Former Essex County College head coach Robyn Burton has been selected as the new head women's basketball coach at New Jersey City University, athletic director Alice De Fazio has announced. Burton, who coached the Wolverines for two seasons (2013-15) is the 14th head coach in NJCU history, which will play its 46th season in 2015-16.
Burton replaces Amy Mulligan, who coached the Gothic Knights for four seasons (2011-15) before resigning this spring for a position outside of college athletics.
In her first season in 2013-14, Burton led Essex CC to a 22-11 record and an appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II national tournament, and guided the Wolverines to the Region XIX championship and District O crown before falling in the District N title game. For her efforts, she was honored as the 2014 Region XIX Coach of the Year. The Region XIX title was the first in program history and Essex went 32-26 in her two seasons at the helm.
"Coach Robyn Burton will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the NJCU women's basketball program," said De Fazio. "We are excited to have her join the Gothic Knight team, and anticipate much success for our student-athletes, both academically and athletically."
Burton said: "I am honestly elated to be blessed with the opportunity to join this wonderful staff here at NJCU as the head women's basketball coach, while working close and being mentored by Coach De Fazio, one of the best to ever play and coach the game of basketball at this level. I am even more excited to be stepping into my first NCAA head coaching job so early in my coaching career at a great institution and department which thrives on the success of their student athletes. I'm honored and truly grateful."
Prior to Essex, Burton served one year (2011-12) as a women's basketball training assistant at her alma mater, Bloomfield College, coordinating workouts and training sessions while modeling skills during practices.
Burton's introduction to coaching came as the assistant director of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Sport Summer Camp for three years from 2009-11. She also has experience as a human resource recruiter and trainer.
Discussing her expectations, Burton noted: "I expect hard work and dedication from each and every individual involved with this program. With hard work and dedication we as a unit will make strides toward being a powerhouse program academically as well as athletically. I'm looking for progress, not perfection and if we all commit to that I am confident that I can lead this program to tremendous success."
"Academically, I am determined to have a team cumulative GPA of at least a 3.4, have all my student athletes graduate and get a jump-start on their careers. Athletically, I plan to make the playoffs, finish first in the NJAC and get to the NCAA Tournament. Of course, this will take time, but these are the goals I plan to reach over my tenure here at NJCU and I won't stop until I have reached these goals."
A three-sport athlete at Division II Bloomfield where Burton earned a degree in Human Resource Management in May 2012, she played four seasons of basketball (2007-11), four years of cross country (2007-11) and one year of soccer (2011) for the Bears, then known as the Deacons.
A versatile defensive guard who could play multiple positions (point guard, shooting guard and small forward), she tallied 622 points and 117 steals playing for Coach Jerry Wimberly. She helped lead her club to four Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament appearances, including the 2009 CACC semifinals as the No. 2 seed and the 2011 CACC semifinals as league's regular-season champion. She played goalkeeper on the 2011 soccer team for Coach Katie Egan.
Outside of basketball, since 2012 Burton has played professional football for the New Jersey Titans of the Women's Spring Football League (WSFL). She was the 2012 WSFL Most Valuable Player, leading the Titans to that season's national championship.
She is a 2007 alum of Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Md. where she played part of her senior year after transferring mid-year from Elizabeth Seton High School. At Oxon Hill, Burton played for Coach Devone Williams. She earned Second-Team All-Conference honors as a senior for the Clippers.
Born in Maryland, Burton, 25, resides in East Orange, N.J.