Following the loss of Suzie McConnell-Serio to the Pittsburgh Panthers, the Duquesne women’s basketball team was without a head coach however according to sources, that ended today.
The team’s former assistant coach Dan Burt is expected to be promoted to the head coaching position for the upcoming season. Burt was the top assistant on McConnell-Serio’s Duquesne staff and left along with all of the other coaches on staff to Pittsburgh to be their top assistant however going back to Duquesne to lead the team was too much to refuse.
Burt has been a coach since 1998, five years after graduating college. Previous stops were all as an assistant coach and were at West Virginia, UNC Wilmington, Bucknell and Duquesne before he was to fulfill the same role at Pitt.
At Bucknell, the team won the Patriot league title in 2006-07 and made it to the WNIT. UNC Wilmington was another successful stop as the team went 53-33 during his three seasons there, their best three seasons.
Burt is known as a good recruiter and in 2011 got what ESPN HoopGurlz called the 38th best class.
Burt rejoins a team that will be very excited to play with a familiar face and encourage them, while using his strengths as a recruiter to help build a team that is expected to return eight players led by Wumi Agunbiade, Orsi Szecsi and April Robinson.
Update: The Duquesne website has made it official and Dan Burt is their new coach. He is the program’s 10th coach in their 40 years.
“Dan Burt is the perfect choice to lead our women’s basketball program. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to the university and our student-athletes,” Athletic Director Greg Amodio said in a statement on the Duquesne website. “I expect the program to grow under his leadership and compete for the Atlantic 10 Conference championship annually. The addition of Dan ensures that everything is in place for the continued success of Duquesne women’s basketball.”
Burt will leave his job as the top assistant for Pitt to lead Duquesne.
“I am very humbled and excited to be the next head coach for the Duquesne University women’s basketball team,” said Burt on the website. “I have dreamed of this moment for the last 16 years and today that dream came true. I would like to thank President Dougherty, Greg Amodio, the Duquesne administration, my family, the players, the previous coaching staff and everybody else I have worked with for their support. I look forward to the challenge of taking this program to the next level.”
My take: This is the best hire Duquesne could have made with the current roster they had. The players seemed upset and surprised that they lost Suzie McConnell-Serio, but they stayed together and kept strong during the process. it had to be a comfortable and exciting feeling to get such a familiar face back, especially with everyone else on the coaching staff coming to Pitt. In Burt, they have a coach that has great knowledge of the game. In addition, Burt knows this team and knows that they were more defensively oriented last season. He will have to up their offensive production but this is a coach that was a part of their WNIT success, so he knows what works and what doesn’t. Obviously the players are excited and that will go a long way into preparation for the upcoming season.