Florida hoops hires Rashon Burno

Florida has added former Manhattan assistant coach Rashon Burno to its basketball coaching staff, following the departure of Norm Roberts to Kansas.

Burno spent one year coaching at Manhattan after taking a job as an assistant at Towson during the 2010-11 season. His two years as a college assistant coach came after a four-year stint as a high school head coach at Marmion Academy in Chicago from 2007-10.

“He’s a great worker and a high-character guy,” coach Billy Donovan said in a university press release. “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.”

In college, Burno was a three-time captain at DePaul, the only player in school history to do so. He helped lead DePaul to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2001 and was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament Team.

The former guard was known for his outstanding defense and hard work both on and off the court. Detailed in this 1996 story from the New York Daily News, Burno’s path to college basketball is an inspiring one.

Burno battled through a parentless childhood, and now he’s without words about the opportunity Donovan has given him.

“Quite honestly, it would be disrespectful to try to put it in words—and I mean that in a respectful way,” Burno said in the release. “This is a golden opportunity for me to come in and learn the business from a future Hall-of-Fame coach. How many guys can say that? It’s a blessing.”

Burno’s DePaul team beat Florida in 2000, winning 71-69 against the Florida team that eventually went on to play for the national championship. The Gators got the better of Burno in a meeting the following year, winning 83-76.

As a high school player, Burno also helped anchor back-to-back national championship runs for St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City under head coach Bob Hurley in 1996 and 1997. Donovan has a long-standing relationship with Hurley.

The addition of Burno completes Florida’s coaching staff. Both John Pelphrey and Matt McCall have remained on staff.

He expects to hit the recruiting trail hard in the next few days with the spring signing period now open.

“I love the challenge. I love the competition to go out and try to get the best players,” Burno said in the release. “I’ve done it at a different level, obviously. I wasn’t recruiting guys with this kind of talent, but it’s the same thing. You have to understand the process it takes to convince a kid to choose your school over someone else’s. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I’m everything someone would be in a position like this.”

Linked is another terrific story on Rashon Burno and his career path after finishing his college playing career.