Two Big Speaking Engagements to Put on Calendar: One Basketball (Eddie Sutton), One Ducks (Jerry Jones)

by Jim Harris  on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010 11:31 am  

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We received news Thursday morning of two events with major players coming up in a few weeks that will be worth considering for attendance: The Little Rock chapter of Ducks Unlimited will recognize Marion "Mack" McCollum with the sixth annual Jerry Jones Sportsman's Award on Oct. 26 at Chenal Country Club, and on Nov. 18 the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame honors Joe Kleine with legendary basketball coach Eddie Sutton on hand.

McCollum is a former Game and Fish Commission chairman and the owner of Mack's Prairie Wings in Stuttgart. The award is given annually to notable individuals who have significantly contributed to the sport of duck hunting in the state.

McCollum has been a major contributor to Ducks Unlmited and duck hunting in the Natural State. He is a Life Sponsor of the organization. One of his most recognizable contributions to duck hunting has been his ownership and expansion of Mack's Prairie Wings, an internationally renowned sporting goods establishment. A hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman, McCollum has dedicated his life to enhancing the "outdoors experience" for hunters and fishermen in Arkansas, according to the DU press release.

Past award winners are Jerry Jones (for whom the award is named), former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sheffield Nelson, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and current AGFC Commissioner George Dunklin.

Jerry Jones is tentatively schedule to attend the banquet at Chenal Country Club starting at 6 p.m. to honor McCollum. Former Gov. Huckabee, the second recipient of the award, is also tentatively scheduled to attend. The banquet will include live and silent auctions and is open to the public and to Ducks Unlimited Sponsors. For ticket information and/or sponsorship information, call Brian Minchew at (501) 993-7530, Travis Fortner at (501) 765-0218 or Bob Butler (501) 837-1530.

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Eddie Sutton coached Joe Kleine at Arkansas from 1982-85. Sutton also coached at Kentucky, Oklahoma State and was interim coach for a season at San Fransciso. He was a 1983 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Sutton was just 42 when he took the Razorbacks to the Final Four in 1978.

“When I went there in ’78, I thought, ‘Well, this isn’t that hard,’” Sutton once told the Los Angeles Times. “But it’s hard getting back to the Final Four.”

He would return, in 1995 with Oklahoma State. Coincidentally, Arkansas was on the other side of the bracket in that Final Four at Seattle, playing North Carolina. OSU lost to UCLA, which beat Arkansas two nights later for the national championship, dethroning the Hogs, who were 1994 titlists.

Sutton made it back to the Final Four again with OSU in 2004. His 32-4 Kentucky Wildcats of 1986 came one game away from a Final Four appearance, losing to an LSU team they had beaten three times during the season.

Kleine had a 15-year career in the NBA and is a 2002 inductee into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. He's now an assistant basketball coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The event honoring him will be held at the Jack Stephens Center on the UALR campus.

The event marks the Hall of Fame’s second annual fall salute. Last year the organization honored former Razorback football star Jim Lindsey during an event at Springdale.

Tickets for the Kleine salute are $150 each, and tables for 10 are being sold for $1,500. In addition to Sutton, former coach Pat Foster and former Razorback player Scott Hastings will speak. For tickets, call Catherine Johnson at (501) 821-1021 or e-mail




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