UNC Greensboro alumnus Daren Burns enters his first season as an assistant coach for the Spartan wrestling team. Burns spent the past season working as a volunteer assistant with the Spartans.
"I am very excited about the addition of Daren Burns to the UNCG coaching staff," Coach Loukides said. "Daren is a true Spartan and knows UNCG inside and out. He excelled both as a student and an athlete while at UNCG. He has an outstanding competitive background, including four conference championships and two top-12 appearances at the NCAA Championships, and is UNCG's all-time wins leader. He will be a tremendous addition to our staff."
Burns ended his career after the 2007-08 season as the most decorated wrestler to ever wear a UNCG singlet. He finished with a career record of 107-35 and an amazing 54-11 in dual matches. His 107 wins currently stand as the most in school history.
"I am excited to have this opportunity to coach at UNCG," Burns said. "UNCG's coaches and administration provided me the necessary support to succeed. I could not have been any happier with my time spent as a student-athlete at UNCG. I look forward to continuing my time at UNCG and contributing as a member of the athletic department staff."
This past season, in addition to being a volunteer coach for the UNCG wrestling team, Burns was the head coach for the Y.E.S. Greensboro wrestling club. The club, which stands for Youth, Education & Sport, is a freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling club for student-athletes to better their abilities on the mat and in the classroom. Burns has also been a clinician at the UNCG wrestling camps since 2004, helping campers learn the intricacies of the sport.
Burns is the only wrestler in school history to win four Southern Conference wrestling championships. He is also the only wrestler to qualify for the NCAA Championships four times. As a sophomore and redshirt senior, Burns finished in the top 12 at the NCAA Championships. In 2004, he was also named the SoCon Freshman of the Year after winning the conference championship at 197 pounds.
Burns also found success wrestling in national and international competition in freestyle and Greco-Roman events. In 2005, Burns won a bronze medal at the Pan American Championships in the freestyle division. He continued his freestyle success in 2007 when he won a silver medal at the University Nationals and qualified for the U.S. World Team Trials.
He showed his Greco-Roman abilities in 2008 when he claimed the Western Regional Championship. He also qualified for the USA Olympic Trials in Greco-Roman that same year.
Burns recently earned his bachelor's degree in exercise and sports science from UNCG in December 2008. He has aspirations of going back to school to get his MBA in the near future.