Saturday June 3rd, 2023 3:48AM

Boys basketball: Burney excited to take the helm at East Forsyth

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — When Jay Burney resigned as head boys coach at Flowery Branch in March, he immediately started searching for the next opportunity. 

So when Scott Bracco stepped down at East Forsyth, the timing was perfect for Burney to get back on the sidelines. 

"Coaching is who I am, and it's what I love," he said. "This opportunity presented itself, and it's something I wanted to pursue. I'm excited about being there. Coach Bracco did a great job, and the kids have been well-coached for the last couple of years. Hopefully, we can continue that and build something special."

Burney was officially hired as the new boys coach at East Forsyth on Wednesday morning. Athletic director Matt Hollis announced the hire via press release. 

"Coach Burney is the perfect fit for building this program," Hollis said. "Our basketball program is a mere two years old. Coach Burney has built several programs into state-level contenders. This time he gets to do it in a new school that is looking to be led in a championship direction." 

Burney guided the Falcons to their best campaign in six years last season, going 15-10 and narrowly missing the Class 5A state playoffs. 

But Burney's work has been stretched over the last 30 years, with all but four spent in Alabama. He's been a college head coach, but most of his time has been at the high school level. He's made stops at Lee, Buckhorn and Boaz high schools. He's led his teams to eight area championships, 11 state playoff appearances and two state runner-up finishes. 

Burney retired from coaching in Alabama in 2019 to pursue the Flowery Branch job. Now, he'll become the second head boys coach in just the third season of the East Forsyth program, and that is what excites him the most. 

"Being able to build a program is part of what drew me here," he said. "The other was the new belief of what could be done at East." 


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