Thursday, June 9, 2011

Former Flyer To Bike 4,000 Miles Across the Country

Louis Suttman, a three-year manager of the Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team and 2009 UD graduate, has challenged himself to bicycle over 4,000 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in order to raise heart health awareness.

Suttman has been personally affected in many ways by various heart ailments within his close circle of family and friends.

In 1972 his grandfather and namesake, Louis “Frosty” Suttman (UD Class of 1951), was one of the first recipients of an artificial aorta valve due to a heart birth defect. As this was new technology at the time, the valve sadly only lasted six years and Frosty passed away in 1978.

During Suttman’s freshman year at the University of Dayton, the wear and tear of cancer treatment surfaced in his uncle Eric Suttman’s heart. The Dayton graduate - and current faculty member at the University -successfully underwent a quadruple bypass surgery while also receiving an artificial aorta valve.

During that same year, Louis Suttman became an official member of the University of Dayton women’s basketball team. It was then that he first met his mentor, Head Coach Jim Jabir. Suttman admired Coach Jabir’s intensity, dedication, and more importantly, the gigantic heart with which Coach ran his program. Suttman was shocked to find out halfway through his first year with the team that the same wonderful heart that he admired so much, had nearly taken Jabir’s life in 2004. It was then, while coaching his team, that Jabir was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia; a condition through which he has preserved and continues to coach with today.

“Throughout my time with the team, Coach Jabir and I grew especially close and developed a bond that will last a lifetime,” said Suttman.

Read the rest of Suttman's story on


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