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Fred “Doc” Suttles, Albany State Sports Announcer Passes At Age 75
ALBANY, Ga. — Fred “Doc” Suttles, the legendary voice of the Albany State University Golden Rams, has died. Suttles, 75, died Saturday, June 4, at the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany after suffering a heart attack, according to family members.
For the past 39 football seasons, Suttles broadcasted the exciting action of ASU Golden Rams football. Fans in the Southwest Georgia region who could not attend the football games have relied on Suttles to provide exciting play-by-play of the Golden Rams by tuning into WQVE V-105.5.
Suttles’ son, Frederick “Freddie Fresh” Suttles, joined the radio broadcast program in 1997. The younger Suttles, who also serves as the basketball arena voice for the ASU basketball teams, said he is blessed to have worked with his father for so many years.
“It has been a blessing to work with a radio legend for the past eight years. It was even more special because he was my father and we had a special bond,” Suttles said.
“We have shared so many great memories of Albany State athletics throughout the years, especially football. After last year’s success, he was really looking forward to the upcoming season. He really loved Albany State and providing entertainment for fans throughout the years.”
A Centerville, Ala., native, Suttles began his broadcasting career in 1960, at WJLD in Birmingham, Ala. He moved to Albany, Ga. in 1965, and began working at WJAZ playing gospel, jazz and the blues. He was a radio personality, concert promoter and general manager in the Albany radio market.
He saw an opportunity to give radio exposure to black college football in Southwest Georgia and began broadcasting Albany State football games in 1966.
Throughout the years, he has also broadcasted Golden Rams and Lady Rams (Rammettes) basketball action. Dr. John I. Davis, Albany State’s athletics director and head men’s basketball coach, remembers Suttles’ days as the basketball announcer.
“I remember when Doc called the basketball games at Sanford Hall Gym, starting in 1965. He has been a part of Albany State’s athletic history for many years,” Davis said.
“From his early days in basketball to last year’s football season, he made you feel as if you were there and he didn’t miss a thing. Not only did he include the action on the fields and courts, he included the fans, cheerleaders and the band. He will be missed.”
Suttles was inducted into the Albany State Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and was honored for a lifetime of achievement by the Albany State Department of Athletics during the 2003 Fountain City Classic football game. He was also inducted as an honorary member of the ASU National Alumni Hall of Fame in 1983.
“I am pleased that we had the opportunity to honor Doc by inducting him into the Albany State Sports Hall of Fame. He was very deserving of the honor because of the many contributions he made to our athletics program,” said Stephanie M. Harrison, assistant director of athletics. “He will always be a part of Albany State.”
Wilburn Campbell, former athletics director, said Suttles, “Will always be known as the voice of the Golden Rams. He was widely known and had a radio personality that can never be duplicated.”
“It was a shock when I heard the news of Doc’s death,” head football coach Mike White said. “There are a lot of great memories with Doc.”
Suttles is survived by two sons, Frederick Eugene (Lisa) Suttles and Mark Anthony Suttles; two daughters, Darlene (Jerry) Crews and Angela Denise Suttles, all of Albany; his father, Fred Porter (Bertha) Suttles Sr. of Birmingham, Ala.; three sisters, Mary Jelks and Susie Towns of Maywood, Ill., and Bessie Miles of Fairfield, Ala.; seven grandchildren, Laron, Sierra, Marika, Kendall, Anthony, Markeisha and Jayden; and former wife and mother of his children, Minnie Suttles Hudgens. A brother, Tommie J. Suttles, preceded in him death.