BRIAN BURTON – RISING COACHES, UPRISE ATHLETIC GROUP, ALL ACCESS NETWORK, ESPN COLLEGE BASKETBALL ANALYST, & FORMER COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH – EPISODE 634

Brian Burton

Website – https://www.upriseag.com/

Email – coachburton13@gmail.com

Twitter – @CoachBurton13

Brian Burton is the VP of Rising Coaches Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Alliance, the CEO of Uprise Athletic Group & the All-Access Network, & ESPN College Basketball Analyst along with being a long-time college basketball coach at various levels.  Burton has spent time as an assistant coach with IUPUI, UTEP, Fresno State, Lamar, Abilene Christian, & Utah.  Prior to that he had five successful years coaching junior college programs at Richland College, Collin College, Paris Junior College and Midland College.    
 
Burton has also worked in skill development under some of the best basketball trainers in the country for Nike and the Bryant Skills Academy (formerly owned by current Utah Jazz assistant Johnnie Bryant).
 
He began his career in grassroots basketball with Dallas Hoop Dreams, an organization that he created with his brother, Jason, who is currently the women’s head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce.  He also coached with fellow grassroots organizations Dallas Mustangs and Dallas Showtyme.

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Have pen and paper handy as you listen to this episode with Brian Burton.

What We Discuss with Brian Burton

  • Growing up playing the game with his older brothers
  • His experience at PGC Basketball Camp
  • The differences between the various levels of college basketball
  • “The ones that rise to the top are guys that are committed. And ultimately the things that it takes to be a winner are pretty much universal at all levels.”
  • “Shot-making is the great equalizer in basketball.”
  • Choosing a major in college
  • Playing for his “old school” high school coach
  • Getting started in coaching by returning in the summer to his high school and starting an AAU program
  • “I think Juco is one of the best levels to learn coaching and learn the business of basketball.”
  • His experiences at the Juco level and their impact on his career
  • “We just got to get them to the game and then go figure out how to win.”
  • “Keep the bigger picture in mind. You’re always going to have adversity and challenges.”
  • “Don’t judge a book by its cover and believe the best in people.”
  • His six stops as a D1 assistant
  • “See a problem before it happens.”
  • “You need to have a feel for what’s needed before it’s asked.”
  • “Be a star in your role, whether it’s the role you want or not.”
  • The importance of self awareness and communication as a coach
  • “As a head coach, you’re a public figure and everything you do is public knowledge.”
  • The ability to connect with people is critical to success
  • Why listening to your players is so important
  • “Using a player’s own words to motivate them.”
  • “You gotta still have fun. It can’t just be all business.”
  • Watching high school highlights with a player who is struggling
  • College is hard…celebrate the small wins
  • The Rising Coaches Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Alliance
  • Starting Uprise Athletic Group with his wife who coaches volleyball
  • His All Access Network and working as a college basketball analyst
  • Getting comfortable behind the mic
  • “I put more into it because I want to respect the game and respect the coaches that are coaching and the players that are playing and the people that are watching”

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The Coacing Portfolio

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The key to landing a new coaching job is to demonstrate to the hiring committee your attention to detail, level of preparedness, and your professionalism.  Not only does a coaching portfolio allow you to exhibit these qualities, it also allows you to present your personal philosophies on coaching, leadership, and program development in an organized manner.

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THANKS, BRIAN BURTON

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Click here to thank Brian Burton on Twitter!

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And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly NBA episodes, drop us a line at mike@hoopheadspod.com.

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TRANSCRIPT FOR BRIAN BURTON – RISING COACHES, UPRISE ATHLETIC GROUP, ALL ACCESS NETWORK, ESPN COLLEGE BASKETBALL ANALYST, & FORMER COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH – EPISODE 634

[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my co-host Jason Sunkle tonight, but I am pleased to be joined by former college basketball coach, media member, Rising Coaches Executive Brian Burton, Brian, welcome to the Hoop Heads Pod.

[00:00:17] Brian Burton: Yeah, thanks for having me looking forward to it.

It’s an honor. When you get to join some of the podcasts that you watch from afar, that you listened to. So cool to be able to be a part of this episode today.

[00:00:28] Mike Klinzing: We are glad to have you on excited to be able to dive in, learn more about all the different things that you’ve been able to do in your career.

Let’s start by going back in time to when you were a kid. Tell me a little bit about some of your first experiences with the game that you remember.

[00:00:45] Brian Burton: Yeah. I think every key kind of rose are playing soccer, right? Like my daughter’s playing soccer now. It’s like, oh yeah, this is where it all started. I was pretty intuitive.

In fifth grade, I got introduced to basketball. Never kicked the soccer ball again competitively kind of fell in love with it and yeah, that’s how it’s like the little YMCA team or something like that. Yeah. That’s where it started. My older brother, maybe I started playing something too. My older brother is three years older.

I ended up later playing college basketball my freshman year with him playing against my younger brother. But yeah, it’s kinda been a family game, kind of pointing my mom didn’t play. My dad claims he played some recreationally. He went to Michigan State and he’ll tell me about pick-up games. He played with Magic Johnson.

I’m like, Hey Magic’s on some other court. And you’re on like the five courts over,

Played up a little bit. Cause I had an older brother and you get those experiences by the sun in the park kind of differently in kids play. Now just, I live with a neighborhood park at the end of the streets or whether it was old guys playing on Saturday mornings, like a day like tomorrow and they’re playing a morning early or it’s playing at the rec or the YMCA.

I just was kind of always a gym rat and yeah, I played older, played up with my older brother. Yeah. Got a lot of good experience and moved around in high school. I went to school in north Houston area kind of Cairo Oak Ridge Woodlands area, and then went moved to Plano east and graduated there and kinda got the best of both worlds.

