Duke Burnett was the Trigg County High School basketball coach from 1959-67. His record in eight seasons as Wildcat skipper was 133-77. His wins are the third most in school history and his .633 winning percentage ranks as second-highest.
Six of Burnett’s eight teams had winning records. However, his biggest challenge came in his second season as head coach when the school and gymnasium burned to the ground in the summer of 1960. Practicing in a warehouse and playing all of their games on the road in Hopkinsville and Christian County for two seasons, the Wildcats were a combined 25-25.
Burnett’s 1962-63 team christened the new Wildcat Gym with 20 wins in 23 games in their new home. The Wildcats set a school record with 23 wins and their first district title in 23 years. Trigg County won the school’s first region tournament game over Livingston Central before losing to Princeton Dotson in the semifinals.
The Wildcats again won 23 games and a district title in 1965 before losing to Hopkinsville Attucks in the region semifinals.
Burnett won his third and final district title for Trigg County in his final season in 1967.
However, one of Burnett's greatest feats came in the mid-1960s when he was the coach of the Wildcats when the school underwent intergration -- something that went smoothly at Trigg County unlike other places.