NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College has named Courtney Burns as head coach of the women's basketball program, as announced by Director of Athletics Dana Fulmer Garfield on Wednesday.
Burns, who will make her collegiate head coaching debut with the Mariners, has coaching experience at both the NCAA Division II and III levels. She most recently served as an assistant coach at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H. She previously spent time as an assistant at both Southern Connecticut State University and Johnson & Wales University.
"We are happy and excited to add Courtney to our coaching staff," said Fulmer Garfield. "She is a bright, young coach who has earned the respect of her peers, as well as a reputation for being a tireless recruiter. The same qualities that brought her success as a player—leadership, integrity, selflessness and a strong work ethic—have carried over into her professional life. She is committed to building a winning program, both on and off the court, of which the Mitchell community can be proud."
Burns, a native of Rockland, Mass., will take over a program that went 12-14 last season and finished fourth in the New England Collegiate Conference with a 12-6 league record. The Mariners graduated only one senior this spring and are slated to return 11 letterwinners.
"I am extremely honored and grateful for the opportunity to lead the Mitchell College women's basketball program," said Burns. "I would like to thank President Steinmayer, Athletic Director Dana Fulmer Garfield, and the entire search committee for this opportunity. We have a great core group of student-athletes eager to take the program to the next level. I am excited to begin working with these student-athletes to build a championship culture and take the program to new heights."
Burns was named to the SNHU women's basketball staff in the summer of 2015. The past two seasons she has assisted in all facets of the program, serving as offensive coordinator and focusing on guard development. As offensive coordinator she was charged with implementing the read and react offense, and she was also responsible for recruiting, opponent scouting, and film breakdown and exchange.
Prior to SNHU, Burns served a season as an assistant coach at Southern Connecticut in 2014-15. At the time she was the youngest assistant in the Northeast-10 Conference, and she helped lead the Owls to the fifth-best league record despite being selected last (15th) in the preseason polls. She spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach at Johnson & Wales, working with guards and post players and helping the Wildcats to their first postseason win since 2009.
Burns joined the coaching ranks after a four-year playing career at Rhode Island College. A captain in her final two seasons, she played in 103 career games and averaged 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. During her four years the Anchorwomen won 77 games and enjoyed a pair of 20-win seasons, including a 2011-12 campaign (25-4 overall) in which the program won its first-ever Little East Conference title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Following college, Burns continued her playing career with a stint with the Brockton Lady Thunder. She also represented the United States in a four-game tour of Italy with American International Sports.
In addition to coaching, Burns has a background in strength and conditioning. She assisted in the creation of a strength and conditioning program while at JWU, and as a student at RIC she served as the women's basketball strength and conditioning coordinator. She currently serves as a youth strength and conditioning coach at Gutcheck in Rockland, Mass.
Burns graduated from RIC in 2014 with a degree in mathematics. She is currently pursuing a Master's in sports management at SNHU.