Right. So like the first school I went to high school wise was super fundamental jump cats, every catch a box out every time. Just very heavy emphasis on fundamentals. And then when I transferred to Plano easily or not, at that time, we had a tremendous amount of athletes, so it was completely different.

So I was able to kind of combine the best of both worlds. And yeah, as a PGC probably was a big part of my upbringing too. Just only went once when it was Dick DeVenzio. And Dena Evans actually was my coach or she didn’t my teammate at the time. So she was just playing the ABL that WNBA wasn’t even around yet, but long story short, they probably helped me in a different sense of just seeing the game beyond the game and kind of the coaches, part of me started to really develop from that exposure.

So I coach my little brother’s team when I was like, I was in ninth grade, he was in six, we lost our first game and then we won every game since then. And my mom loves telling the story to this day, like all the dads being fascinated. How was he able to do that? How’s he able to keep these kids in check?

And I don’t know that I knew what I was doing to be honest, but I think just the basketball player, you just, I don’t know, you just kind of adjust and lead, like you are your team. So yeah. It’s probably always been kind of natural and then yeah. Then play through college and I’m sure we can dive into whatever parts you want to from there.

But yeah. Played four years of college to, at a division to St. Edwards in Austin, one with my older brother, and then we just weren’t winning. And it wasn’t very far. I think my second year we lost 18 games straight. Then we were like 20 something and we won our last game. Great feeling. And it was like going into the off season.

I just could tell NetQoS wanted to keep getting better and didn’t know if the players he had, there were, that’d be what they needed to go forward. I couldn’t stay and just maybe had a backup role by the time you’re a junior, as we see in the transcript portal, now you want to play. So I transferred to UT Dallas.

I had a great experience played for Terry Butterfield was still there now. And UT Dallas has kinda become a division three powerhouse in a lot of ways. My first, my second year, there was the first winning season in school history. I was the first senior to be a graduate. I have a senior day, my first championship that year as well.

And they’ve won several since, have been the sweet sixteens and final fours, or maybe that final four. So he’s extends and lead areas for sure. And it had several, all Americans and I’d done a tremendous job. So yeah, the state from there, I got into grassroots and grassroots led me to junior college.

Junior college led me to take the different division ones and quite a journey 15 years in the game.

[00:05:18] Mike Klinzing: Let’s talk a little bit about the playing experience as a college player. Just the difference, the difference in experience from a division two. To a division three, anything that stands out to you, obviously there’s a difference in winning and losing, which obviously impacts how you feel, but just think about the difference from a division two division three school, what that was like for you?

[00:05:39] Brian Burton: Yeah, I would, I would start by telling a quick story. I had a young man. I was connected to like now in this space and then we’ll talk more about what I’m doing now, but you connecting in a lot of different spaces from coaching space to play or space to families, to what you name it media. So young man at my Alma mater D three, all American and multiple times transfers division one.

Nobody really wants him. Right. And then he ends up kind of we get some video out, he ends up kind of getting a little bit of traction and next thing you know, he’s got multiple offers, right? Well, he ends up going to a school pretty high bid major and starts average 12 a game ends up proving they can play.

Right. We all know the Duncan Robinson. Here’s another one and there are several others. Well, I think the biggest thing just for context, I want to say that the transfer portal is such a thing now. But the biggest thing is I think the difference in the level number one, I think is division three is less size and less athleticism.

So you don’t have maybe necessarily you know, 6’8” 4 man, and you know, 6’10” center, so to speak, you may have but everybody guys can play to. But there’s not as much athletics. There’s a more IQ and skill and probably smaller size, obviously the The academic side. A lot of times with D3 is a very good, but the basketball is good.

You know, the basketball is still high quality basketball. Definitely feel like there’s a ton of good players similar to the one I just mentioned along with guys like Duncan Robinson, I think Baylor had one of their centers, not too long ago that I believe is now. And it be able to Toronto Raptors Gillespie.

If I’m not mistaken, he was a division three guy as well. So there’s definitely players still there. And once you get experienced, you feel like you could play with anybody. But my reason for transferring was to get more experience and have more playing time. And then division two is kind of an kind of a sweet spot level, kind of an underrated level similar to NAI in its own way.

Maybe a little higher level consistently. That is, but yeah, you find a division one players that really do. Either have transferred down or guys that maybe you weren’t looked at as division one players coming out, but you know, two years into it as they’ve had success. I don’t think there’s a ton of difference between division to a division one, as far as there’s different levels of division too.

Like there is anything high, mid major Logan, low or high, mid low kind of, so to speak. There’s some division two that could be division ones and do whatever year you see an exhibition season. But it’s filled with a lot of division, one players there’s definitely more size and more athleticism at that level.

Some of them are. I just think there’s a two next to the name for a lot of them and not a one you may not have as much depth, but the. Five six players and a lot of division two rosters are all to really oftentimes you division one transfers, individual and players themselves. So I would say that’s probably the biggest difference.

[00:08:49] Mike Klinzing: We’ve talked to so many coaches at all levels and they all talk about number one, how good you have to be to play college basketball at any level. I don’t care if it’s division one basketball, if it’s division three basketball and AI division two, whatever, you just have to be a really good basketball player in order to do that.

I’m not sure that every high school player and parent realizes how good you have to be in order to be a college basketball player. So that’s one piece of it. And then I think the other thing that stands out about what you said, and this is another thing that we’ve talked to a lot of coaches about is the need that if you’re going to be really successful, if you’re going to be a division three coach, then you’ve got to be recruited.

