By Jesse Smithey, [email protected]
Brent Burns’ family is from Lenoir City. He lives in Lenoir City currently.
So it only made sense that he accept the Lenoir City High School boys’ basketball job when it was offered.
School athletics director Greg Boling announced the hire Monday morning on Twitter.
“It’s a job with a great community and great basketball support,” said Burns, who has coached Sweetwater the previous two seasons. “And it’s a great school.
“I know the community really well, and I know their passion for basketball. And being able to compete in the district is something that was really attractive to me.”
Burns replaces Dennis Godfrey, who coached Lenoir City to a 21-38 (5-24 District 4-AAA) record in two seasons. Burns has compiled a 64-38 record in his four seasons as a head coach at Sweetwater and Nashville’s Martin Luther King. Sweetwater won consecutive district championships under Burns. Sweetwater (22-8) fell to Signal Mountain this past season in the region semifinals on a buzzer-beater in double overtime.
He’s been the district coach of the year, while at Sweetwater, the last two seasons.
The 35-year-old also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater – Farragut – from 2010-14. Burns graduated from Farragut in 2001.
Coaching wasn’t his career path to start, though. He once was the head strength and conditioning director at D-1 Headquarters in Nashville. Then he helped start a basketball academy in Cool Springs with former Vanderbilt coach Jan van Breda Kolff and a few others.
That led to him coaching an AAU team and then finally becoming firmly entrenched in the coaching profession.
The coaching bug wouldn’t let him go.
“(It’s just) my passion for basketball and working with young kids and teaching them how to succeed,” said Burns. “Basketball teaches you life lessons – translating that from the court into life.”
Burns will soon be familiarizing himself with Lenoir City’s personnel. But he already knows what style of play he’ll implement.
“I’ll use the same system I’ve always used, whether it was at MLK or Sweetwater,” said Burns, “and that’s: we start with defense. We want to be aggressive on defense – running, jumping, trapping. I like to press. I like to play fast.
“We start on the defensive end. On offense, we move the ball. We try to play as fast as we can. That’s what I know.”