Lion women’s basketball experienced a homecoming of sorts on April when athletics director Ryan Ivey announced Jason Burton as the eighth women’s basketball coach in program history.
Burton, a Plano native and former assistant under men’s head coach Sam Walker, returned to Commerce after a three-year stint away that included two years as a men’s assistant coach at Texas State and a year as the head boys head coach at McKinney North High School.
“We are excited to welcome Jason back to campus,” Ivey said at a packed press conference on April 3. “His familiarity with A&M-Commerce, the Lone Star Conference, East Texas and the metroplex, along with 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.
Last week: Jordan Neal becomes A&M-Commece’s all-time assist leader. Next week: Moment #8