By Andrew Nevins | Echo
The Northern Arizona Suns of the NBA G League ended their head coaching search in July by promoting Associate Head Coach and 2008 Taylor graduate Bret Burchard to the position.
"I've witnessed Bret's rise through the video room to the coaching ranks and seen a tremendous amount of growth in not only his coaching ability, but also his leadership," NAZ Suns General Manager Louis Lehman said in a statement. "Bret's core values align with what the Suns organization looks for in a head coach and I'm excited to watch him develop our talented group of G League players and coaches."
Burchard stated that he is very excited to return to the Suns community and is committed to building upon the elite-level basketball of the entire Suns organization. He'll be looking to push Northern Arizona to the top of the G League in just its third year of existence.
Others in the organization know Burchard as someone who is a very well-calculated and fundamental coach who is extremely passionate about his player's development on and off the court.
Burchard has been with the Suns organization since 2010 where he began as the Manager of Basketball Communications for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Bryce Marsee, '14, currently holds the position.
Burchard moved through the ranks of the organization by becoming the Basketball Communications Coordinator and eventually Head Video Coordinator before moving into coaching in 2016.
The son of a college coach, Burchard has always been fascinated with the profession.
"I've grown up around coaches, been raised by coaches. It's just kinda the circle I've lived in," Burchard said. "I always thought about being a coach. I would take notes and plan and prepare and think about what it would be like to be a coach. I don't know if this is a lifelong dream fulfilled or anything like that, but this is the path that I've grown in and probably headed toward naturally."
He is also involved with SightShift: Athletes, a foundation that does mindset training for athletes and coaches. It focuses on the mental side of performance and helps athletes and coaches remove distractions and relax with pressure so that they can perform at their best.
Burchard graduated from Taylor in 2008 with a degree in Sports Management and Public Relations. He was a member of the varsity basketball team and served as an assistant coach for two years after graduation.
It doesn't take much for Burchard to be reminded of his playing days in the purple and white.
"When I go back to Taylor I walk back into the Kessler Center and I can just smell practice," Burchard said. "Those days of training with teammates and Coach Patterson's voice echoing through that gym, that all just sort of sticks with me."