Burton leaving for DC job

NIGEL BURTON, the cornerbacks coach at Oregon State the last five years and one of the staff's best recruiters, is leaving the Beavers' program to accept the defensive coordinator position at Nevada.

Burton spent the last five seasons in Corvallis as cornerbacks coach, helping the Beavers to four bowl victories. He was a part of an Oregon State staff guiding a defense that ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in Pac-10 in three of the last five seasons.

Coach Mike Riley and staff have begun the search for a new coach with aspirations of filling the vacancy as soon as possible with the February 6 Signing Day looming.

Burton developed some of the top cornerbacks in the history of the program. Juniors Keenan Lewis and Brandon Hughes in '07 were a big part of the reason Oregon State could turn the linebackers loose to blitz and strongly play the run. Hughes was second team All-Pac-10 this season, while Lewis was a 2005 Freshman All-American. In 2004, the Beavs boasted All-Pac-10 selections Aric Williams and Brandon Browner.

"We appreciate the work that Nigel has done for Oregon State and we will miss him, his wife Heather and son Jace," Riley said in a release announcing the departure.

Burton joined the OSU staff after spending the 2001 and 2002 seasons at Portland State, where he served as the program's secondary coach and special teams coordinator. He began his coaching career at South Florida in 1999 as a graduate assistant coach.

"I have enjoyed Oregon State University tremendously," Burton said. "I have learned a great deal from working with some of the best coaches in the country and with some outstanding young men who are great athletes, but even better people. It was an extremely difficult decision to leave, but I'm excited about the new responsibilities and challenges that await me at Nevada."

Burton is a 1999 graduate of Washington, where he played corner after transferring from the University of The Pacific.

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