Assistant coach at top NJCAA programs at Indian Hills, Johnson County
No sooner than he learned he would be the new men's basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College, the recruiting began for Brandon Burgette.
"Non-stop; it's never too late," says Burgette, who was announced today as the sixth Blue Devil head men's coach since the opening of the new campus in 1972 and the 16th in the history of the 95-year-old college.
A graduate of Lee's Summit North High School, Burgette brings nine years of coaching experience to the position, the last seven at two of the top NJCAA programs in the nation – four at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the last three at Johnson County Community College. A standout player at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Mo., Burgette was a student assistant at Southwest for two years.
"Along with his past successful coaching experience, knowledge of the Jayhawk Conference and his recruiting ties to the Kansas City metro area made Brandon the ideal candidate," says KCKCC Athletic Director Tony Tompkins. "A winner and an outstanding leader of young men, he has a passion for teaching the game of basketball and student-athlete success and I'm truly excited about the future of Blue Devil basketball."
Burgette also played professionally for two years with the Springfield Thrill of the United States Basketball and for the past three years, has directed his own basketball training service, BreedBallers
"I'm excited and grateful for the opportunity, especially in my backyard," said Burgette, 33. At Johnson County, he was the No. 1 recruiter for a Cavalier team that advanced to the national tournament twice and won two Jayhawk Conference championships in his three years there. "Coach (Mike) Jeffers gave me free reign on recruiting and many other areas that helped prepare me to achieve my long time goal of becoming a head coach."
Burgette will not pursue any players he recruited for JCCC. "Not at all but there are still some good players left, guys with talent. It's never too late," says Burgette, He will also have five returning players from this year's 14-17 Blue Devil team.
Offensively, Burgette promises up-scale, faced paced basketball. "Defensively, we'll guard for 40 minutes, full court press and trapping man-to-man; try to speed up our opponents and create turnovers; and make teams take quick shots so our offense can get out and run."
As word got out of Burgette's hiring in the coaching ranks, accolades poured in. "KCKCC hit a home run in hiring Coach Burgette," said Marquette Coach Stan Johnson. "He's one of the bright young coaches in the country; a winner who will build a culture and program that the community and college can be proud."
"What a home run hire for KCKCC," agreed Portland State Coach Barret Peery. "Brandon has tremendous experience at the community college level and won wherever he's been. In his hometown, he'll work tirelessly and take pride in being successful there."
"A proven coach not only in the Kansas City metropolitan area but on the national level, he's a tireless worker and relentless recruiter," says Grand Canyon Coach Isaac Chew. "The thing that separates him is his ability to connect with student athletes through is playing experience and pure love for teaching."
Burgette would like nothing better than to add a men's national championship to the two won in the past four years by the KCKCC women's basketball team. "I've known (Coach) Joe McKinstry since he was at William Penn and he's done a great job. Usually it's the women's team trying to keep up with the men's team but now we have to live up to the women's side."
In his two years as a player at Southwest Baptist, the Bearcats won two MIAA titles and two NCAA DII national tournament appearances. Averaging 9.8 points in his career, he was voted Sixth Man of the Year in 2009. In his four years as an assistant at Indian Hills, the team made three trips to the NJCAA DI national tournament and finished runnerup in 2013-14.
Burgette earned his bachelor's degree in community recreation from Southwest Baptist and a master's degree in sports marketing from the University of Central Missouri. He and his life, Briana, have a son, Brayden, and live in Lee's Summit.