Scholarship players who may end up turning down offers to come play for you as a division three coach, if you really want to compete for a national championship. And it’s the same at division two, if I’m going to be a really good division two program that I got to be recruiting those guys that potentially could play division one and sell them on the fact that my school is going to be a better fit and maybe they get more playing time, but they have an opportunity to have a bigger role.

And I think those are things that when you look at the levels of college basketball, sometimes there’s this misconception that I only can go division one. That’s what you see all the time. That’s what people hear. That’s what kids love the blast out on Twitter. But the reality is that if you get any opportunity to play college basketball, you can have a tremendous experience in that.

Like you talked about with Duncan Robinson and the number of guys that come out of division three that are able to go and play overseas and at least make a living for a couple of years playing basketball. The opportunities are way greater than I think they ever were in the past. And so it’s important.

It’s one of the messages that we’ve tried to get out is that if you get an opportunity to play college basketball, whatever level it is, you should be thankful for that opportunity and understand that you’re in a really, really elite group, whether you’re playing division three or you’re playing high, major division one, it really doesn’t really doesn’t make that much difference in terms of you getting that opportunity to continue to play because for all of us evolve, the ball eventually stops bouncing for everybody.

[00:10:49] Brian Burton: No, absolutely. I think you hit a lot of things on the head that it’s harder to play in college basketball than just about anything you can do because the numbers, the sheer numbers of. Players that play that have an opportunity to play at the college level. I believe it’s 10% or less of high school players to play in college period, let alone on a scout play.

And I think the biggest thing, it’s almost like you play a, you or you play grassroots and given some, a few in most cases, a lot of teams that may not be a shoe circuit team can be the same circuit team or it was like the NCAA tournament. Anybody can be doing basketball.

The good thing about it, even when the Americans used to go play in the Olympics and lose the team, they were less talented in basketball. It’s not a talent sport only it’s definitely a, a team sport and so many team concepts and things that come into play that can have you lose on any given night even if you have more talents.

So I think that’s the beauty of college athletics and it is very hard to get into and it’s so competitive. Those they get in to use them, the ones that rise to the top or guys that are committed. And ultimately the things that it takes to be a winner are pretty much universal at all levels, the talent.

You know, there’s only in addition to that. So yeah, I think shot-making is kind of the great equalizer of basketball, right? If you can make shots you see it again all the time and the NCAA tournament or whoever’s playing whoever if you could make shots, it, it definitely can take away a lot of things that you may not have as much talent, but when the ball goes in the hole more than the other team, then you have a great chance to win,

[00:12:34] Mike Klinzing: Especially today’s game, right?

The way the game is played with three, certainly different from how it was played. Even 10 years ago, the game looks completely different. The volume of threes that are being taken and the amount of ball screens, and just the way the game has evolved, certainly has put a premium on shooting. There’s no question about that.

When you think about. Going to college as a college athlete, but also as a student, what was your thought process in terms of what you thought you wanted to do for a career? When you got to college, were you already thinking coaching was where you wanted to end up or did you come into school with an idea that, Hey, I want to be an accountant or I want to do something else.

What was your thought process coming into school?

[00:13:14] Brian Burton: Yeah. Good question. I didn’t go into school. I probably thought more that coaching was more natural for me, probably because of my love and passion for the game. But I think I mentioned earlier, I played college ball my first year with my older brother and he had played division one for Billy Kennedy at a seminary and then transferred to division two.

And so his biggest thing to me was just, and my brother older brother is six, eight. So I don’t know what happened on the size differential there, but I can say that, but yeah, it didn’t want me to study kinesiology for example. Cause that’s what a lot of people do with coaching. Not always. Austin. He just was like you could always fall back to that and that’s something you naturally are vested in and can probably do if you want to, but just find something else that you’re passionate about that you can study.

And then you can always go back to that. So I, I really follow like most of us, if you have a older sibling, you follow their lead and I thought he had some good point to it. So it’s funny now with all the things that I’m doing, my original major was actually communications. So who would have ever thought, right?

Like I had no idea. I didn’t have a particular thing within communications that I loved necessarily. I wasn’t thinking like, oh, I want to do journalism. I mean, broadcasting sounded cool, but it’s not something I thought twice about it was really just communication and kind of learning the nuances of it and all the different things that were needed from interpersonal to media, to whatever.

I just was interested in kind of that mass communication major at the time when I went to school for two years at that school. And then when I transferred, I really wanted to stay in the same major cause I really enjoyed it. But unfortunately the school I transferred to UT Dallas was way academic and I would never been able to get a high school, but much more of an engineering school.

I didn’t have good grades. I was like a three or so or more college student. So I was able to get in, but it wasn’t I didn’t ended up studying something that I thought I would do, but it was like version of business and technology. I think it was American studies in business and technology. I had one professor who kind of recruited me and said, Hey, come to my, come to my degree.

I think you’ll like it. And to take this class and if you don’t and, and I liked it, so I stayed in it and it helped me get through because I couldn’t really find my niche within that school because of all the different types of majors I had. So I guess it has all worked out. I’m still doing communications, still doing business and still working with technology.

And I got to coach for 15 years and I still do so it all worked out.

[00:15:56] Mike Klinzing: It’s funny how life works, right? Sometimes you’re kind of flying by the seat of your pants and things end up working out one way or another. And somehow you end up where you’re supposed to be in. Sounds like that’s, what’s happened for you when you graduate.

Talk a little bit about some of your first experiences with the coaching. I know you did some AAU stuff. You started an organization with your brother. Tell us, tell us a little bit about that and how that kinda got you jumped started.

[00:16:22] Brian Burton: Yeah, no, I appreciate you asking this kind of is probably where some of the, even I did a lot of camps when I went back.

