Rich Lenz, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Sean Sutton is not hiding his ongoing fight against prescription painkiller addiction. In fact, he's spoken to almost 40 different groups since his arrest in 2010 in Stillwater, offering hope and advice.
In Part One of our series, Sean Sutton spoke frankly about just how bad it got. In Part Two, Sean Sutton talks about just how good it is now.
It is good to see Sean Sutton smile and laugh again. He's been drug-free for twenty months following his arrest on four felony drug charges in February of 2010.
A grueling but rewarding stint in rehab followed and now that hard work is paying off.
"I've been able to learn to forgive myself for some of the mistakes I've made and I've tried to go on and live my life in a way that ah, can help others, I feel compelled to do that, I feel a responsibility to do that but also be the dad and the husband that I, that I want to be and that I finally am being," said Sean Sutton.
Sutton is the first to acknowledge he couldn't have done it without the help of his wife Trena.
"She's ah, beautiful, beautiful person, inside and out and has stood by me and supported me and has walked with me through my darkest days. I think now that our marriage is at, at a point where it's never been better, we've never been closer, I consider her my best friend today and we have just an unbelievable relationship and ah, I love her with all my heart," said Sean Sutton.
Sutton says he popped his first Percocet as a way to combat depression following the OSU plane crash that claimed ten of his friends in 2001.
He continued abusing pain medication, even after replacing his father as the Cowboys head basketball coach in 2006. He was 39 and 29 in his first two seasons and was forced to resign by athletic director Mike Holder on April Fool's day, 2008.
"You know, I haven't been back, ah, really haven't talked to anybody over there. It wasn't what I thought it would be, had I known the circumstances were going to play out the way they played out, I would never have put myself in that situation and I would have gone elsewhere to be a head coach," said Sean Sutton.
Sutton is enjoying his first season as a fulltime assistant under his younger brother, but expects to be a head coach again down the road.
"I had a couple of opportunities a year ago with a couple of schools to be a division-one head coach. But there weren't the right situation for me, there weren't in the area of the country I wanted to live in but I hope that opportunity will come again down the road," said Sean Sutton.
Sutton knows that opportunity will only come, if he travels that road clean and sober.
"I needed something to wake me up and realize that I can't go on living like this and it turned out to be, as painful as it was, a blessing in disguise," said Sean Sutton.