CEU hoops coach Barton found dead

Oct 4 2011 - 11:07pm

PRICE -- Former Weber State basketball player Brad Barton was found dead in Price on Tuesday. The cause of death is still undetermined.

Barton, 31, who became the head basketball coach at USU Eastern (formerly the College of Eastern Utah) in June.

Price police Sgt. Bill Barnes told the Sun Advocate newspaper there was no sign of foul play at Barton's apartment close to the university and that Barton was found there by an assistant coach who came to check after not hearing from Barton on Monday. The state medical office will investigate the cause of death, Barnes said.

Barton played high school basketball at Davis High and played two seasons at Weber State (2001-02 and 2002-03) after transfering from BYU-Hawaii.

"Brad was kind of a one-in-a-million person and player," former Weber State coach Joe Cravens said Tuesday night. "He played for me on a team that went undefeated in (the Big Sky Conference in 2002-03). He was kind of the heart and soul of that team. He wasn't the star but he was the guy that kind of made that team go. He was the most compettitve, compassionate player I think I've ever coached."

Barton had suffered from diabetes for years, Cravens said.

"I think almost everyone assumes (Barton's death) is diabetes related. Several times throughout his career at Weber State, he collapsed and had diabetic seizures and someone was there to call 911. This is purely speculation on my part, but I suspect this time it happened and there was no one there. I talked to his mother tonight and she said he was in great physical condition and was really taking care of himself. I think it's safe to say it was diabetes related."

Cravens said Barton was the hardest-nosed, most competitive player he ever coached. Barton became the head coach at USU Eastern this June after leading the team to a 23-7 record as the interim coach last year. He had previously been an assistant there and also at Snow College in 2006-07.

Dozens of friends left their goodbyes on Barton's Facebook page Tuesday night after news of his passing spread.

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