So when I graduated high school was funny, my high school coach and I rest in peace. He was a great man. He was a challenging man to play for. It is a challenging man to understand because he loved sarcasm and to kind of play the mind games. He was an old school guy. And his way of complimenting you was to make one of the person that you scored on.

You know, he was never really going to give you anything straight. And so here it comes. I ended up graduating and he asked me to work a camp, or I asked him if I could and he allowed me to work at camp, but I wasn’t supposed to have my own group. I was supposed to kind of be like the assistant with somebody, but they were sick that first day and I got to have my own team and he just kind of let me run from then on out.

And then I coached the summer league and kind of every year when I came back. Coaching and already kind of started being a part of what I did. And after I graduated, I ended up coaching those young men that I had kind of gone back every summer to work with. And two of them were division one players and kind of knew one of them was for sure he was a top five or 10 player in the state of Texas at the time, really talented hadn’t played AAU yet.

But created a new team for him and the other young man. The other young man is still playing professionally to this day. His name was Anthony Smith. He played at Liberty would actually set. For the one-year stuff was there, he wasn’t senior and the other best player on that team, but he’s played overseas.

He’s definitely was, he can look them up or some ball in his life. He’s got some pretty good highlights as far as his leaping ability, but he was kind of a blossoming kid and kind of just saw his upside and wanted to make a team and created. And so if you know anything about me and my brother, my younger brother is by far the most competitive of all of us, probably because he’s the youngest of three.

Right. So it’s only natural. Right? So he, I’m always trying to prove we belong so on so forth. Well, I kind of knew once I started an AAU organization that, well, I better make a team for him because what happened was we had two teams and he was kind of trying to coach the second team and it wasn’t as steep.

So I’m like after the first weekend, I’m like, all right, I gotta get this guy to. There was a high school coach in Dallas, Joe Duffield who’s now the head coach at lake house has a tremendous team and the program and has a really talented, I think he’s got one of the number one players in the country in 2023, if I’m not mistaken.

But anyway, he he had a young team at the time. I think he was at maybe Bryan Adams and he wanted his guys to play in the summer. So we just kind of created a new team. So my brother could have his own team. And then the next year actually created it and pass it over to him where he could coach the Enron, the entire organization and set it up with a gentleman out of Dallas that kind of had a 501C3 and it allowed him to get paid for practice, paid for games.

So try to set my brother up much better than doing it for free and doing the grind like most of us do. He did well with it. It’s pretty cool how it worked out. It kind of led to his college career. He had some kids on his team that he ended up wanting ended up signing or not. Coming, I guess you call it when it’s division three, he played an Austin college.

This young man was, is the Austin college all the time leading scorer. Well, he signed them and he, but he coached him and almost I coached him when he was in AAU. And then when he, he hurt his self, his junior year with the knee surgery. So he couldn’t play and they didn’t have an assistant spot. So he just volunteered and there was an assistant, next thing he signs the all time leading to schoolwork signs that whole class.

And yeah, those guys had a good run at all. It’s in college. So it was cool to see how the foundation of that has led to kind of what’s going on now. And ironically, he’s now a division one head coach and not knowing it when I met my wife, but she had started a volleyball club. And her sister got started coaching in her volleyball club, and now she just took a division one volleyball jobs.

That’s wild kinda, kinda ironic how that works, football, his life and his family.

[00:20:30] Mike Klinzing: For sure, first take us through your Juco experience. How does that come to pass? I know you went through a couple of different positions there for about four or five years. Tell us a little bit about your experience at Juco.

[00:20:41] Brian Burton: Yeah, I think Juco is I’ll say this first, I think Juco is one of the best levels to learn coaching, learn basketball, learn the business of basketball. I was with we interviewed Chris Crutchfield at the final four. Just got the heads of at Omaha and he talked about. You know, every coach should have a chance to coach Juco, it’s almost like the should be a prerequisite in some ways, because you just learned so much. And it was a prerequisite in our marriage. That’d be fully a full disclosure. My wife coached two years at Juco, so she, she had the pre-work as any requirements. So we’re good. He goes Juco volleyball. So, so I started so from AAU, I started that program and then I ended up the hardest recruit I ever signed in my life was my cousin Michael Bradshaw, who was almost like a brother to me, a little brother he’s in between my age and my younger brother.

And he was playing. He signed out of high school at Akron to play basketball and football, but it was a football scholarship. So he ended up kind of not loving football as much and registered and still wanting to play basketball. It didn’t work out. So he left and went junior college in Saginaw, Michigan, and then transferred.

I finally got him. He used to tell me every day he’s coming, he’s coming. I never believed him. So he taught me how to keep recruiting people around him, how to keep saying resilient and persistent. And until he got off the plane, I wasn’t thinking he was coming, but he got off the plane and we ended up finishing third in Asia and a year at Richland junior college.

That was where I started T3. I was still going to school to finish that UT Dallas and I just loved it. I had a choice between working at a private high school or doing that in the private high school actually paid. And at the time the Juco may not have paid. And cattle was the one that saw the high school at first and.

Excepted it verbally kind of went to the first day. And I was like, ah, I didn’t even go back to the Juco. This is to it’s just, you get spoiled with a level. So a lot of division through Juco for that one year, and then coach to go to gyms to go on. I recruited me out of high school. I went to play the least Collin counties in Plano and went to him and just said, Hey, we’d love to have an opportunity.

If you ever have any openings, he had an opening. So then my first full-time job at a college graduating was at collard and I got to be the dorm apartment person and learned that navigation. And I wanna say the job was like $10,000 and an apartment. So you felt like, I felt like just the fact that I went from a site ended up getting painted versus a $3,000 stipend, but to get 10,000 that had this apartment, I felt like I was rich in a month and felt like I was doing something.

