Terry Porter adds Mike Burns to Staff at Portland

Recently hired University of Portland men’s basketball head coach Terry Porter has made the first official hire to his coaching staff as Mike Burns was named as an assistant coach. Burns served last season as the interim head coach at the University of the Pacific and has 22 years of collegiate coaching experience, including four as head coach at the NCAA Division I level.

“We are extremely thrilled to have Mike join our staff,” Porter said. “His experience as a head coach and extensive network built throughout his assistant coaching career will be extremely valuable to our players and staff. Mike has spent most of his coaching career on the West Coast and has very strong recruiting ties and roots built in the Pacific Northwest. Most importantly, Mike is a perfect fit for the University of Portland and we are excited to add him and his family to the UP community.”

Burns is no stranger to the Pacific Northwest as a native of Seattle, Wash. and graduate of Central Washington University. He has coached at various colleges in the region including a three-year tenure as head coach of Eastern Washington and one season as an assistant under Dick Bennett at Washington State.

His knowledge and history of working among West Coast Conference institutions extends beyond his stint at Pacific as he spent the previous seven years as the top assistant coach at the University of San Diego.

Burns was thrust into the interim head coach position early into his first year on the bench at Pacific following the University’s self-imposed sanctions relating to a pending NCAA investigation of academic misconduct in prior years. He led the Tigers to six WCC wins and a tie for seventh place in the league standings. It was a two win improvement from the 2014-15 season against WCC competition.

During his tenure at San Diego, Burns headed the recruiting efforts that brought in two-time All-WCC First Team member Johnny Dee, who graduated as the program’s all-time leading scorer and first-ever 2,000-point scorer in 2015.

Burns served as head coach of the Eastern Washington Eagles from 2004-07 and two of his three seasons at the helm he posted .500 or better records. In 2006-07 he led the Eagles to a 15-14 mark, while he was 15-15 overall and placed third in the Big Sky Conference with a 9-5 league record. That squad led the Big Sky Conference and ranked third in NCAA Division I scoring with an average of 84.2 points per game. The team also was sixth nationally in field goal percentage (.495) 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.

He then became head coach of Spokane Community College during the 2007-08 season and led the program 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 Coach of the Year, and the NWAACC East Region Coach of the Year.

Burns spent the 2003-04 season as an assistant coach 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.

Under Giacoletti at EWU, Burns was the team’s recruiting coordinator, coached perimeter players and was responsible for team defense. EWU went 52-37 overall and 30-14 in league play during 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 was an assistant coach at his alma mater Central Washington (1996-99) and then spent one year on staff at Stephen F. Austin (1999-00). During his tenure at Central Washington, where he coordinated the defense, the Wildcats advanced to the NAIA Tournament quarterfinals (1997 and 1998) and earned a No. 1 ranking in the West Region during the 1998-99 campaign after moving to NCAA Division II.


Photo Courtesy Portland Athletics

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