The Commerce Journal

Sports

August 16, 2013

Piper hires Paul Burns as assistant soccer coach

COMMERCE — Texas A&M University-Commerce head soccer coach Neil Piper announced the hiring of Paul Burns as the Lions’ assistant coach earlier this week.

“The soccer program is very fortunate to get someone of Paul’s ability,” Piper said. “He is a very experienced coach who has had success on the field and his student-athletes have excelled in the classroom. He will definitely make my job a lot easier and I expect the team to really respond to him”.

Burns bring with him an incredible resume and a wealth of soccer knowledge. He spent the last 17 seasons as the head coach at Austin College in Sherman, building the Kangaroo program from scratch. Burns compiled a 176-117-26 record while leading Austin College to three NCAA tournament berths, the 2000 American Southwest Conference championship and four-straight east division titles.

During his time in Sherman, Burns’ players accounted for over 100 All-Conference and Academic All-Conference honors. He helped guide the ‘Roos to 14-straight winning seasons as well as success in the classroom as his teams consistently boasted a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Prior to starting the program at Austin College, Burns spent one season at Stephen’s College in Columbia, Mo., where he also started the Stars’ soccer program.

He holds his “A” License from the United States Soccer Federation as well as his premier license from the National Soccer Coaches of America.

Burns earned his undergraduate degree in sports and recreation studies from Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom.

There he was an accomplished player, helping lead Staffordshire to the National Finals. Burns went on to earn his master’s degree in health and exercise science from the University of Missouri.

Burns’ wife Holly is an elementary school teacher and the couple have two children, Jade and McKinlee. He remains active on the pitch, competing in the Dallas Men’s Outdoor Premier Soccer League.

A&M-Commerce opens up its 2013 season in Grand Junction, Colo., on Sept. 6 facing nationally-ranked Fort Lewis. The Lions’ first home match of the season will be on Sept. 13 when A&M-Commerce faces Harding at 7:30 p.m. at Lion Soccer Field.

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