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TAMUC – Sports

Burton named TABC Small College Coach of the Year

Two former Lion assistants earn Assistant Coach of the Year awards.

SUGAR LAND – Texas A&M University-Commerce head women’s basketball coach Jason Burton has been named the Small College Women’s Head Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. 

During the 2019-20 season, Burton led the Lions to their most successful season under his tenure, earning LSC Coach of the Year honors for the first time in his career. The team went 28-3, tying the program’s record for most wins in a single season. The team qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, the first time in program history the team had made back-to-back tournament appearances. 

The Lions’ 28 wins tied with Baylor and Lubbock Christian for the most victories by a women’s team in the state of Texas in 2019-20. 

The Lions set program records for wins in a season (28), wins in a regular season (26), conference wins (20), most wins in a row (25), best scoring margin (+18.4), lowest-scoring defense (56.8) and highest national ranking (3rd). The team won its first 25 games of the year and finished the season as the No. 1 seed in the LSC with a 20-2 record in conference games. The team would go on to reach the LSC Championship final for the second time in program history. The Lions qualified for the NCAA Tournament as the second seed in the region, their highest ever seed in the NCAA Regionals. 

Burton saw five of his players earn All-LSC awards, as Dyani Robinson was named LSC Freshman of the Year. He also saw all five of his primary starters named LSC Defensive Player of the Week, the first time in LSC recorded history that five different players on the same team earned Player of the Week honors. The team earned the Defensive Player of the Week seven times during the season. 

Burton’s former assistants also achieved recognition from the TABC in 2019-20. Stephen F. Austin assistant head coach Len Bishop was named the Division I Assistant Coach of the Year, and UT Dallas assistant coach Olivia Cicci was named the Small College Assistant Coach of the Year. Bishop was an assistant coach for the Lion men’s basketball program in 2010-11 and the Lion women’s basketball program in 2012-15 after playing for the Lions and coach Sam Walker from 2006-08. Cicci was a graduate assistant for the Lions in 2018-19 when A&M-Commerce made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history. 

Current associate head coach Markeith Brown was named the TABC Small College Assistant Coach of the Year in the 2016-17 season.