Greg Burns, who was part of Pete Carroll’s staff on two national championship teams at USC and spent a year coaching in the NFL, has been hired as Cal’s new defensive backs coach, coach Sonny Dykes announced.
“We are thrilled to have Greg join our staff,” Dykes said in a statement. “He brings to Cal a tremendous amount of coaching experience at the highest levels of college football.”
Burns, 41, replaces Randy Stewart, who was fired last month in the wake of Cal’s 1-11 season. The Bears’ defense ranked among the worst in the country and allowed more points than any team in Cal history.
Coach Sonny Dykes hired Art Kaufman as the Bears’ new defensive coordinator 2 1/2 weeks ago, and Burns’ arrival completes the staff.
Burns has coached for 17 seasons, all but one of them at the collegiate Division I level. He has spent eight of the past 12 seasons in the Pac-12, working from 2008-11 at Arizona State and 2002-05 at USC.
Burns spent four seasons at USC working under Carroll, whose Seattle Seahawks just won the Super Bowl. At USC, Burns coached All-American safety Troy Polamalu and helped the Trojans win back-to-back national championships in 2003 and ’04.
He has coached in 10 bowl games.
“I’m excited to be on the coaching staff at Cal and returning to the Pac-12,” Burns said. “I had a great experience in the league previously and feel like my skill sets both in recruiting and on-field coaching work well in this conference.”
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., played at Washington State, graduating in 1995.
He coached with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers in 2006. His other collegiate stops include Massachusetts last fall, Purdue (2012), Kansas State (2007), Louisville (1998-2001) and Idaho (1997).