A&M-Commerce Director of Athletics Ryan Ivey announced on Thursday the hiring of current McKinney Boyd High School boys coach Jason Burton as the eighth women's basketball coach in the history of the program at a press conference on the A&M-Commerce campus.
Burton, a Plano native who is making the transition to the women's game after nine years on the men's side, spent the 2013-14 season as the head varsity boys coach at McKinney Boyd High School and returns to Com- merce with strong ties to the University and community after having spent four seasons with the Lions from 2007 to 2011 as an assistant and associate head coach under current head coach Sam Walker.
"We are excited to welcome Jason back to campus," Ivey said. "His familiarity with A&M-Commerce, the Lone Star Conference, East Texas, the Metroplex and his success as a basketball coach make him an exceptional fit for our institution. He brings with him a wealth of experience at multiple levels, which provides him with a well-rounded knowledge base of what it takes to succeed. I am confident that he will bring our program back to prominence in the Lone Star Conference."
While coaching the Lion men, Burton helped A&M-Commerce compile a 68-43 record in four seasons with the Lions. He came to Commerce in 2007 as an assistant coach and helped the Lions to winning records in each of his final three years, making the Lone Star Conference Tournament in all four tries and the tournament's title game in 2008.
In that time he recruited three all-Americans and three LSC Newcomers of the Year, including Scooby Johnson (2008), Deundrae Spraggins (2009) and Desmond King (2011). Burton also lured in seven LSC All-Conference selections, and two LSC Freshman of the Year in Brad Hambrick (2009) and Preston Whitley (2010).
"It is an honor and a pleasure to be back at this great university. I am truly humbled to lead this program into the future. I want to thank Dr. Dan Jones and Ryan Ivey for this incredible opportunity," Burton said. "There could not be a better time to join this program and this university with the vision that these two have for A&M Commerce. I know where this program has been and I know where it can go, and I'm excited to have women's basketball competing for Lone Star Conference championships again."
In 2010 he was elevated to the position of associate head coach during his final two seasons in Commerce, where he helped the Lions to a 37-17 record before moving on to become an assistant coach at Texas State for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
Burton had his fair share of success in San Marcos under former head coach Doug Davalos, helping transition the Bobcats from the Southland Conference into the Western Athletic Conference and helping lead Texas State to the WAC Tournament semifinals in the school's first year in the league in 2012-13.
He also served as the Bobcats' scheduling coordinator and negotiated schedules that included invitations to the Great Alaska Shootout and a foreign trip to Costa Rica. Burton also landed his biggest recruiting triumph in Joel Wright, whose averaged just under 18 points per game to lead the WAC in scoring on his way to all-conference second team honors.
Prior to A&M-Commerce, Burton coached with the Dallas Mustangs, a non-profit youth basketball program and spent the 2005-06 season as the top assistant for Chris Oestreich at Austin College.
Burton helped start and was the co-founder of Dallas Hoop Dreams along with his brother, Brian. While with the Mustangs, he was involved with player's skill development and program management. At Austin College, he was responsible for many duties, including recruiting, scouting, breaking down of game film and compiling scouting reports.
The Plano, Texas native played collegiately at Austin College, where he was a three-year letterwinner, named team MVP as a senior and represented the college at the 2005 NCAA Leadership Conference.
Burton graduated from Austin College with a bachelor's degree in business administration and sports psychology in May of 2007, and completed his master's degree August of 2009 in business administration at A&M-Commerce.