Veteran Tennessee high school coach Lynn Burkey returns to the Blue Raider bench as an assistant coach for a second-straight year in 2011-12.
"What a great hire to lose a Tom Hodges and come on board with a Lynn Burkey," head coach Rick Insell stated. "To be able to bring on board someone with over 30 years of experience, who has worked with travel team and AAU coaches, and also being in touch with the high school coaches around the country, to fill the void we had, I do not know if we could have hired anyone better than Coach Burkey."
Under Burkey's guidance in 2010-11, Middle Tennessee won the Sun Belt's East Division for a third-straight season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. His tireless preparation, including overseeing the scouting of each opponent, proved crucial against the challenging slate. He also helped develop the talents of the youthful roster, which featured 11 freshmen and sophomores.
Burkey came to Murfreesboro after a five-year stint as head coach at Shelbyville Central High School in Shelbyville, Tenn., where he took the reins after Insell's departure to Middle Tennessee. During his time with the Golden Eaglettes, Burkey led the squad to a 125-42 record, two state tournament appearances and one state runner-up finish.
He also spent two seasons, 2003-04 and 2004-05, as the head coach at his alma mater, Greeneville High School in Greeneville, Tenn., leading the school to a 56-13 mark. Included in the victories were the school's first two region tournament championships, its first two sub-state wins and the first two tournament appearances in the program's history. His team reached the state semifinals his first season before losing to the eventual champion, Shelbyville Central.
Burkey also served 17 seasons as an assistant varsity coach at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tenn., which included three state championships and six runner-up showings. His first coaching job came from 1977-85 as the head coach at Robertsville Junior High School in Oak Ridge.
Burkey founded and served as head coach of the Tennessee Stars AAU/Travel team program for 33 years. His squad won AAU national championships in 1986, 1989, 1990 and 2000, and included 77 AAU All-Americans and over 400 players who went on to play college basketball.
The Stars captured 11 AAU national championships, won 47 Tennessee State AAU titles and appeared in 73 AAU national tournaments.
"This is a golden opportunity for me in my career," Burkey said. "I have had other opportunities to go as a college assistant through the years, but it had never felt like the right situation. I have analyzed this thing as many different ways as I possibly could, and I believe this is the perfect situation.
"I wanted to be a part of the excitement that is the Lady Raider basketball program. Since Coach Insell and I have worked together before, I felt this was a great fit for me. I have the greatest respect for him and for what he has done for the women's game. I like where this program is now, but I want to be a part of taking it even higher. The opportunities here are endless."
Burkey and Insell first coached together in 2000 when they formed the Tennessee Stars/Shelbyville Sports Shop Nike team, the first Nike travel team in the state. The team was the predecessor of the current Nike team, the Tennessee Flight. Burkey continued to coach with the Flight program, helping lead it to a prestigious Nike Nationals summer tournament championship and a top-eight finish every year.
In addition, for over 20 years, Burkey wrote and published The Tennessee Report, an informational guide on the top players in the state provided to college coaches and recruiters.
In the summer of 2003, he was invited by USA Basketball to participate in the Women's USA Youth Development Festival as an assistant coach for the South team at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. He also spent one season as an assistant coach for the Tennessee Fury of the National Women's Basketball League, a former league used to develop players for the WNBA.
Burkey earned his bachelor's degree from Tennessee and his master's degree in education from Lincoln Memorial.
He is married to Kim Burkey.