UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rodney Terry announced three additions to his staff on Friday. Brian Burton and Nick Matson have been named assistant coaches, and Mark Gisbertz has been appointed Director of Basketball Operations.
Brian Burton – Assistant Coach
“Coach Burton has had the chance to work for a number of really good head coaches in his young career, including at a couple of institutions in the state of Texas,” Terry said. “He brings tremendous energy, a good eye for talent and a great rapport with young men.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to not only be back in my home state of Texas, but also to continue working alongside, and learn from, one of the coaches that I’ve always looked up to since the beginning of my career,” Burton said. “I’m ecstatic to get to work and help build this program back to its rich tradition of winning.”
Burton was with the Bulldogs as Director of Basketball Operations during the 2017-18 season. His behind-the-scenes support helped the team to a 21-11 record and 11-7 mark in the Mountain West Conference. Guard Deshon Taylor garnered first team All-MWC honors after averaging 17.8 points per game, fifth-best in the league.
Burton came to Fresno State after spending the previous three years (2014-17) as an assistant coach at Lamar. He helped engineer a major turnaround in Beaumont, as the Cardinals’ victory total climbed from five in 2013-14 (the year before he was hired) to 15 in 2014-15 and 19 in 2016-17. In his final season, Burton served as recruiting coordinator as the Cardinals won at Oregon State, finished 10-8 in the Southland Conference and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the first time. Lamar had two All-Conference players that year, including first teamer Colton Weisbrod. The Nederland, Texas native was one of multiple top-50 players from the Lone Star State recruited and signed by Burton during his time at Lamar. Weisbrod was a first team NJCAA All-American and Region XIV Player of the Year at Lamar State Port Arthur.
Entering his 14th season in collegiate coaching in 2018-19, Burton previously worked as an assistant at Abilene Christian (2011-14) and Utah (2010-11). Prior to ACU and Utah, he had five successful years coaching junior college programs at Richland College, Collin College, Paris Junior College and Midland College.
While at Abilene Christian, Burton aided in the Wildcats’ transition from NCAA Division II status to Division I. During the 2011-12 campaign, ACU quadrupled its conference win total. Burton took over as the squad’s recruiting coordinator for the 2013-14 season and helped assemble a class that included Top-30 players from the state of Texas.
Burton worked for current Chicago Bulls Associate Head Coach Jim Boylen at Utah. He was assistant for player development with the Utes.
In five years as a junior college coach, Burton’s teams racked up 100 victories with a .761 win percentage, four national rankings (three inside the top-10) and three conference titles.
His top recruit in the junior college ranks was Jonathon Simmons, who currently plays for the Orlando Magic in the NBA. Simmons played for top-10 programs at Midland College and Paris Junior College before transferring to the University of Houston, where he was the team’s leading scorer during the 2011-12 season (14.7 ppg).
In addition to Simmons, Burton helped produce 22 NCAA Division I signees, 17 All-Conference selections, two All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans during his five years coaching junior college.
Burton has also worked in skill development under some of the best basketball trainers in the country for Nike and the Bryant Skills Academy (formerly owned by current Utah Jazz assistant Johnnie Bryant).
He began his career in grassroots basketball with Dallas Hoop Dreams, an organization that he created with his brother, Jason, who is currently the women’s head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce. He also coached with fellow grassroots organizations Dallas Mustangs and Dallas Showtyme.
Burton earned his bachelor’s degree in American Studies in Business and Technology from UT-Dallas (2005), where he was a two-year starter at point guard. As a two-year captain, Burton led the Comets to their first-ever winning season and conference championship.
A Plano, Texas native, Burton and his wife, Natalie, have a daughter, Janiyah. He and his three brothers all played at the collegiate level.
Nick Matson – Assistant Coach
“Coach Matson has been with me for seven years,” Terry said. “He was instrumental in helping us build a successful program at Fresno State, and I have no doubt he’s going to do the same at UTEP. He does a great job developing young players and he’s a tireless worker.”
