The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Athletics Department and the Office of Alumni Affairs recently announced its Class of 2009 inductees into the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame. GoMocs.com is continuing to profile each new member leading up to the Hall of Fame Dinner on Feb. 12.
Our final feature is on women's basketball star Kim Brown Suttles. Brown was a four-time All-Southern Conference women's basketball player at Chattanooga from 1989-93. She finished her career tied for second on the all-time scoring list in Lady Mocs history with 1,909 career points. She is ninth in SoCon in career scoring and was also a part of UTC's first two women's basketball teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Brown came to Chattanooga after a standout career at Kendrick High School in Columbus, Ga. As a true freshman, she saw action in four games before an injury ended her season early. She redshirted the remaining part of the 1988-89 season as the Lady Mocs made their first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The next season, Brown was a second team All-SoCon selection, averaging 16.5 points-per-game. The last three years of her career, Brown was a first team All-SoCon honoree, scoring 16.9 ppg as a sophomore, 15.8 ppg as a junior and 18.0 ppg as a senior.
"I played forward and some center, but I am only about 5-10," stated Brown. "We played against some really good players who were over six-feet, but I was quick enough to still be able to score and play defense."
The Lady Mocs went 20-8 during her sophomore season in 1990-91, including 8-2 in the SoCon to win the league's regular season title. She was second on the team in scoring and sixth in the SoCon with a 16.9 ppg average.
Despite the fact that her scoring went down during her junior season, it was the 1991-92 campaign that turned out to the most successful for Brown and the Lady Mocs. She led Chattanooga back to the NCAA Tournament, posting an 18-12 overall mark and 8-2 in SoCon play.
Brown was named the SoCon Tournament MVP that year, guiding Chattanooga to its fifth tournament title and second NCAA Tournament appearance. In the semifinals against Western Carolina, Brown had one of her four career 30-point games in an 84-69 win. She scored 31 points in just 26 minutes on 14-21 shooting, 3-3 from the foul line. She also added six rebounds and three steals in the win.
That victory setup the championship game between the second-seeded Mocs and No. 1 Furman. Chattanooga had split with the Lady Paladins during the regular season and shared the SoCon regular season title with Furman. Brown scored 13 points in the title game to wrap up tournament MVP honors and give the Lady Mocs an 84-66 win.
"We had a real good team that year, but I don't think they expected us to win," recalled Brown. "They had (1992 SoCon Player of the Year) Rushia Brown who was a great player, but we were still able to beat them and go to the tournament."
UTC went on to play at Clemson in the NCAA Tournament. Brown suffered an ankle injury early in the game and managed just seven points in a tough, 76-72 loss.
Her senior year, Chattanooga tied for second in the SoCon with a 9-3 league mark, 15-12 overall. She saved one of the best games of her career for last in the SoCon Tournament semifinals against Georgia Southern. She scored a career-high 32 points on 15-20 shooting, adding six rebounds and three steals in an 83-73 loss.
Brown focuses on the life lessons she learned when looking back on her career at Chattanooga. "Being a student-athlete is really challenging," she explained. "It was hard, but I think it helps you multi-task and manage your time. Those are skills that will help you when you get out in real life."
Brown graduated from UTC in 1993 with a degree in Engineering and Computer Science. She is currently a System Analyst with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. She is married to Chad Suttles and the couple has three children, Kiara (13), Kaiyana (9) and Chad, Jr. (6).
Like all of the other Hall of Fame Inductees, Brown was surprised to get the call that she had been inducted. "It took me by surprise," she said. "I'm friends with Regina Kirk who got in two years ago and she actually invited me, so it kind of prepared me...but I never thought they would choose me. I went with her so I know what it is like, but I was really surprised."
Fans can come out and enjoy the Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2010, at the Chattanooga Country Club. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) with the dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to all Mocs fans with a cost of $25 per person while seating is available. Contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (423) 425-4785 for more information or to order tickets.
The inductees and award winners will also be honored at halftime of the men's basketball game against Furman on Feb. 13. For tickets to the basketball game, call the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).