August 17th, 2011

Bellarmine Names New Lacrosse Coach

Staff Report

Bellarmine Names New Lacrosse Coach
photo from Bellarmine University athletics

Former UMass assistant takes over Knights program

Bellarmine University Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt announced the hiring of Kevin Burns as the head lacrosse coach on Tuesday.

Burns, who played collegiate lacrosse at ECAC rival Loyola, most recently served as first assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts. 

“I'm very pleased that Kevin will be coming on board with Bellarmine,” Wiegandt said. “He has boundless energy and has served and played under some of the best coaches in the game. I'm confident that Kevin will move Bellarmine lacrosse in the right direction.” 

Bellarmine President Joseph J. McGowan shares Wiegandt's enthusiasm for the direction of Bellarmine lacrosse.

“Being nationally competitive in all phases of university life is important to us at Bellarmine, and I anticipate that Kevin Burns will help us achieve just that in our lacrosse program,” McGowan said. 

Burns just completed his fifth season as an assistant coach under Greg Cannella at UMass where he worked primarily on the defensive side of the ball and helped lead the Minutemen's recruiting. He also has coached at Binghamton University and was on the staff when they reached their highest national ranking of No. 16. Burns started his coaching career as the defensive and recruiting coordinator for the Seahawks of Wagner College.  As a player, Burns was a 4-year defenseman at Loyola for legendary coach Dave Cottle.

During his tenure, the Greyhounds reached the No. 1 national ranking and finished among the top eight in the country. 

“I'm excited to be the new head men's lacrosse coach at Bellarmine University,” Burns said. “It is clear that the leadership at Bellarmine has both high expectations and great vision for the direction the lacrosse team will take in the years ahead, and I appreciate the support that they have for this program and cannot wait to help shape the future of lacrosse not just at Bellarmine, but the entire region as well.” 

Burns's former boss said he thinks Burns is an excellent choice for Bellarmine. “I think Kevin will be a great head coach,” said Cannella, a former national coach of the year.

“He's been an assistant coach for eight or nine years now, and I think he's more than ready (for a head coaching position). He's done a great job here the last five years running our defense and recruiting.” 

“I'm excited for Bellarmine,” Cannella added. “I knew Jack McGetrick, and I think Kevin will carry on the legacy that Jack left.” 

McGetrick, Bellarmine's founding lacrosse coach died last fall after a long bout with cancer, and Bellarmine assistant coach Bart Sullivan stepped in as a head coach on an interim basis. Both Sullivan and current Bellarmine assistant coach Bill Gleason will be retained on Burns's staff.  Burns said he and his fiancé look forward to joining the Bellarmine community.

“Everyone we met at the university made it feel as if we were joining a family,” he said. “We were especially impressed with the city of Louisville itself.  This is truly a world-class place to live, work and attend school.” 

As he prepares to join the Bellarmine community, however, Burns first gave credit to many of the people who helped him get to this position in life.

“I'd like to thank Jake Coon and Doc Schneider for working with me over the past five years,” he said. “They have both been huge influences in shaping me into the coach I am today. 

"I'd especially like to thank Greg Cannella for both his friendship and leadership over the last five years,” he continued. “His mentoring has been instrumental in preparing me for the next step in my professional career.  Coach Cannella's former players always talk about how much he has changed their lives, I can say with all certainty that the same holds true for his assistants as well.  I know that I would not have this opportunity if not for his guidance.”


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