And so I did that NAU and had a lot of opportunities to be honest, people probably would think. Crazy. If they knew the amount of list of schools and opportunities that turned down and even some of the head coaches that are now at a major university that just, they saw more in me than I was being myself.

And I probably wasn’t ready to jump into the cow’s game all the way yet. I’m still in my comfort zone. I just loved helping kids to figure it out. I love being a little bit closer to home. At some point I needed to make more money, but I did it really enjoyed it because it gave me a lot of hands on. So my last year of college, we ended up being 12 in the country.

I took a job at Paris junior college, just because I knew Collin county was different. It was kind of an academic recruit qualifiers. And it’s like, my first recruit I ever signed is now division one head coach as well, same school as my brother at Texas a and M commerce coach, Jerry Von Rosenberg. So he was the first kid I ever saw and he had division one offers.

Kind of wanted to get more and just get a better look. So he came from one year, so we created a lot of one year academic guys kind of almost like more of a prep school model, if you will. It’s too hard academically to kind of make it. So I knew it wasn’t real college basketball and a sense of how the day-to-day was run to go.

And I gave it a lot of hands-on. I got to do conditioning and off season strength and conditioning and academics and recruiting. He let me do a ton but I knew I needed to make the next step to a higher level place. Junior college wise, day in and day out, and probably a place that I had to babysit more and have more challenging kids.

So I went to Paris with Ross. AAJ is now the associate head coach at north Texas. And boy was I in for it? I knew I was in for it, but I was, it was definitely to this day, the hardest job I’ve ever had and not because of anything he did, but it’s only two of them. And the manager and we just had a talent.

We were six in the country, I think is the highest we got. But we had a lot of it and it was a small college town. I mean, a small, small town and everything you did was magnified. We had to do some addition by subtraction and get rid of an All-American. And it was, it was some adventures, but I definitely learned study hall.

It was nonstop from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, it’s just always something. And it definitely helped me understand what it took to kind of get to the next level. And I, some people think that the academic part goes away when you go to division one, but unless you’re at certain places, it does.

And it really gives you a training ground to help figure things out, to help you know, your guys that needed, or guys that need summer school. You’re just navigating and you find out you can wear different hats and you can sign players that maybe someone else isn’t willing to sign. Cause they don’t know how to figure out their academics.

So it definitely gives you a lot of advantages. And like I said, it just builds a different kind of resolve and, and the cool part about college basketball too, is Juco guys always gravitate to and respect other Juco guys. It’s like, if you, if you’re recruiting a Juco player and you’ve been at Juco, it’s like the Juco coach is more willing to help you because you understand a Juco guy and what it takes.

So I think there’s a cool bond that happens with guys that have been in junior college and more successful division one head coaches than people realize start in juco.

[00:26:44] Mike Klinzing: I think it’s a place where a lot of people aren’t aware of. When you think about growing up as a high school player, you’re a college player, unless you’ve been at that level as a player, I think there are a lot of people that aren’t even aware of what junior college basketball is and what those opportunities are, both for players and for coaches.

And I think there’s a lot of education that when people find out about it and they learn more about it, they can see where, as you said, the, the potential benefit for a someone who’s a young coach start in your career and be the opportunity for players to come in and perform academically, perform on the basketball court.

And then parlay that into another opportunity is just, I think something that is a little bit underrated. And if you can get that out there in front of people and help them to understand just what Juco is all about, like what you’re talking about. I think people would see that there’s a tremendous amount of benefit there for both players and coaches.

[00:27:42] Brian Burton: Yeah, probably my favorite time code yarns and a lot of ways, my closest relationships with players. From that time, the players closed his relationships with other players. You just have a different bond. Cause I mean, seriously, people hear this kind of thing all the time, but in junior college you are getting it out.

The mud, like you’re not, there’s no luxury in junior college are the cafeteria is not the same. The meal plan is not the same. The amenities aren’t the same. The facilities are the same, but the motivation and the drive and the determination to just be successful. I think that’s the part it’s like no politics.

There’s no agendas other than like everybody’s in there trying to figure out how to make it and how to make their dream come true. And I think that’s the part that you get a lot of hungry dogs and even when you’re playing against other teams, you that competitive nature of those games. You never know when that one game, when at one moment may be the game for you to end up kind of having a breakout to get to the next level.

So I think it’s one of the, of levels and definitely a level that I do my best to try to promote more of, because people just don’t realize what really goes on in level. There’s a lot of misconceptions. And even now with Last Chance U does help in some ways, but in other ways it doesn’t help.

It does help cause it’s cool and it’s on television and people are celebrated, but it doesn’t give the full picture necessarily either. No, it’s, it’s the station last television too.

[00:29:12] Mike Klinzing: One or two lessons. When you think back to those years in Juco that you’ve taken with you throughout your career.

[00:29:17] Brian Burton: Good, good, good, good question.

I would say one of them and I love this for me. My guy, Ross hides. He was a big time Cowboys fan still is. And he used to talk about the book. You know, I think it was one of those books talking about the old school Cowboys when they used to in their heyday. And I think one thing he took away from it and he used to talk about regularly, was like, Hey, all this other stuff, we just got to get them to the game and then go figure out how to win.

So sometimes instead of focusing on all the stuff that happens on the court and all the distractions, it’s like, there are some teams that can weather the storm is still figuring out how to go because no one knows what goes on behind the scenes. Let’s be honest. Baylor winning a national championship.

Whoever it may be, right. I’m drawing a blank on who even won this year. Kansas, nobody, nobody knows what challenges bill self had with Remy Martin or whoever behind the scenes. Right. Nobody knows. He’s just get to the games, figure out how to get these guys playing their best ball. And it’s kind of the, it’s kind of the cure all in a sense.

