Following a coach who took the CEU/USU team to a third place finish at the National tournament is a huge undertaking. But, interim head coach Brad Barton is excited to face the challenge. He was the assistant coach under Chris Craig last season and is hoping to become the permanent head coach for Eastern Utah when the hiring takes place.
"Coaching is all I ever wanted to do," he explained in an interview. "It is my passion and I love new challenges and the chance to learn something new every day."
He started coaching early on. When he was a sophomore in high school at Davis High, he helped out coaching the junior high team. He grew up in Farmington and played point guard for Davis High. He went on to play at BYU/Hawaii for two years and then transferred to Weber where they put him at power forward. He still led the team in assists at that position.
After college he went overseas and was on a professional team for Switzerland. He spent time as a player/coach. He did a month and a half tour in China promoting basketball. He turned to coaching full time when he decided his speed and abilities did not allow him to play at the level he felt like he should.
He spent a year as an assistant coach at Viewmont High and then a season as an assistant at Snow College. He then was hired as an assistant under Coach Craig at CEU. Barton says it is the great coaches he played for and worked with that have gotten him where he is so far. Jeff Emery with Viewmont, Jay Welk at Davis, Joe Cravens with Weber and Craig have all been phenomenal what they have taught him. He and Craig have become close friend and Barton still talks to him every day.
Barton knows he has big shoes to fill. He only has one returning player with much court time experience and that is Johnathan Mills. His team is a diverse group with kids from Russia, Brazil, Chicago, Ill. and Los Angeles, Calif. as well as Utah. Barton is single and for now that is just the way he likes it because he feels like the 16 players on his team are his family and they need a lot of TLC from him.
Sitting at 5-0 on the young season, he sees that the ability of the team to win in many different ways is a big strength. On any given night it is a different player that steps up big to lead the team. Their weak spot right now is at the point guard position. They have no depth there but Trevor Bumgarter has done a great job so far.
Barton wants the community to continue the great support they have shown the team. He hopes more will come out and watch the Lady Eagles as well. He stresses that all the players respond to the crowd support and are working hard to give the community some great basketball to watch.