J.T. Burton was hired by Tennessee head basketball coach Donnie Tyndall in May 2014 and is now in his second year as the program's Director of Player Development. Their relationship dates to 1996, when Tyndall was a rookie head coach at St. Catharine College and Burton was a point guard on that team.
Burton is a native of Springfield, Ky. Key among his several responsibilities as the Volunteers' Director of Player Development is his role of academic liaison to UT's Thornton Athletics Student Life Center.
Burton - who boasts more than 15 years of basketball coaching experience - followed in Tyndall's footsteps, having spent the previous six years as head coach at St. Catharine College. His final season there resulted in a quarterfinal appearance at the 2014 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, a 20-13 record and a year-end national ranking of No. 18.
As a head coach, Burton accumulated close to 100 wins and posted three 20-win seasons.
"J.T. is one of my former players, and I've known him for close to 20 years now. His loyalty is second to none," Tyndall said. "He's proven himself to be a great head coach. His tireless work ethic and his ability to connect with student-athletes are going to be tremendous assets for our program.
"J.T. is like a son to me, and I'm very fortunate and honored that he was willing to give up a head coaching position to be a part of our basketball family here at Tennessee."
Burton began his coaching career with back-to-back one-year stints as an assistant coach at St. Catharine College and Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, respectively.
He later accepted a position as assistant boys' basketball coach at Washington County High School in Springfield, Ky. After one season, he was named head coach of the school's girls' basketball team, a role he held from 2003-2007. His WCHS girls' teams averaged 17 wins per season, and he led Washington County to a quarterfinal appearance at the 2005 KHSAA state tournament.
Prior to the 2007-08 campaign, Burton returned to St. Catharine as an assistant coach, and he was handed the head coaching reins just one year later. He was named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year in 2011 after leading the Patriots to an overall record of 24-10 and a conference mark of 16-5. That 2010-11 squad reached the NAIA National Tournament and ascended as high as No. 14 in the national rankings.
Burton was a guard at St. Catharine College from 1995-1997 when it was a two-year institution (now a four-year school). He was a member of Tyndall's 1996-97 Patriots squad that went 30-5 and became the first team in school history to advance to the National Junior College Tournament.
Burton received his Bachelor's degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1999 and later earned a Master's degree in Special Education at Campbellsville University in 2005.
He and his wife, Carla, have two daughters, Alexis and Jada.