“I am extremely excited to join UTEP Basketball and its long tradition of excellence,” Matson said. “The passion for Miner Basketball in this great region is second to none. I am thrilled to continue working with my mentor Coach Terry and assist him in implementing a vision and culture for helping young men achieve their dreams.”
Matson comes to UTEP after serving on Terry’s staff for all seven seasons (2011-18) at Fresno State, most recently as an assistant coach. The Bulldogs logged 20 wins or more in four of the last five seasons, won the Mountain West Conference tournament title in 2016 and made three postseason tournament appearances (2014 CBI, 2016 NCAA, 2017 NIT).
Prior to being elevated to assistant coach, Matson spent five years as Director of Basketball Operations (2012-2017) and one season as a graduate assistant (2011-12) at Fresno State.
Matson played an extensive role in the Bulldogs’ player development. During the 2017-18 season, guard Deshon Taylor garnered first team All-MWC honors after averaging 17.8 points per game, fifth-best in the league. Forward Bryson Williams was a third team All-MWC honoree. Sam Bittner and Jahmel Taylor were among the MWC and national leaders in three-point shooting during the 2017-18 season.
During the 2015-16 campaign, Fresno State notched the third-most victories in school history (25) and finished second in the MWC with a 13-5 mark. The Bulldogs returned to the “Big Dance” for the first time in 15 years after ending the season with a flurry, capturing wins in 11 of their last 12 games. Marvelle Harris was named the MWC Player of the Year.
Fresno State also finished strong during the 2013-14 campaign, posting victories in 13 of the last 18 outings and advancing to the CBI Finals. Paul Watson was named the MWC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American, and joined Tyler Johnson on the All-Conference Team.
Matson spent the 2010-11 season as the graduate assistant at Murray State under head coach Billy Kennedy. The Racers finished 23-9, won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and fashioned a 14-4 mark in league play. Matson assisted with administrative duties and player development at Murray State, working with All-American guard and future NBA player Isaiah Canaan.
A native of Roseville, Calif., Matson was a coaching intern at Stanford under Johnny Dawkins during the 2009-10 season. He assisted with recruiting administration, team operations and scouting reports.
Matson received his bachelors’ degree in Psychology from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 2009. He was a guard for the Keydets from 2006-08. VMI employed an up-tempo offense that set all-time NCAA records for points per game, steals, and three-pointers made in a season. In 2008-09, Matson served as undergraduate assistant coach, which was one of the most successful seasons in VMI history. The Keydets finished 24-8, including an upset victory over Kentucky at Rupp Arena.
Mark Gisbertz – Director of Basketball Operations
“Mark has been with me for seven years and has worked his way up, starting as a manager,” Terry said. “He has been extremely loyal and has shown a great rapport with the players as well. He possesses a tremendous work ethic.”
“I’m excited to be in El Paso,” Gisbertz said. “Coach Terry has been great to me. It has been an honor to work for, and learn from, a guy who has so much experience and who has won at a very high level.”
Gisbertz spent seven years on the Fresno State staff, beginning as a student manager (2011-14) before working his way up to graduate assistant (2014-16) and Director of Player Development (2016-18). His efforts were instrumental in the Bulldogs posting four 20-win seasons in the last five years, and making three postseason tournament appearances (CBI 2014, NCAA 2016, NIT 2017). In 2016, Fresno State won the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship for its first league title in 13 years.
In the last two seasons with Gisbertz as Director of Player Development, Fresno State has had a couple of All-MWC players in Deshon Taylor (third team 2017) and Bryson Williams (third team 2018). Taylor joined the Bulldogs’ Jaron Hopkins on the MWC All-Defensive Team during that stretch.
A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Gisbertz earned his bachelor’s degree from Fresno State in May, 2014. He played his prep ball at Garces Memorial High School.