Tusculum University men’s basketball coach J.T. Burton has completed his coaching staff with the appointment of three outstanding assistants for his inaugural Pioneer season.
Joining the Tusculum staff are assistant coach Zach Holt and graduate assistant coach Austin “Scooter” Galloway while Darren Higgins was promoted to full-time assistant coach.
Holt will serve as Burton’s top assistant following three seasons at Motlow State Community College. Holt reunites with Coach Burton who was the head coach at Motlow State during his first two campaigns at the Smyrna, Tennessee junior college.
Holt helped Motlow State to its most successful three-year run in program history as the Bucks posted a 78-21 combined record (.788). He coached on back-to-back TCCAA Region 7 Tournament Championship teams (2016-17 & 2017-18) with a regular season title in the 2016-2017 campaign.
Motlow also earned back-to-back NJCAA National Tournament bids, reaching the Elite Eight in 2017 and the Sweet 16 in 2018. Winning back-to-back TCCAA Region 7 Tournament and reaching the national tournament are two feats that are first in Motlow history.
Holt helped produce four All-Americans, 10 All-Region selections and 10 All-Conference honorees including two TCCAA Region Players of the Year. Six of his players also garnered Region All-Tournament accolades including two Region Tournament Most Valuable Players. Two Motlow standouts also garnered spots on the NJCAA National All-Tournament team.
In Holt’s three years at Motlow State all sophomores graduated and moved onto four-year colleges and universities.
In 2017-2018, Holts and the Bucks posted a 23-8 record to win its second straight TCCAA Region 7 Tournament crown. Holts was vital in the development of sophomores Isaiah Hart, Rashawn Fredericks and Kevonte Corley as all three garnered All-Conference recognition. Fredericks was named the TCCAA Region Player of the Year while Hart garnered Region Tournament MVP laurels. Both would also earn All-America recognition.
All three moved onto NCAA Division I programs with Fredericks landing at the University Cincinnati with Hart and Corley moving onto Austin Peay State University and Prairie View A&M, respectively.
In 2016-2017, the Bucks posted an outstanding 30-6 overall record for the best season in school history. The team captured the TCCAA regular season title, won the Region 7 championship and earned a bid to the NJCAA National Tournament where the team advanced to the national quarterfinal for the first time in Motlow history. That team was led by Javion Hamlet along with Fredericks and Hart in their rookie seasons. Fredericks was named Freshman of the Year while Hart and Hamlet earned Region 7 All-Tournament distinction. Hamlet was named Region Tournament MVP, earned All-America and NJCAA National All-Tournament honors and later signed to play at the University of Buffalo.
He joined Coach Burton’s first Motlow team in 2015-2016 as Holt helped the Bucks boast a 25-7 overall record and a runner-up finish in the TCCAA Region 7. Holt coached 2016 first team All-American Jaylen Barford and helped all six sophomores go on and further their education and play basketball at the next level which included first team honorees Jaylen Barford (Arkansas) and Darius Joell (Columbus State) and two second team selections Stephaun Adams (Tennessee Tech) and Jaqualis Matlock.
Holt’s duties at Motlow State included recruiting, head strength and conditioning coach, travel, film exchange, individual instruction and player development.
Prior to coaching, Holt played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2005-2009. He was a member of the Panthers’ 2005-2006 Horizon League regular season and tournament championship team which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a win over Oklahoma. Milwaukee finished with a 22-9 overall record.
The Pulaski, Tennessee native was a two-time All-Region guard at Giles County High School. Holt lives in Greeneville where he is pursuing his master’s degree in business.
Higgins will be entering his second season on the Tusculum coaching staff and first as a full-time assistant coach in 2018-2019. During his first season with the Pioneers he served as a volunteer assistant coach, where he planned and conducted guard and post player individual skill sessions, assisted with practice planning and conducting practices.
Higgins served as a student manager/intern at East Tennessee State University during the 2016-2017 season. The Bucs finished with a 27-8 overall record while capturing the Southern Conference Championship and earned a berth to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
In 2015-2016, Higgins served as an assistant coach at David Crockett High School and helped the Pioneers finish 22-5 overall and 13-0 in conference play. Crockett HS won the regional championship and advanced to the TSSAA State Tournament for the first time in school history.
He has extensive basketball camp staff experience at the University of Tennessee, East Tennessee State University, Appalachian State University, Milligan College and King University.
Higgins is native of Knoxville, Tennessee and played his prep career at Bearden High School.
Higgins, a 2018 graduate of ETSU, is married to Isis Higgins and they have two daughters, Victoria and Sofia.
Galloway joins the Tusculum men’s basketball coaching staff in 2018-19 and will serve as a graduate assistant coach.
Galloway, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, comes to Greeneville after serving as a student manager at Bellarmine University for four seasons and was later promoted to student coach in his final year in 2017-2018.
While at Bellarmine, Galloway and the Knights advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament every year including two trips to the NCAA Final Four in 2015 and 2017. BU accounted for a remarkable 138-26 (.841) overall record during his time with the Knights.
Galloway earned his Bachelor’s degree in sports administration from Bellarmine in 2018 and will be pursuing a master’s degree in teaching.
Tusculum University, located in Greeneville, Tennessee, is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA and is a NCAA Division II member of the South Atlantic Conference.