The first men’s golf coach in FGCU history until this point, Dr. Jim Suttie will now instruct both the men’s and women’s squads, while assisting in fundraising for both programs in his new role of Director of Golf Operations.
“We are so fortunate to be able to maintain Doc’s fantastic services in this new role as our Director of Operations for both programs,” Kavanagh stated. “We are excited to continue to have his top-15 nationally acclaimed teaching expertise benefitting our student-athletes and assisting both Coach Spero and Coach Jensen. Further, in working with Butch Perchan with our development initiatives, his numerous connections are invaluable in our pursuit of further enhancing our abilities to generate the much needed additional resources to help our programs grow into the national contenders we desire to be.”
During his 10 years at the helm of the FGCU men’s golf program, Suttie led the Eagles to 26 tournament titles and an astounding 62 top-5 finishes. Even more impressive, Suttie guided FGCU to eight tournament titles and 25 top-5s out of a possible 31 tournaments over the first three years of the athletic department’s transition into Division I. In the program’s only two appearances at the A-Sun Championship, Suttie led the Eagles to a respectable fifth place finish in 2009 and second place in 2010 after a spirited final round six-under 282 that featured a final round record seven-under par 65 by sophomore Brandon Pena.
The Eagles became one of the top Division II programs under Suttie from 2000-07, winning 18 tournaments and finishing in the top-five in 37 tournaments in just seven seasons. In its final season in Division II under Suttie, FGCU took 16th place at the Division II National Championships and earned a No. 1 ranking by Golfstat.com during the year.
Suttie, who still serves as the director of Dr. Jim Suttie’s Training Centers at the Club at Twin Eagles in Naples and at Cog Hill Country Club in Lemont, Illinois, was honored as the 2000 National PGA Teacher of the Year and ranked No. 12 on Golf Digest’s 2004 list of America’s 50 Greatest Teachers. In addition, he is a three-time winner of the Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year award.
Suttie has worked with many PGA and LPGA touring professionals including Paul Azinger, Chip Beck, Fred Funk, Carin Koch, Vicki Goetze Ackerman, Steve Flesch, Silvia Cavalleri and Loren Roberts. Dr. Suttie has been seen frequently on the Golf Channel and conducts numerous seminars for the PGA.
Prior to joining the staff at FGCU, Suttie was the head coach at Northwestern University from 1986-1998. He also spent three seasons as the head coach and director of the Golf Management Program at Methodist College, where his teams twice finished as the NCAA Division III national runners-up. Suttie also won two conference championships and 12 tournaments in four years as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University and coached six all-Americans – including Paul Azinger – while winning two state championships and finishing second nationally in three years as head coach at Brevard Community College.
Suttie received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physical Education from Northern Illinois University. He earned a doctorate degree in Physical Education with an emphasis on biomechanics from Middle Tennessee State University. He now resides in Bonita Springs.