Mike Burns joins men's basketball staff
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 03/31/2008
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MOSCOW, Idaho Newly instated Vandal coach Don Verlin added a critical piece to his staff with the hiring of Mike Burns as assistant coach with the University of Idaho men’s basketball program.


“I have known Mike Burns for a long time,” Verlin said. “He worked his way up through the coaching ranks, paid his dues and will fit in extremely well in our basketball program. I have great trust in Mike and he will be responsible for implementing a large portion of our offensive schemes. Mike is a standup guy and a class act. Everyone at the University of Idaho athletic department from the administration to the other coaches and student-athletes will be very happy that he and his family made this decision.”


Burns has strong ties to the Northwest and most recently led Community Colleges of Spokane to a No. 1 ranking in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges and a second-place finish at the NWAACC Tournament. His team finished with a 30-2 overall record and had a 24-game winning streak snapped with a one point loss in the title game against Yakima Valley CC. He was named the NWAACC East Region coach of the year.


Prior to CCS, Burns spent three seasons at the helm of the Eastern Washington University men’s basketball program. In 2006-07, Eastern led the Big Sky Conference and ranked third in NCAA Division I with an average of 84.2 points per game. The team also was sixth nationally in field goal percentage (49.5 percent) and sixth in assists (17.7). While at EWU, Burns coached Rodney Stuckey, who went on to be selected No. 15 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.


Burns spent the 2003-04 season as an assistant at Washington State University under Dick Bennett after spending the previous three years at EWU as an assistant coach on Ray Giacoletti’s staff. While at Washington State, he helped the Cougars finish with six more victories than the previous season, and the team qualified for the conference tournament for the first time since 1990, when all 10 schools qualified.


Under Giacoletti, Burns served as the team’s recruiting coordinator, coached perimeter players and was responsible for team defense. Eastern won 58 percent of its games overall (52-37) and 68 percent in conference play (30-14) in that three-year stretch en route to garnering the school’s first-ever berth in the National Invitation Tournament in 2003 and first-ever NCAA Tournament berth the following season.


In April 2002, following his second season at the helm of the Eagles, Giacoletti promoted Burns to associate head coach.


Burns has deep roots in the state of Washington, having graduated from Tyee High School and Central Washington University. He had coaching stints at both of his alma maters, as well as Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash.


Burns and his wife, Mary, are the parents of one-year-old twins a boy named Bode and a girl named Kylie.