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Burton new Patriots head coach

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Wade O'Connor leaves for Western Carolina

By The Staff

By Jimmie Earls

Sun Sports Writer

J.T. Burton, a Washington County native and former head girls' basketball coach at Washington County High School, was named head coach of the St. Catharine College Patriots mens' basketball team on Aug. 11. Burton replaces Wade O’Connor, who recently left to become top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Western Carolina University. See related story on O'Connor in the Sports section.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, I know that Coach J.T. Burton is the right man for the job,” said SCC athletic director Mike Doig. “I am so excited about what he has to offer.”

Burton is no newcomer to SCC. In addition to serving under O'Connor for the past year, he graduated from St. Catharine in 1997 and was a member of the 1997 Patriots team that won regional games to advance to the national junior college tournament.

“Coach Burton's the head coach because of one thing - he takes care of business,” said SCC president William D. Huston.

“I just want to thank President Huston and Mike for giving me this shot,” said Burton. “This is a dream come true. I feel like I won the lottery or the NBA draft.”

Burton's arrival as head coach comes just as the Patriots join the NAIA and are entering the Mid-South Conference.

Burton added, “I can't express how I feel to be able to lead this school to the next level. I am ready for the challenge.”