Burleson leading the charge at Port Isabel

After spending the last four seasons at UTRGV as an Assistant Coach on the Women's basketball team, Hannah Burleson is now calling the shots at Port Isabel.

Burleson knew she would have her hands full but there was something about Port Isabel that caught her eye. "It's a team that had potential so obviously as a coach going into my first year, that's something that you look at. It's not a program that won zero games or anything. You know, it's something that has potential," she said.

With the knowledge of a former basketball player and what she learned under famed head coach Larry Tidwell at UTRGV, Burleson had her work cut out for her. "Being at the high school level, I could be more influential and that was kinda what I wanted to do as far as a career, be more of an influence," said Burleson.

Burleson is the first-ever female head coach for the Tarpons and when she first joined UTRGV back in 2013, she was the youngest full-time assistant for a division one program.

Adversity was something Burleson was used to. "I knew it was gonna be a struggle at first. We were on a six-game winning until we played La Feria, so I think they finally bought in and I think things are still on the uphill. I think we're progressing the way we should be progressing at this point," she said.

"It's more challenging because she did come from UTRGV and she's more strict and she demands perfect and she expects us to be on the top and that's what we like," said Junior Gabriella Murchison. "She doesn't expect us to be down. She expects us to hang with the big dogs and that's really good about her."

With her whistle at the ready, Coach Burleson says the basketball and Port Isabel community can expect great things moving forward. "Really showing that I care about them as people and I think that's something that sometimes coaches miss out on and for me, when I came here, that was something I wanted to make sure that that was what my program was built from," she said.

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