JUCO NEWS: Burns promoted to Head Basketball Coach at Triton

The Triton College athletic department did not have to look far for their next head men’s basketball coach. Trojans assistant coach Brian Burns has been promoted to the top spot and becomes the ninth head coach in program history.  

Burns takes over for John Clancy who resigned after two seasons in June. Clancy accepted an assistant coach position at Western Illinois University. Burns assisted Clancy during both of his seasons at the helm and for the previous three years under former Triton head coach Steve Christiansen.

“We are excited to have Brian Burns as our new men’s basketball head coach,” said Triton Associate Vice President of Athletics Garrick Abezetian. “I know he will continue to maintain the proud and rich tradition of the Triton men’s basketball program.”

For Burns, who has built a solid reputation over the years at the club level and as one of top skill trainers in the Midwest, developing a number of high school, collegiate and pro players, is grateful for his first collegiate head coaching opportunity.

“I would like to thank Triton College President Mary-Rita Moore, Associate Vice President of Athletics Garrick Abezetian and President of Business Services Sean Sullivan for their confidence in me,” Burns said. “I am excited to continue to build off the success we’ve had at Triton between what Steve (Christiansen) did here for nearly 20 years and what (John) Clancy did the past two seasons. I want to keep that level of excellence and put my own spin on the program in the process.”

From a basketball standpoint, Burns does not see much change in the way the Trojans will look under him and the familiarity he has with the program will make the adjustment up to head coach much easier.

“We want to find guys who buy into our culture and who can thrive off that,” Burns said. “We’ll continue to get players that are under the radar like we’ve had in the past who are successful. It will be a similar style of play and similar style of players you’ll see on the floor.”

Burns understands that the bar is set high for program, who won the NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2018 and in 2022, advanced the Division I Final Four in Hutchinson, KS as an at-large selection.

“It starts with us trying to win the Region 4 championship every year,” Burns said. “We have not been able to win a district title in my 5 years here as an assistant and those are the two main things we need to do to get to ‘Hutch'”.

“The goal for every junior college Division I team is to get to ‘Hutch’ and then once you are there, the next step is to win ‘Hutch’. Our goal is to make it to the national tournament more years than not.”  


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