So I think sometimes even in life, I think we can focus on these little negative things or these little things that just don’t go right. And we let something maybe ruin our day, but in the end, it’s almost like maybe not get to the game, but keep the bigger picture in mind. As long as you can still get to that win.

You’re always going to have adversity and challenges and things that go and get you. So I think that year kind of taught that cause it was one of the best competitive teams I’ve ever been on playing for. We won a championship coach championship. We were lost in double overtime to go to national term.

Just one of those teams that was really good when the ball when the ball went up and they figured out how to put it together when the lights came on. So I think that’s probably one of them. It’s just like, don’t sweat the, the challenge or the adversity, or don’t get bogged down with that. Just stay focused on your mission, which is ultimately the win and whatever you’re doing.

And I think that’s, that’s probably a big one. And the other one I think is probably just a little bit of a don’t judge a book by its cover. You know, junior college, again, I was at Collin county, which had a lot of guys who were academically sound and higher character and not always, but most of the time that’s who coach wanted to recruit.

Well at the other two staffs, Paris and Midland Paris, we had a guy who played the NBA, John and Simmons, played for the spurs and played for Orlando magic. You know, I recruited and signed. They convinced the head coach that we need to take. We’ve uptaken them, but you know, someone’s in a place in his life that young man had some things off the court that people were kind of judging them on.

He had some things on the court. He had never won, but then putting them in the right culture, putting the right seeds in and putting all the right accountability and love and tough love and teaching and everything else. And they do ends up making it to the NBA. So it’s just one of those things where that’s one story, but another story maybe about somebody else who academically just wasn’t very good, had to go to junior college struggle, but next thing you know, that light bulb kind of comes on and now they’re making six figures in a corporate job.

So I think that’s probably the other part is just not judging a book by its cover and just invested in believing in the best in people. Because sometimes the guys that do go to junior college are kind of the forgot about guys, the counter. He won’t make it cause of his behavior. He won’t make it cause of his academics.

He won’t make it because he’s not good enough. And just seeing a lot of those guys, again, even going back to Collin county, we had guys that I can think of a kid through Allen, who wasn’t supposed to be a six, two and a half white kid. They could shoot. And wasn’t supposed to be a division one player and ends up having two good years for us walks on it.

Southern Utah then becomes a, a scholarship player, becomes a captain then later on, goes back to be a coach there. So just there’s a ton of stories like that that were used for like guys are counted out and you can’t judge a book by its cover or what you hear. And that’s where the coaching.

And sometimes the transformation happened

[00:33:27] Mike Klinzing: Having an impact, right? That’s something that, look, you can look at it and you can say here here’s a kid and was going maybe in a place where he wasn’t going to get those opportunities. Now, all of a sudden he gets an opportunity. Coaches coaching staff works with them.

He parlays that into another boom, soon, these and division one basketball, and then he’s coming back and being a coach. And that, that kind of impact that you can have both in the kid’s life and on the floor is really what it’s all about. And I think that’s when you start talking about the stories that you’ve told so far to this point, you’re talking about success, stories of kids that you, as a coach and your coaching staff, that you’ve been a part of have been able to make a positive impact on kids at all different levels.

And so you had an opportunity after you are in the Juco for five years, you get an opportunity at Utah. How does that come to pass? Where does that opportunity come across your desk?

[00:34:21] Brian Burton: Yeah, trying to get an assistant job. It’s like a lot of things happen in probably a little bit similar to marriage and I’m kinda joking, but you know, and then it’s like, you get rejected when somehow it just works out where you end up where you’re supposed to be.

I actually shot my shot of marriage high and it worked out with my wife. So I definitely how Kate, my covers, as they say, and did my best recruiting job. But I was trying to get on with Jim Boylan, who was just was recently the coach of the stagger bulls before Billy Donovan and was trying to become his assistant because they said he wanted to recruit Texans.

And I had kind of got that word and I was pretty naive. I just you’re just going after it. And I was going after it so blindly, but so aggressively, he was impressed and, and kind of offered me I think it was like a player development position that year and I ended up not doing it, but then the following year, I was like, you know what?

The junior college thing worked out. No, it was a good experience, but I definitely want to experience that level. So I got to a point where I just knew I just wanted to go and I actually turned down a division one assistant job, which is kind of ironic too, because later my brother got the same job at Texas state with Doug Davalos.

So that’s kind of the irony too, of our guy works, but I was yeah, it was, it turned down assistant job. I kind of felt like for me I wanted those people, somewhat stuff happens for me from field. I wanted to be at to see what the highest level was like and be in that kind of high level organization with Jim Boylan, if you know anything about his resume worked for Rudy, Tom John Evers won championships with the rockets, started a video room, kind of like Spoelstra and just kind of worked his way then was that Mr.

Stay with Izzo then became the head coach at Utah. So my, this guy’s pedigree is impeccable. So why not work for somebody where you can kind of learn it and. First before just kind of jumping into that seat. So I wanted to have that familiarity again, playing division two division three. Didn’t win in college until my last year.

So I think that’s the hard part too, is like you haven’t been around winning. I just, I just kinda wanted to see it at the highest level. So anyway, I, I chose to kind of take a assistant player development type role where you just end the organization. It’s a lower level job, but if you’re just in the organization, figuring it out and yeah, I got to see it and I got to figure it out.

So another, probably one of the most challenging years personally, first time that far away from home I’m in Utah from Texas. And just kind of seeing the, the business side of how college basketball really works was good for me. And I actually ended up getting out of it for a year after that and doing some skill development stuff.

