James Tyler “J.T.” Burton was named the men’s basketball coach at Tusculum College on March 21, 2018. He becomes 28th men’s basketball coach at Tennessee’s most historic college and the seventh head coach during the NCAA Division II era of the program.
In his first season, Burton led the Pioneers to a 16-13 overall record and a 12-8 mark in the competitive South Atlantic Conference, a 10-game improvement from the previous season. Tusculum hosted its first SAC Championship quarterfinal game since 2010 and snapped a 24-game losing streak to perennial SAC power Lincoln Memorial. The Pioneers also earned season series sweeps of Carson-Newman, Wingate and Newberry and won three overtime games in a span of two weeks at midseason. Tusculum finished the regular season strong, winning its final six games to grab a share of fourth place in the final conference standings.
Burton brought over 20 years of basketball coaching experience with him to the Greeneville campus, including seven years as a collegiate head coach. His basketball journey has included NCAA Division I stops at the University of Tennessee as director of player development for the men’s basketball program in 2014-15 and most recently as an assistant coach at Morehead State University.
As a collegiate head coach, Burton has amassed 166 victories which includes five 20-win campaigns, three national postseason appearances and two trips to the national quarterfinals. He has proven himself to be an outstanding recruiter and teacher, mentoring numerous student-athletes who have earned All-Conference, All-Region and All-America distinction along with several All-Academic honorees.
Burton coached two seasons at Motlow State Community College in Lynchburg, Tennessee where he led the Bucks to an impressive 55-13 record. In 2016, he coached Motlow State to a 25-7 record and finished runner-up in both the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) and the NJCAA Region XII Tournament. In 2017, he guided the Bucks to a 30-6 campaign while sweeping the Region XII regular season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NJCAA Elite Eight. For his efforts, he was named the Region XII Coach of the Year.
He spent a successful six-year run as head coach at St. Catharine College in his native Springfield, Kentucky where he compiled a 95-80 worksheet. During his coaching tenure, St. Catharine transitioned from a two-year to a four-year institution, playing on the NAIA level and were members of the Mid-South Conference.
Burton served as an assistant coach at St. Catharine during the 2007-2008 season and was promoted to the head coaching post the following year. He was named the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 after the Patriots went 24-10 and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. Burton led St. Catharine to three 20-win seasons as the Patriots made another NAIA Tournament appearance in 2014, advancing to the national quarterfinals.
Burton played collegiately at St. Catharine for two seasons and was a member of the Patriots’ 30-5 squad which advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time in school history.
Burton earned his bachelor's degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1999 and his master's degree from Campbellsville (Ky.) University in 2005.
He and his wife, Carla, have two daughters, Alexis and Jada.
Burton’s Year-by-Year Coaching Record
Year School Overall Pct. SAC Pct. SAC Finish
2008-09 St. Catharine 5-24 .172
2009-10 St. Catharine 21-11 .656
2010-11 St. Catharine 23-9 .719
2011-12 St. Catharine 13-14 .481
2012-13 St. Catharine 13-13 .500
2013-14 St. Catharine 20-13 .606
2014-15 Tennessee (director of player development)
2015-16 Motlow State 25-7 .781
2016-17 Motlow State 30-6 .833
2017-18 Morehead State (assistant coach)
2018-19 Tusculum 16-13 .552 12-8 .600 T4th
Totals 166-110 .601 12-8 .600