UWA hires defensive coordinator

Published 9:00 am Monday, January 13, 2014

Head coach Brett Gilliland has named Nathan Burton as defensive coordinator for the two-time defending Gulf South Conference champion West Alabama Tigers. He will begin his duties immediately.

Burton comes to UWA from Shorter University, where he has been the Hawks defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the last two seasons. In 2012, the Shorter defense was second in the GSC in total defense, allowing 336.0 yards per game while recording 26 sacks and 79 tackles for loss. Over the last two seasons the Hawks averaged 18.5 sacks and 70 tackles for loss per season.

“I am extremely excited to announce the hiring of Nathan. We worked together at Georgia Tech and have had a very close friendship since,” Gilliland said. “He has been around NCAA football at the highest level and was mentored early in his career by some great defensive minds.”

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Prior coaching stops for Burton include Tennessee-Martin, Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech. In two years as a linebackers and secondary coach at UTM, Burton helped direct a Skyhawk defense that led the Ohio Valley Conference in total defense in 2010 and was second in 2011.

“Nathan’s work ethic and style of coaching will be a great addition to the UWA family. We also are excited to welcome his wife and children into our community,” Gilliland said. “He builds great relationships with the student-athletes and truly cares for them as individuals. ”

A native of Lilburn, Ga., Burton earned a spot on Georgia Tech’s roster as a walk-on freshman and earned a scholarship. “The Admiral” went on to become a four-year letterman as a Yellow Jackets’ safety.

“When you talk about a teacher, a communicator, and a smart individual, Nathan fits all of those characteristics,” Gilliland said. “I am honored to have him in such an important role with our program.”

After earning his degree from Georgia Tech in 2005, Burton served as a graduate assistant coach for the Yellow Jackets before joining the staff at Oklahoma State.

He is married to Britney Keener Burton and they are the parents of two children, Charlie and Grady.