J.T. Burton Named Men’s Head Basketball Coach at Motlow College

Motlow men's basketball coach J.T. Burton

Motlow men’s basketball coach J.T. Burton

Former St. Catharine College head coach and University of Tennessee assistant coach James Tyler “J.T.” Burton has been named the new men’s basketball head coach at Motlow College, according to Athletic Director Tori Raby-Gentry. Burton will begin his duties immediately.

Burton spent the past season as the Director of Player Development at Tennessee under former Volunteer head coach Donnie Tyndall. His season in Knoxville followed a highly successful six-year stint as head coach at St. Catharine in his hometown of Springfield, Ky., where he compiled a 95-80 record. During his coaching tenure the school transitioned from a two-year to a four-year institution, playing on the NAIA level and joining the Mid-South Conference.

“We are delighted to have J.T. as our new head coach,” said Raby-Gentry. “I’m confident in the experience he brings in coaching, recruiting and helping student athletes to grow and succeed. He is a demanding coach with high expectations for his players both on and off the court. We are excited for the upcoming season.”

He takes over a Motlow program that finished 23-6 last season and 37-20 in two seasons under former head coach Matt Sligh, who resigned in March to become an assistant at Missouri State University, ironically located in Springfield, Mo.

Burton boasts more than 15 years of college coaching experience after playing college basketball at St. Catharine from 1995-97, when the Patriots were a two-year school and a member of the Tennessee Junior/Community College Athletic Association, now known as the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA).

Tyndall, who was relieved of his duties at Tennessee in March, coached one season at St. Catharine, and with Burton as a guard led the 1996-97 Patriots to a 30-5 record and the school’s first trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament.

Burton received his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1999 and his master’s degree from Campbellsville University in 2005. He and his wife, Carla, have two daughters, Alexis and Jada.

Following his graduation from Tennessee Wesleyan, he returned to St. Catharine as an assistant coach for one season, followed by one season as an assistant at Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College.

Burton was the head coach of the Washington County High School girls team in Springfield from 2003-07, where his teams averaged 17 wins per season and made a quarterfinal appearance in the 2005 Kentucky girls basketball state tournament.

After spending the 2007-08 season as an assistant men’s coach at St. Catharine, he was promoted to head coach the following year. He was named the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 after the Patriots compiled a 24-10 record and advanced to the NAIA national tournament. The Patriots had three 20-win seasons under Burton and made another national tournament appearance in 2014, when they advanced to the quarterfinals.

Burton inherits a Motlow program that has won over 20 games in five of the previous eight seasons under four different head coaches, three of which have gone on to become assistant coaches at Division I universities. In addition to Sligh at Missouri State, former coach Mike Brown is the associate head coach at Eastern Michigan and Bobby Steinburg is an assistant at Kent State University.

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