I got a work with some of these Nike elite skills camp. Got to be one of those guys had like a 24 hour fitness contract. I think I was the youngest person to coach you with a 24 hour fitness training contract, kind of this partnership, you get to use their facilities. And then I just kinda realized like I’m probably more qualified and God has probably called me the more than just teaching a kid, how to use this arm bar when he drew offense to that.

But there’s a lot of people that can teach that. I think there was a population of young people that I think God gave me a gift to connect to that. He was like I made you for more than just this. I know you’re probably uneasy about the business side of cows basketball, but you know, I’ve equipped you to do more.

So I actually got on there from there, went to Abilene, Christian Wood got hired by grant McCasslin who the head coach at north Texas now he was coming from Midwestern state Abilene. Christian was still a D two at the time, but had. Made the plans to go division one. And yeah, so I got on with him and kinda hit the ground running for about three months.

And then next thing you know, he goes to Baylor and then Joe Golden gets and Christian job. And my D two career was for two years, and then I had one transition division one and Joe Golden bread tether myself, Patrice days, all the people that were insurances that year definitely bonded for life from going through that tough experience.

And then for the, for those guys to go on and do what they’ve done and build ACU went to a place and now it goes to the tournament, but it’s getting tournament winning against Texas. And so anyway I got to experience that first division one ride, and then went from there to Lamar Lamar, to Fresno state Fresno state, to UTEP, UTEP, to IUPUI.

And like I said, six different division ones and got to see a little bit of everything.

[00:39:05] Mike Klinzing: What do you think after all of your experiences, I’m going to ask you two, this is a two-part question. So what do you think makes for a good assistant coach when you think about the different people that you’ve worked with, that you’ve worked for, what do you think are a couple of the most important traits for a good assistant coach?

And then we’ll circle back and talk about what are some of the traits that you think make a good head coach, or maybe a good head coach to work for as an assistant. So let’s start with the assistant piece. What are some key characteristics or traits of an assistant coach that you think helped to make someone successful?

[00:39:43] Brian Burton: Yeah, it was a really good one. I’d probably, let’s just say in three. So I think having that anticipation and taking the initiative. I think that’s a huge one to kind of be able to see problems before they come to be able to have a feel for what’s needed before it’s asked which is kind of one of those gray areas, right?

It’s not something that’s hard skill, probably more of a soft skill, I guess they would call it, but it’s a field thing without a doubt and something that’s so important to be able to have, because they’re really a lot of the job is being able to get ahead of it, whether that’s with recruiting seeing a problem before it happens, whether that’s kind of anticipating something that may happen with your own program.

And you’re, you’re on a winning streak. You’re anticipating your guys, maybe feeling a little bit good about themselves. Just being able to kind of have a feel for that stuff is so big. I think so, just being able to be a step ahead be a step ahead of the head coach. Make his job easier to be a step ahead with the other assistants to help them be their best selves and shadow.

You know, prevent is really about preventative maintenance, right? You don’t want to get in that crisis management mode,

Being proactive. And I should’ve said that that’s essentially the word I was looking for proactive anticipating problems taking the midst of, so that would be one similar to that problem solving. I mean, just being able to understand, okay, problems are going to happen more often than not on probably 20% of the game is, I mean, 20% of the job, maybe 15 is actual basketball.

Everything else is everything else, right? From academics, community service, to scheduling to you know, fundraising to you, you name it. There’s so many other recruiting is a huge one. You know, the brand of the program all of these things are so important. So problem solving huge. I think in being a really good assistant coach, because there’s just going to be so many of them.

Right. And this is a, probably a trickier one to think about the third one, but I almost want to say just the ability and this is kind of simple, but yet important, just the ability to be able to get things done. You know, I think that probably goes into a lot of different ways. There’s a lot of guys that are nice guys and their own staffs and but it’s, it’s a hard thing because it’s kind of that cliche, like you have to be to get things done, but you do it’s ultimately comes down to winning and losing.

You want to be able to do things the right way and have a high character, but you also want to be able to get things done. So I think when we’re talking about like, people talk about guys that you get those calls a lot, Hey, who’s the next guy up? Or who’s the next guy.

We should look at it. Who should we guys that have an ability to not just problem solve and not just be proactive, but also just having the ability to to execute. I guess that’s a better way to put it in the sense of whatever that may be, whether it’s scheduling, whether it’s, again, academics, if somebody is in charge of academics, but the academics isn’t very good, then they may not be very good as an assistant.

You know what I mean? This is your role. So I think that’s the part where I guess kind of being a star in your role, whether it’s not the role you want or not. You have to be able to really be able to get things done you know, at a high level and be able to execute and make things happen. So I think that’s kind of an underrated one.

Cause I think so many people kind of get into just other stuff like perceptions and this guy’s this and this, but it’s like, sometimes it was like, well, who’s actually really good at getting something done or has the aptitude to continue to learn, to be able to get something done. If you want to do something new, maybe you’re hiring a guy he hasn’t ever recruited, but he’s really excelled in his role as the ops or whatever.

And you see that he kind of has that growth mindset and that initiative and that motor which is probably another one. Cause you definitely have to have a motor in this thing. So anyway, there’s a lot of them, but that’s probably the main three. And then head coach wise. Yeah. I think the ability to know who you are is probably one of the biggest ones to be, know who you are and be secure in it.

And it may be the hardest one of all of them and a lot of guys struggle with that knowing what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and just because you have to hire somebody else, another strength to still be able to be secure in yourself, to, to lead and kind of have a self-awareness I would say self-awareness would be one ability to communicate has to be up there.

Because there’s, you have to be the communicating everybody to your boosters, to your administration, to and communicate through the tough stuff, you know? Right. Like not just the easy stuff, like, oh, we won three games, like get on a press cowers and you can be great. But when you lose three games, how do you handle that?

