Brad Barton will be staying around USU Eastern for a little while longer.
USU Eastern announced the appointment of Barton as the new head men's basketball coach for the 2011-12 campaign last week.
Barton served as the interim head coach this past season for the Golden Eagles after previous head coach Chris Craig departed for a position on the staff at Northern Colorado. He helped guide the team to a record 23-7, with three of those losses coming at the hands of the eventual national champion, College of Southern Idaho. The Golden Eagles finished 20th in the final Junior College national poll after finishing third in the National Junior College Tournament in 2010.
Coach Barton was the head assistant under Craig at USU Eastern in the 2009-2010 season and had prior experience as an assistant under coach Mike Ostlund at Snow College from 2006-07. He played high school basketball at Davis High and went on to be the Captain of the Weber State University Men's conference championship team under Joe Cravens in 2003.
Now that his place is secure, Barton will relax a little, but he will do nothing different than before.
"I only know one way to coach," he said. "I plan on making this the toughest team in the country and I want hard nosed, tough kids to come and work hard. I have more kids signed so far than any other season at this point and that is good."
Maxim Zakharov will be returning for his sophomore season and will provide a lot of fireworks for the upcoming season. Also back on the floor will be Neveij Walters. Three new players are arriving from the Las Vegas area and also a 6'8" guard and three returning missionaries. It will be a young team, but one Barton is sure he can mold into a powerhouse in the conference.
He again set his goals high and that is to be conference champ. Late season injuries took their toll last year, but the team still came within five minutes of meeting that goal. Barton says when he stops aiming high, it will be time for him to step aside and quit coaching.
He wants to thank the community for their ongoing support and is trying to give back by having his team involved in community function. They have read at various schools and will conduct several camps this summer as well as participate in the annual Active Re-Entry run, walk and roll fund raiser this summer.
In addition to a very successful season, Coach Barton will sign five of his players with Division I schools for the upcoming season and two will sign with division II teams.
"I would like to thank the administration for their vote of confidence. With a great returning core of sophomores including All Region player, Max Zakharov we are looking forward to another great year of Golden Eagle Basketball," he explained. "Max is one of the most exciting basketball players in the country and will join with some exciting new faces to compete in the best junior college conference in the country."