It did not take long for coach Billy Donovan to find his next assistant coach. In less than one full week since former assistant coach Norm Roberts left the University of Florida to be hired on at the University of Kansas, Rashon Burno from Manhattan College became an immediate candidate and top choice for Donovan as Roberts’ replacement.
At 33-years-old, Burno touts a short coaching career with only two years of total coaching experience. In that time, Burno has been on the staff of two different universities. He began his coaching career under former Floriday State and DePaul coach Pat Kennedy in 2010-11 at Towson State University. He was then hired on at Manhattan College for the 2011-12 season.
Part of what makes Burno so attractive within the business is that he was a part of a Manhattan staff that led the team to a 15-win improvement last season as the team touted a record of 21-13. At Manhattan, Burno was able to learn from head coach Steve Masiello who was an assistant coach under Rick Pitino for six seasons.
Ex-Pitino assistants have statistically been very knowledgeable, experienced and high character individuals on and off the court – a perfect learning environment for any new coach. But Donovan would know this better than anyone as he played for Pitino at Providence and coached on Pitino’s staff as an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky.
In Donovan’s official statement, he references Burno’s attributes: “He’s a great worker and a high-character guy. He’s almost at a point now where he has a chance to grow into something special. He probably has some things he’ll need to learn and grow, but he’s got a great upside. And he’s really invested into our program because of the opportunity being given him.”
As a player, Burno was a point guard for Pat Kennedy at DePaul. He started 58 games in his career and was a team captain for three seasons, showing excellent leadership for the program.
Burno clearly appreciates this opportunity and is excited to hit the ground running. “This is a golden opportunity for me to come in and learn the business from a future Hall-of-Fame coach,” Burno said. “How many guys can say that? It’s a blessing.”
Article Originally Published and Written by Greg Mitchell on GatorsNow.com