Recently in DePaul Category
From 1998-2002, Marmion head coach Rashon Burno was a point guard for DePaul University. At that time, he was a key ingredient in the re-birth of the Blue Demons program, which had hit rock bottom under Joey Meyer.
Then-coach Pat Kennedy came in with a blueprint: to win, first you must take care of your own. Burno arrived along with Chicago stars Quentin Richardson, Lance Williams and Bobby Simmons. DePaul made the NCAA Tournament in 2000, losing in the first round to Kansas.
Since that year, the Blue Demons have experienced March Madness only once, 2004. 10 years later, the Blue Demons have hit rock bottom again and are looking for another coach, their 3rd since Kennedy quit in 2002.
Burno was the point guard on the 2000 team. He believes the next coach DePaul hires must share the same Chicago creed as Kennedy, but with a larger ambition.
"You look for a guy who has a vision for where the program should be in five years," said Burno, who has the ear of DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. "Someone who has knowledge of how to build a program not only locally, but nationally."
Watching local stars such as Evan Turner, Derrick Rose and most likely Ryan Boatright flee the Chicago area for other programs is a problem. But Burno says focusing just on local talent, "puts mascara on a lot of issues."
"To compete with the big boys, you must get national talent," said Burno. "You have to make inroads with the best players in the country. You must have balance."
Burno didn't mention any names but did say DePaul will be looking at a number of candidates, those with head coaching experience and without. He says DePaul is still an attractive job with much to offer.
"With the good tradition we have, we can re-establish our brand as one of the best in basketball," said Burno.
Not that Ponsetto is asking, but I would take a look at Mark Montgomery at Michigan State. An assistant under Tom Izzo, Montgomery is, like Burno, a former point guard who is also the Spartans lead recruiter.
How would Kalin Lucas look in a Blue Demons uniform?