One of the most popular and most decorated players in the history of Green Wave baseball, Chad Sutter is in the ninth season of his third stint at Tulane and begins his fifth season as associate head coach and pitching coach.
A 2004 inductee into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame and the number nine all-time home run hitter in NCAA history, Sutter also helps with recruiting efforts in addition to his mentoring of the Green Wave pitching staff. Following an outstanding playing career from 1996-99, Sutter returned to the Tulane dugout as a graduate assistant in 2001 and served as the team's pitching coach in 2002 and 2003. From there, he spent a year as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at UNLV before returning to his alma mater in 2005.
Sutter's pupils with the Green Wave dot the Tulane record book, including 2005 All-Americans Brian Bogusevic and Micah Owings, along with 2003 Freshman All-American J.R. Crowel and the top two closers all-time in Conference USA and Tulane, Daniel Latham (43 saves) and Nick Pepitone (31).
All told, Sutter's pitchers have claimed All-America honors twice and earned All C-USA honors on 11 occasions. Despite having so many players move on to pro baseball, the Green Wave pitching staffs have been dominant under Sutter's tutelage, consistently ranking among the league leaders in ERA, strikeouts and victories.
Sutter has tutored both the pitchers and the hitters during his time in the Olive and Blue and helped the Green Wave improve their patience at the plate, leading C-USA in walks in 2009. Under his tutelage, five players from the Tulane offense earned spots in major league organizations, including New York-Penn League All-Star Sam Honeck and third-round draft pick Josh Prince. All-American third baseman Rob Segedin was picked in the third round by the New York Yankees in 2010 and posted just the fifth season batting average of better than .400 in Tulane history, hitting a blistering .434 during the 2010 slate.
Including his playing days, Sutter has spent over a decade at Tulane and has enjoyed success in each of his previous two stints in The Big Easy. As a student-athlete, he was a four-time All-Conference USA honoree, won the league's inaugural Freshman of the Year title in 1996, and became the first player to earn both Freshman and Player of the Year honors during their career. As a player, graduate assistant and pitching coach, he has helped the Green Wave win four regular-season league championships and five C-USA Tournament titles, was a key contributor to eight NCAA Regional berths--including a trio of No. 1 seeds--and trips to the College World Series in 2001 and 2005.
In nine years as a collegiate coach, Sutter has helped 50 players reach the professional level, including 26 that had never been previously drafted. The Kennesaw, Ga. native has also tutored four first rounder draft picks (Jake Gautreau in 2001, Michael Aubrey in 2003, Brian Bogusevic in 2005 and Shooter Hunt in 2008).
His 2005 staff set a team record for strikeouts (579) and saves (22) and tied the team record for wins while claiming 16 national, conference and state pitcher of the week titles.
While with the Rebels in 2004, Sutter helped guide UNLV to the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Palo Alto Regional. In addition, his efforts as a recruiter did not go unnoticed as the 2004 UNLV early signing class ranked No. 8 in the nation by Baseball America.
Prior to his venture out West, Sutter coached the pitchers at Tulane for two years. In 2003, Sutter guided the Green Wave's pitching staff to a 4.10 team ERA with six freshmen tallying more than 30 innings. Two of those freshmen earned Freshman All-America honors while Crowel was tagged C-USA Freshman of the Year.
In 2002, his first year as the pitching coach, Sutter's pupils Nick Bourgeois and Beau Richardson were drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, marking the first time since 1994 that two Green Wave hurlers were selected in the MLB draft.
While 2002 was his first year as a pitching coach, Sutter has a wealth of knowledge about the position after catching a trio of All-Americans as a collegian. He is also able to draw on the knowledge of his father, Hall of Fame closer Bruce Sutter, who starred for 13 years in the major leagues in Atlanta, Chicago - where he won the 1979 Cy Young Award - and St. Louis - where he helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series.
As a graduate assistant at Tulane in 2001, Sutter coached the catchers, assisted with hitting and served as the team's first base coach. He helped guide the team to its first postseason trip to Omaha and helped the Green Wave set school records in wins (56), hits (844), runs scored (639), RBI (587) and stolen bases (146), while finishing second in batting average (.338) and second in doubles (149). Offensive prowess is nothing new to Sutter, however. One of the most accomplished hitters in Tulane history, Sutter completed his career as the Green Wave's home run and RBI king with 75 and 280, respectively.
As a senior, he earned first-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and College Baseball Insider while picking up second-team recognition from Baseball Weekly and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He earned all-conference honors all four years as a collegiate athlete, earning first-team honors as a sophomore and senior, second-team honors as a junior and garnering honorable-mention recognition as a freshman.
As a rookie in 1996, Sutter earned Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. He still holds the league record for career home runs, RBI and total bases while ranking third all-time in hits and fourth in runs scored. Following the 1999 season, Sutter was drafted in the 23rd round by the New York Yankees and went on to play one year with the organization's Staten Island affiliate.
A native of Kennesaw, Ga., Sutter completed his degree in social science from Tulane in August 2000. He is married to the former Kasey Sheffield, a 2000 graduate of Tulane and native of Slidell. The couple has one daughter, Riley, and one son, Calen, and resides in Mandeville.