Skip to main content

Arizona Football and head coach announced the addition of Greg Burns to the Wildcats' staff as defensive backs coach. Burns officially joined the program on March 9 and has already begun his responsibilities.

From a University of Arizona press release:

"We are obviously in a very unique time, and the importance of surrounding ourselves with men such as Greg is crucial in the development of our student-athletes on and off the field. We are fortunate to have Greg with our secondary during this time," Sumlin said. "He brings more than 20 years of experience coaching in the secondary with a successful track record in recruiting and development. His Pac-12 experience, professionalism and passion for the game will be a great addition to our staff. He is more than qualified to help lead our student-athletes during this unique time."

Burns most recently served as the defensive backs coach at USC in 2019. Prior to that, Burns served as the defensive backs coach at Oregon State in 2018, which followed a three-year stint at California coaching in the secondary. Burns has also had stops at Massachusetts, Purdue, Arizona State, Kansas State, the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Louisville and Idaho.

"On behalf of my family and I, I would like to thank Coach Sumlin and Coach (Paul) Rhoads for the opportunity to join the Arizona Football family," Burns said. "I am excited about what Coach Sumlin is building and am looking forward to getting to work."

Burns had two stints at USC and coached 10 future NFL players during his time there, including Troy Polamalu, Terrell Thomas, Darnell Bing, Will Poole and others. He was on staff for the Trojans' national championships in 2003 and 2004. All total in his career, he has been a part of six conference championship teams and has coached in 14 bowl games.

Burns has extensive Pac-12 experience, including three seasons at Cal from 2014-16. There, the Bears posted their first eight-win season (2015) since 2009 and won the Armed Forces Bowl. He also helped safety Stefan McClure earn 2015 Pac-12 honorable mention recognition.

He also coached at Arizona State from 2008 to 2011. The 2009 team led the Pac-10 in total defense and passing defense, while the 2010 team led the league in rushing defense for a second-straight season. He helped guide ASU to the Las Vegas Bowl in 2011.

Burns also coached in the NFL in 2006 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and helped guide Ronde Barber to All-Pro honors that season. That came after his first four-year stint at USC where the Trojans went 48-4 during his time there.

Before his time at USC, Burns spent four seasons at Louisville, coaching cornerbacks. The Cardinals played in four bowl games in his four years there. He also coached two first-team all-conference players in Anthony Floyd and Antonio Roundtree. The 2000 team led the nation in interceptions with 27.

Burns began his coaching career in 1997 at Idaho as the cornerbacks coach. Before he began coaching, Burns spent time at Washington State as an academic counselor. He was a four-year letterman at Washington State, as well, and a two-year starter for the Cougars. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1995 and a master's degree in counseling psychology in 1997 from Washington State.

He and his wife, Crystal, have three sons: Christopher, Carter and Cooper.

Arizona Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2020-current)
USC Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2019)
Oregon State Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2018)
California Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2014-16)
Massachusetts Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2013)
Purdue Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2012)
Arizona State Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2008-11)
Kansas State Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2007)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2006)
USC Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (2002-05)
Louisville Assistant Coach – Cornerbacks (1998-2001)
Idaho Assistant Coach – Cornerbacks (1997)

Scroll to Continue