonard cornered his foe in the sixth and sapped him with a barrage of blows. When McKnight took another bombardment on the ropes in the seventh, referee Pete Rademacher raised Leonard's hand in triump. The Sugar man was cut on the right eyebrow in the third round, but trainer Angelo Dundee got him to a plastic surgeon and one stitch fixed it so Leonard can look ahead to another fight as soon as March 19, opponent to be determined, at New Haven Coliseum -- this time back on TV. . .
Golf: It's said Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago hired Warren Bidwell away from Congressional as course superintendent so he can groom the layout for one of the major championships -- the way the River Road course hired him out of Philadelphia CC in '71 with long-range eyes on the '76 PGA. . . Bill Deck, former Middle Atlantic PGA pro of the year, the old GWU basketballer who was pro at Belair in Bowie for 18 years, has taken over as head professional, general partner and manager of hillsborough at Neshanic Station, N.J., near Princeton. . . At the Manor club in Norbeck, where a Sam Rice corner is filled with baseball memorabilia, a Tuffy Leemans football corner is being furbished for the latest local hall of famer. . . And if you really want to revamp your game this year, try Hog Neck near Easton, Md., on Route 50, Eastern Shore: its scorecard lists all distances in meters (no yards shown). Welcome to 1984.