NIU set to hire Rashon Burno as head basketball coach

Northern Illinois is set to name Arizona State associate head coach Rashon Burno as its next head basketball coach, according to multiple sources.

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NIU is set to name Rashon Burno as its new head basketball coach.

NIU is set to name Rashon Burno as its new head basketball coach.

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Northern Illinois is set to name Arizona State associate head coach Rashon Burno as its head coach, according to multiple sources. 

Burno, who starred at DePaul two decades ago, will replace Mark Montgomery, who was fired in January after going 124-170 in 10 seasons.

A veteran and established assistant coach, Burno has been rising through the college coaching ranks and has spent the last six seasons as Bobby Hurley’s assistant at Arizona State. He was given the associate head coach tag in 2016. He spent three seasons on Billy Donovan’s staff at Florida, where he was part of a Final Four team in 2014. 

While Arizona State has struggled this season with a 10-12 record, Burno has been part of a resurgent Sun Devils program. Arizona State went to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2018 and 2019. Last season, the Sun Devils likely were headed to their third consecutive tournament before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the postseason. 

Known for his recruiting prowess, Burno helped Arizona State to a top-10 recruiting class in the country in 2020. Burno was the lead recruiter on five-star players Joshua Christopher and Marcus Bagley. 

He also spearheaded top-20 national classes in 2018 and 2019 that included local star Alonzo Verge, who was the 2017 Sun-Times Player of the Year at Thornton.

Burno began his coaching career in 2007 as the head coach at Marmion in Aurora. In high school, he played for legendary coach Bob Hurley Sr. at national powerhouse St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, in the 1990s. 

Burno then was a part of DePaul coach Pat Kennedy’s heralded recruiting class in 1998 that included Quentin Richardson, Bobby Simmons and Lance Williams. He was a three-year captain for the Blue Demons and the starting point guard of DePaul’s 2000 NCAA Tournament team.

He takes over an NIU program that wrapped up its season Friday with a win over Central Michigan but finished 3-16 overall and 2-12 in the Mid-American Conference. 

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