MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State head football coach Ron Prince finalized his 2007 coaching staff Tuesday with the addition of Greg Burns as defensive backs coach.
A 10-year coaching veteran who starred as a defensive back at Washington State in the early 1990s, Burns was most recently a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ organization, where he served the 2006 season as the NFL team’s defensive backs coach.
“We are very excited about the addition of Greg Burns to our coaching staff,” Prince said. ”He has coached at the highest levels of the game and I am very impressed with both his experience and the places he’s coached. He knows what it takes to be successful in an environment like Kansas State and we believe he is a great fit for our organization.”
In his only season at Tampa Bay, Burns coached Pro Bowl cornerback Ronde Barber. Prior to Tampa Bay, he spent the 2002-05 seasons at the University of Southern California as the Trojans’ secondary coach. While at USC, Burns helped coach the Trojans to a four-year record of 48-4 (.923) that included four straight BCS bowl berths, three outright Pacific-10 Conference championships and one co-Pac-10 title and two national championships. USC was named national champions by The Associated Press in 2003 after going 12-1 and BCS national champions in 2004 after completing the season with a perfect 13-0 record. The Trojans were also the national runner-up in 2005 after falling to Texas in the BCS title game.
During his time at Southern California, Burns developed a reputation as one of the brightest young secondary coaches in the country and mentored a number of stand-out performers, including All-American safeties Troy Polamalu (2002) and Darnell Bing (2005). He also coached first team All-Pac-10 cornerback Will Poole in 2003.
Burns, 34, joined Pete Carroll’s staff at USC on the heels of a very successful run at Louisville, where he helped build the Cardinals into a national power as the program’s cornerbacks coach from 1998-2001. During his time at Louisville, the Cardinals earned four straight bowl berths and posted a combined 34-15 (.694) record.
In his final season with the Cardinals in 2001, Louisville ranked 18th nationally in pass efficiency defense and had 20 interceptions during an 11-2 campaign that featured a victory over BYU in the Liberty Bowl. In 2000, Louisville led the nation in interceptions with 27 and was 20th in pass efficiency defense.
Burns also produced six All-Conference USA cornerbacks during his tenure at Louisville, including first teamers Anthony Floyd (2000 and 2001) and Antonio Roundtree (1998).
Burns received his first full-time coaching opportunity at the University of Idaho in 1997. During his lone season with the Vandals, Burns’ secondary accounted for 13 of the team’s interceptions.
As a player, Burns earned four letters at Washington State University (1991-93, 1995) and was a two-year starter as a defensive back for the Cougars.
In 1992, Burns earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors while helping lead Washington State to a victory in the Copper Bowl.
Burns still ranks 11th on the Cougars’ career interception list with nine, with five coming during the 1992 season alone. He also won WSU's Laurie Niemi Award in 1995 (for the senior exhibiting courage, spirit and positive attitude). He missed the 1994 season with torn ligaments in his knee and his 1995 season was cut short because of a shoulder injury.
Burns graduated from Washington State with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1995. He went on to add a master’s in counseling psychology from WSU in 1997.
A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Burns prepped at Dorsey High School, where he competed in football and track & field prior to attending college at Washington State.
Burns and his Wife, Crystal, have two sons, Cristopher and Carter.
The Burns File
Year at K-State: First
Date of Birth: Nov. 9, 1972
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Children: Cristopher (3), Carter (1 mo.)
Washington State (1995), B.A. Psychology
Washington State (1997), Ed.M. Counseling Psychology
Washington State, Defensive Back (1991-93, 1995)
2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, assistant coach (defensive backs)
2002-05 Southern California, assistant coach (defensive backs)
1998-2001 Louisville, assistant coach (cornerbacks)
1997 Idaho, assistant coach (cornerbacks)
Coach at USC: 2006 Rose Bowl, 2005 Orange Bowl, 2004 Rose Bowl, 2003 Orange Bowl; Coach at Louisville: 2001 Liberty Bowl, 2000 Liberty Bowl, 1999 Humanitarian Bowl, 1998 Motor City Bowl.
Player at Washington State: 1992 Copper Bowl, 1994 Alamo Bowl.