Jonathan Burton recently completed his second season as an assistant coach for the Trojan program. Burton was the pitching coach while heading up the recruiting efforts for former Trojan mentors Jeff Forehand and Chris Collins. Burton also maintained all the outdoor athletic facilities at Trevecca.
The Trevecca's top baseball coaching position became available when Chris Collins resigned to take a position under former Trojans head coach Jeff Forehand at cross-town Lipscomb University, a NCAA Division I program.
In his comments about Jonathan Burton accepting the Trojan baseball head coaching position, President Dan Boone noted that Trevecca is putting another great Christian leader in charge of the baseball program. He added, "Trevecca Nazarene University is excited to announce the selection of Jonathan Burton as its next head baseball coach. Jonathan is a graduate of Trevecca and embodies the spirit of the Trevecca experience. He has been a vital part of coaching our nationally renowned program during the past few years and will continue the tradition of a strong athletic program built on Christian character."
Trevecca director of athletics Brenda Patterson added, "We had some very strong candidates for the head coaching position but it was Jonathan’s passion for Trevecca, his excellent work ethics, and his love for the game that made Jonathan stand out above the other candidates. Jonathan is a great addition to head coaching staff and we are excited to watch our strong baseball tradition continue with Coach Burton at the helm."
Patterson is pleased to hire someone out of the Trevecca family: “Jonathan is no stranger to Trevecca Nazarene University. Jonathan graduated from TNU and has been an assistant coach for the Trojans since 2004."
Burton said, “Trevecca holds a unique place in my heart. Having the opportunity to lead the program that I helped build as a player and assistant coach is an incredible opportunity. I want to thank President Boone, Steve Harris, and Brenda Patterson for the chance to guide the Trojan baseball program. Trevecca has always been home to me and I'm excited to be able to continue on this journey.”
“The success that our program has had to this point has been in part to two fantastic head coaches (Jeff Forehand and Chris Collins). The foundation that has been laid and my hope and our charge are to continue building on that winning tradition. With our returning class and incoming signees we have a great opportunity to do something special again next spring.”
Burton himself had an inspiring career as a player prior to his conversion to coaching. Burton, who pitched at Trevecca from 2001-2004, returned from Tommy John surgery in 2004 and posted a career-best 8-1 record with a 3.93 ERA, compiling a career record of 13-10. After the devastating arm injury Burton spent a year helping the Trojans as a scout and essentially starting his coaching career. Burton had a memorable and gutsy performance against Birmingham Southern in 2001. Burton threw the complete game, picking up the win in a 4-2 decision against the eventual national champions.
Burton, from Smith County in Tennessee, transferred to Trevecca after a two-year stay at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn.
Burton served as a graduate assistant at Trevecca in 2005 when the Trojans posted a 47-16 record, won the TranSouth Conference title, and advanced to regional play for the first time.
Burton’s 2007 pitching staff led the TranSouth Conference in five statistical categories, and the 2008 staff led the conference in four categories. Trojan hurlers broke three school records in 2007 and two in 2008.
Several Trojans hurlers have earned honors under Burton’s mentoring the last two seasons. Luke Brown (All-TranSouth and Region-XI First Team) who led the NAIA (2007) in wins (16) and set the TNU record for wins in a season. Eric Van Slyke, who signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Kansas City Royals, was named the TranSouth, Region-XI and National Pitcher of the Week on several occasions during his TNU career. Steven Brown set the Trevecca career and season record for saves. He was named All-Region XI and All-TranSouth for his efforts. Nick Shoup was named first team All-TranSouth, and Wesley Griggs was named second team. Griggs earned the Region-XI and TranSouth Pitcher of the Week honor this season. Freshman Ben Johnson was named TranSouth Pitcher of the Week.
Burton has been a successful summer league coach. He spent the 2007 summer coaching a Sandlott Wood Bat League team named the Trojans. The team captured the regular season crown (23-13 record), won the National League title, and placed third in the Sandlott Tournament. Burton’s 18 U summer teams (2003-2005) have a combined 111-63 record with two league championships (2005) and have 20 players in collegiate baseball. His 2008 team is 12-6 and in first place.
Jonathan resides in Nashville, Tenn.