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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Donovan hires Burno as new assistant coach to replace Roberts

Billy Donovan’s coaching staff did not remain undermanned for long following last week’s departure of assistant coach Norm Roberts.

On Thursday, Donovan announced the hiring of Rashon Burno, a 33-year-old former assistant coach at Manhattan College, to replace Roberts, who left Florida for a similar post at national runner-up Kansas.

“This is a golden opportunity for me to come in and learn the business from a future Hall of Fame coach,” Burno said in a university press release. “How many guys can say that? It’s a blessing.”

Burno has been a college assistant coach for two years but was part of Jaspers coach Steve Masiello’s first-year staff that helped turn Manhattan into a 21-13 club just a year following a 6-25 campaign.

“He’s a great worker and a high-character guy,” Donovan said. “He’s almost at a point now where he has a chance to grow into something special. He probably has some things he’ll need to learn and grow, but he’s got a great upside. And he’s really invested into our program because of the opportunity being given him.”

Before helping guide the Jaspers to a winning record, Burno began his coaching career in 2010 at Towson with his former college coach Pat Kennedy.

Burno played at DePaul under Kennedy from 1998-2002 and was the team captain for his last three years. Like current UF guard Mike Rosario, Burno is a graduate of St. Anthony’s High (N.J.), where he won two national championships.

The hiring of Burno solidifies the Gators’ coaching staff one day into the college basketball late signing period. Florida has one scholarship available after Walter Pitchford transferred.  

Contact John Boothe at jboothe@alligator.org.

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