Today was a great day to be apart of Huskie Nation. This afternoon, Rashon Burno was introduced as the 29th Men’s Head Basketball Coach in program history. For his first day, Burno met with NIU Radio Host Andy Garcia, NIU President Lisa Freeman, and NIU Associate Athletic Director Sean T. Frazier in his first appearance as the new Head Coach for the program. NIU put together a introductory video to introduce their brand new hire.
Following his brief introduction, Burno was greeted by the media for the first time as well, where he left no stone unturned and gave off the type of positive energy that the program needs. Burno spoke confidently and by the end of the 15 minute presser it was very clear that he is the right person for the job. The presser opened up with a brief statement from NIU Associate Athletic Director Sean T. Frazier, followed by a brief statement from Burno, and then the duo fielded questions from the media.
Burno made sure to put an emphasis on community, and building the program to be a national brand. I asked Burno what type of players Huskie Nation can expect to be added to the student body in the future. Here is Burno’s response:
Coach Burno’s style of basketball will be a tough brand, with hard working student athletes. Burno made sure to put an emphasis on building this team the right way, and that he cannot do it alone. This will be a long process, but he is happy with the guys that he currently has on the roster and cannot wait to get to work with them. I then asked Burno if he will be recruiting Chicago heavily, and here was his response:
You love to see a coach that gets it. By recruiting your state and making sure local players know that NIU is the place to be, it allows a coach to widen his recruiting range. In addition, Burno is well-connected in terms of recruiting players from all across the country.
If Burno can keep the best players from Illinois in the state and bring them to NIU, then the rest will take care of itself, which is something past coaching staffs have failed to do. My final question was what will he be looking forward to most about starting his new job. Here is his response:
Coach Burno’s level of excitement is an injection of much needed energy into a program that lacks such passion. Whether it was the decline as a team or the multiple shut downs, today serves as the first step in the right direction for the 2021 season and the immediate future.
Coach Burno is the perfect guy for the job and I am excited to see what he brings to the table for NIU Men’s Basketball. I was also able to ask Associate Athletic Director Sean T. Frazier what made Coach Burno stick out amongst the other candidates, and here is his response.
All in all, today was a monumental day for the NIU Mens Basketball program. I applaud the NIU Athletic Department for acting swiftly and diligently to make this hire so quickly after the season ended. They found their guy and made it official, which is especially tough to do during these times. This is a great hire and the events that took place today solidified that.
One final shoutout, whoever cut this video the transition at the end was flawless and you deserve a raise. We were all smiles today in Dekalb.