Sutton was a standout as a player, coach, and person

John
John Browne
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OBITUARY

As good a teacher and coach as Clarence Sutton was, he was an even better friend, says former Memorial Sea-Hawks basketball star John Devereaux.

Sutton, 46, died Tuesday night of brain cancer.

The Trepassey native was a physical education teacher and basketball coach for over 21 years.

A one-time Sea-Hawks player (1984-85), Sutton was a three-time MVP and five-time all-star in provincial men's basketball and a three-time MVP and six-time all-star in the St. John's senior league.

Clarence Sutton

As good a teacher and coach as Clarence Sutton was, he was an even better friend, says former Memorial Sea-Hawks basketball star John Devereaux.

Sutton, 46, died Tuesday night of brain cancer.

The Trepassey native was a physical education teacher and basketball coach for over 21 years.

A one-time Sea-Hawks player (1984-85), Sutton was a three-time MVP and five-time all-star in provincial men's basketball and a three-time MVP and six-time all-star in the St. John's senior league.

He both played for and coached Newfoundland and and Labrador Canada Games entries and has long been recognized as one of the best-ever high school coaches this province has ever produced. His St. Kevin's girls' team once won 125 games in a row.

"Clarence taught me in Grade 10 at Stella Maris and we became close friends over the years," explained Devereaux. "We'd travel from Trepassey to St. John's twice a week to play in the local senior league, so we got to know each other after spending a lot of time together.

"He was definitely what you'd call a players' coach. He got to know each person individually and he knew how to deal with the people on an individual basis. He had time for each and every player on the team whether you were the star or the last person on the bench. He made everyone feel a major part of the team.

"Even if you weren't talking about basketball, he was a great listener. I never heard anyone who played for Clarence having anything bad to say about him. Everyone loved him."

Devereaux described Sutton as quiet, even shy.

"But when he spoke everyone listened.," he said. "And he was very funny. He had dry sense of humour and that's what I'll remember about him,

"When I was playing with MUN, the first call I get when I got home was from Clarence telling me what I did right and what I had to work on," said Devereaux, who played for the Sea-Hawks in the 1990s. "He never missed one of my games at university and I'm sure that was the same with a lot of people he coached.

"He got a lot of support over the last few months from people he taught at Stella Maris, St. John Bosco and St. Kevin's," added Devereaux.

"He was a competitor on the floor. He didn't like to lose. But off the floor, you'd never know he was a player."

Devereaux said Sutton will be remembered as "a great teacher and player, and for passing on his love for the game."

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Sea-Hawks

Geographic location: Trepassey, St. John's, Newfoundland

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  • Ashley
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    As a student of Mr. Sutton, I can say on behalf of all of us that Clarence was an inspiring man. He believed in every individual, although many did not believe in themselves. He never made anyone feel left out if they did not want to participate and always encouraged students to do their best. Mr. Sutton is an idol among the students of St. Kevin's and I am honored to have him teach me last year. Basketball has lost one of it's key members as it was one thing that Mr. Sutton lived for. We all love him and know that god must have needed an angel like him to stand beside him. God bless friends and family of the deceased and I hope everyone realizes what a powerful man Clarence was.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I am completely shocked to hear that Clarence Sutton has died. I basically knew CLarence through basketball and as a casual aquaintance around Memorial University. I think John is right in saying that off the court you would never say he was such a talent on the court but he was.

    I remember playing 3 on 3 against Clarence at MUN and sometimes I would almost beat him but when the game was on the line he always seemed to know what your next move would be. He would make the stop and promply sink the winning basket. He reminded of another great athlete and person who we lost at a very young age and that was Dickie Power.

    It is unfortunate because I am sure he still had a lot to give to the development of the sport in Newfoundland. My condolences to the family and the basketball community in Newfoundland.

    John Poirier

  • Bonnie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    John said it all....Clarence was a great man and I have many memories of him. He will be missed. I'm blessed to say I've known him. Thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.

  • Ashley
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    As a student of Mr. Sutton, I can say on behalf of all of us that Clarence was an inspiring man. He believed in every individual, although many did not believe in themselves. He never made anyone feel left out if they did not want to participate and always encouraged students to do their best. Mr. Sutton is an idol among the students of St. Kevin's and I am honored to have him teach me last year. Basketball has lost one of it's key members as it was one thing that Mr. Sutton lived for. We all love him and know that god must have needed an angel like him to stand beside him. God bless friends and family of the deceased and I hope everyone realizes what a powerful man Clarence was.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    I am completely shocked to hear that Clarence Sutton has died. I basically knew CLarence through basketball and as a casual aquaintance around Memorial University. I think John is right in saying that off the court you would never say he was such a talent on the court but he was.

    I remember playing 3 on 3 against Clarence at MUN and sometimes I would almost beat him but when the game was on the line he always seemed to know what your next move would be. He would make the stop and promply sink the winning basket. He reminded of another great athlete and person who we lost at a very young age and that was Dickie Power.

    It is unfortunate because I am sure he still had a lot to give to the development of the sport in Newfoundland. My condolences to the family and the basketball community in Newfoundland.

    John Poirier

  • Bonnie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    John said it all....Clarence was a great man and I have many memories of him. He will be missed. I'm blessed to say I've known him. Thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.