Men's Basketball

Union College hires Jessamine native Burton as new head coach

Kevin Burton, new Union College men's basketball coach
Kevin Burton, new Union College men's basketball coach

Nicholasville native Kevin Burton has been named the new men's basketball head coach at Union College in Barbourville, the school announced Wednesday.

Burton replaces Sean Gillespie who resigned in March after three seasons with the Bulldogs.

Burton previously spent seven seasons as head coach at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., before the school closed in 2011 for financial reasons. He compiled a 139-75 record.

"I don't know if there's a more excited guy about getting a coaching job than me," Burton said in Union's news release.

Burton's Lambuth teams were ranked in the top five of the NAIA Division I coaches' poll in three consecutive seasons. He had the nation's top scoring team in 2008 (95.2 points per game) and ranked second two other times (92.0 ppg in 2007 and 91.0 ppg in 2010), and made three consecutive trips to the NAIA Tournament.

"I think (the high-scoring offense) was a by-product of our talent level (at Lambuth)," Burton said. "The most important thing is to have a basketball program that is enjoyable to be around, fun to watch and a real joy to be associated with. And when you put that all together, you're going to have a real opportunity to win on and off the floor."

Burton had nine players selected as NAIA All-Americans, 17 make the all-conference team and nine earn a spot on the all-academic team. In 2007-08, Burton led Lambuth to the TranSouth Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships as was named the TranSouth Coach of the Year.

After leaving Jessamine County, Burton moved on to Asbury College where he was captain of the basketball team. In 1999, Burton received his masters from Eastern Kentucky University in sports administration. He was head coach at St. Catharine College for four seasons before going to Lambuth.

"I always felt fortunate and blessed to be able coach basketball, but even more so now given the situation that took place at Lambuth," Burton said.

Union went 8-23 overall and 5-11 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference in 2011-12.