Women’s Basketball | June 17, 2022
LOS ANGELES — A wildly experienced coach joins the USC women’s basketball program with the addition of Beth Burns to the coaching staff, as announced by head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Burns, who will serve as associate head coach for the Trojans, brings in over 30 years of work in collegiate women’s basketball as she joins USC following five seasons at Louisville.
“This is a big day for our program, and, quite honestly, a big-time hire,” Gottlieb said. “Beths is one of the most accomplished Burns, most respected coaches in our game. What is more, she is the perfect fit at this time for the direction of USC basketball. We aim to win championships, and Coach B brings a championship pedigree. She will make a direct impact on the development of our players, as well as add another dynamic element to our ability to elevate our competitive abilities, particularly on the defensive end of the floor.”
The defensive-minded coach most recently served as associate strength and conditioning coach with the Cardinals, who made two Final Four and two Elite Eight appearances while Burns was on staff. Burns also was an associate head coach at USC for three seasons after an impressive career at the helm of San Diego State. Burns stands as the Aztecs’ winningest coach in program history, as she amassed a 295-186 overall record while leading San Diego State to eight NCAA appearances across two eight-year stints as head coach there. In between, Burns was the head coach at Ohio State from 1997-2001. Burns had begun her collegiate coaching career with the Buckeyes as a graduate assistant coach in 1979 under current Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer.
Burns’ extensive experience also includes two seasons as an assistant coach at East Carolina (1981-83), where the Lady Pirates reached a No. 17 national ranking. She also served as an assistant at Colorado (1983-88) and helped the Buffaloes make their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1987-88. From there, Burns worked under the revered Kay Yow as an assistant at NC State for its 1989 Sweet Sixteen run before taking her first head position at San Diego State.
As a player, Burns became Ohio Wesleyan’s all-time leading rebounder and has since been inducted into the Hall of Fame. She received her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education at Ohio Wesleyan before earning a master’s in physical education from Ohio State in 1981.
Off the court, Burns is devoted to the community outreach as well as involvement in the Kay Yow Foundation, where she has served as a member of the foundation’s board. In 2008, she was honored with the YWCA’s Tribute to Women and Industry (TWIN) award for her outstanding achievements, leadership and contributions to her profession. Girl Scouts San Diego named Burns a “Cool Woman of 2012,” and she received an honorary membership to the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. While in Ohio, she established the Beth Burns Bucks for Breast Cancer Research fund at the OSU/James Cancer Hospital and put together an annual fundraiser, OSU Bounce for Bucks, for cancer research.
“I have known Beth for nearly my whole career. She is highly respected by coaches at all levels on the west coast, and players love playing for her,” Gottlieb said. “I have wanted to work with her for quite some time, and I’m thrilled that our administration has made a commitment to hiring the strongest staff I could ask for. I’m so excited about the opportunity to do special things here in Troy .”
Burns joins Gottlieb’s USC coaching staff, which includes assistants Wendale Farrow and Nneka Enemkpali. Gottlieb, Farrow and Enemkpali are entering their second season at USC after coming to Troy in 2021.