Josh Suttles, a proven head coach with experience at the Division I and III levels, has been named the 12th head coach in the history of the women’s basketball program, Director of Athletics Keith Levinthal announced on Friday.
"I could not be more excited for the opportunity to lead the Manhattanville women's basketball program,” Suttles said. “I want to thank Keith Levinthal and the search committee for this opportunity. Manhattanville College is a great place for academics and athletics and we will continue to lead on and off the court. I am excited to get to work and represent a great school like Manhattanville."
Suttles spent last season as an assistant coach at Division I Siena College, working with the Saints’ post players while involving himself in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, scouting, game and practice management, travel and budgets. He previously spent two years as the top assistant at Division I Sacramento State University, where he served as recruiting coordinator for the Hornets and helped to bring in the top recruiting class in school history.
“We are very excited to have a coach of Josh’s caliber coming to Manhattanville,” Levinthal said. “This is a great chance for us to build on the success that the team has achieved in the last few years. Under his leadership, we have the opportunity to move the program in a new direction and gain a new perspective, and I am confident Josh is the person to take on that job.”
Suttles’ most extensive experience—and success—came at SUNY Cobleskill from 2003-09. There he helped transition the Fighting Tigers from the NJCAA to NCAA Division III status and coached the team to the most successful years in program history, posting a 125-44 (.740) record in six years at the helm.
Inheriting a team that had earned nine wins in the previous two years, he guided the team to a program-best 22-6 record in his second season that earned him Mountain Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors. It also started an unprecedented run of four straight 20-win seasons during which the single-season wins record was broken twice more, thanks to a 24-5 mark in 2005-06 and a record-setting 25-5 campaign in 2007-08.
Cobleskill finished the 2005-06 season ranked seventh in the country and was ranked as high as fifth nationally during the school’s final season with the NJCAA.
In his last season with the Fighting Tigers in 2008-09, Suttles guided the program to the Division III level and experienced immediate success, posting a 19-8 mark and earning the North Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season title thanks in large part to the nation’s third-ranked defense. As a result, the team became the first NEAC program to earn a top seed in the ECAC Tournament.
In six years with Cobleskill, Suttles coached two NJCAA All-Americans, seven Academic All-Americans, eight All-Region honorees and 15 All-Conference selections. In four of his first five seasons, Suttles’ team was ranked in the top-three in the NJCAA in scoring defense as well.
“Our players will succeed on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” Suttles added. “I don't want to equate our success with a certain amount of wins this season but, through hard work and smart work, we will be a tough team that no one will want to play.”
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Suttles earned a bachelor’s degree in coaching and sports administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1997 and also earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the school in 2000. He completed his master’s degree in sports administration at Southern Miss in 2001.
Suttles and his women’s basketball team will kick off the 2012-13 season on November 16, when the Valiants travel to Boston for the first of two weekend games at the UMass Boston Tip-Off Tournament. Manhattanville will return home for the first time the following Tuesday, when the squad welcomes neighboring Purchase to Kennedy Gym for a 6 p.m. meeting.