And when you lose, you know I think those two communication self-awareness. And probably a little bit of about the self-awareness is like delegations like that. But I almost just say how, how does that person handle adversity? You know, you see a lot of coaches that are great when things are good and you’re winning and you’re having great seasons, but I think when you have adversity, what kind of character comes out there and what, how do you treat your staff then?

How do you continue to lead your staff then? I think that part is huge and that has so much to do with your culture because your players will feed off of that communication that self-awareness allows you to be great with them. And then how you handle adversity. You see so many times where you know, obviously players are getting poured over regardless, but you just see so many times.

Guys may lose their cool a little bit more when things don’t go their way or things don’t happen to where they’d like. And yeah, you just like, you’d like to see, I think the best of the best are able to, yeah, you can still push guys. You can still have intensity that that’s not like people kind of get those things confused, but you still have to have enough control when adversity happens, where you can still lead and kind of rise above it and lead your troops through that.

So I’d say probably those three.

[00:46:26] Mike Klinzing: I love that self evaluation piece. That’s something Brian that we’ve talked about with a lot of different coaches in terms of being able to look at yourself, as you said, figure out what are my strengths, what are my weaknesses? And then being able to evaluate both in good times and in bad times and understand where you are.

And I think that’s something that it’s not always easy to do, right? It’s not always easy to look in the mirror. And figure out, Hey, what am I doing that needs to be done differently so that we can get a different result? Or what am I doing well that we need to continue? And how can we continue to grow?

If we already have a successful program we’re already having already having a great season, how can we continue to get better and improve? And I think that that ability to look at yourself and look in the mirror, and I think this applies in all walks of life. But I think in coaching, it’s especially important when you’re trying to deal with not only yourself, but you’re also dealing with other people when it comes to your, your staff, your players, the surrounding people that are part of, if you’re talking about college athletics, you’re talking about the whole college community, or Ady your school president, all these different pieces that go into having success.

You have to be able to really look at. Hey, what are we doing? What am I doing as the head coach that will enable me to be able to have a successful program? I think that, to me, that’s kind of like the overarching umbrella, cause everything else kind of falls underneath that. So you’re talking about, Hey communication, I’m evaluating.

What kind of a communicator am I? Am I guy who, when things aren’t going well, do I, do I shut it down? Do I start pouting? Do I, do I treat the players differently? Do I, how do I react to the media? Those are all things. Yeah, exactly. Those are all things that I think are really important. And they all, when you start thinking about looking at yourself, you’re looking at those different pillars that make you successful, whether that is communication, whether that is the ability to have an impact in such a way that you’re doing it.

And you’re kind of, as you said, you’re aware of who you are who you are what you stand for and you’re going to stand for those things. Through good times and in bad. And that’s sometimes really hard to do it. We’ve talked to a lot of coaches that have told us. Yeah, they they’ve told us like, look, especially as a young coach or in your first head coaching job.

It’s sometimes you’re still trying to kind of figure out like, who am I? Because you may have worked for four or five, six different head coaches in your career before you get an opportunity to be a head coach. And obviously you’re pulling things from all those different coaches and you’re trying to figure out, well, what’s my philosophy.

What do I truly believe in? What are the things that I need to have in place? And I think sometimes it takes a little while for coaches to feel secure enough in their own skin to say, okay, things aren’t going perfectly the way we want it, but I still believe in what we’re doing. Whereas sometimes if you’re a little less experienced, it can be easy to just, okay.

I thought we were going to do this and now, oh, that’s not working. Let’s throw that out and try something else. It takes a little while to kind of get that feel for what you truly stand for as a coach.

[00:49:32] Brian Burton: Yeah. I think you hit it on the head. I think there’s so many different things pulling at you. It’s almost like if you had a, I don’t know if you have kids or not.

I think. So it’s almost like if you had the audience to watch your parenting every day, when you first met parents, like, wait a minute, he’s in the, he shouldn’t be doing that. He shouldn’t be doing this and they may not be the best example, but it’s the best example I can give or in a marriage it’s like all of a sudden somebody has a camera inside your home to watch you and how you’re handling.

It’s like, well, I didn’t, I’ve grown so much and I’ve only been married for almost five years now in June, it’ll be five. So, I mean, I’ve learned a ton. And how was in the first couple of years, I probably wouldn’t want people to know some of the things that I was reacting to, or may have even not handled the best way.

And and same with parenting. You know, I think those are the things, but coaching, you have an audience. So when you have an audience for what you’re doing, and there’s no record from our first year. Right? We would count it as a win because we made it through and we didn’t kill each other.

That’s a win.

So we stayed out of the portal, be moving. So it counts as a win. But in coaching, you have this win loss record and you have everyone sees what recruits you yet. And it’s, it’s really a celebrity culture. People don’t really talk about it as that, but when you’re a public figure and knowing your, everything you do is public knowledge.

When you hire a coach, when you lose a game, when you win a game, when you get a promotion, when you sign a good player, when the kid goes in the portal, everybody knows everything that’s happening. So it does create when you’re first getting into a new seat. I always talk about this. You know, first in the relevant you have to get out of your comfort zone, then you get comfortable and then you can get confident.

Well, you’re out of your comfort zone of your head coach. You’ve never done it before. Or if you’re a head coach and you hadn’t been a division one head coach, or even if you hadn’t been a head coach at that particular place, because there’s new eyes on you and you’re in a new place and new expectations.

So I think all those different things pulling in head coaches does make it hard to be at secure you want and do things in the ways that you want. And you’re making mistakes in front of people. And also mentally you feel judged, you know what I mean? No matter what. So it takes being able to get through some of those first years and not worry about what everybody else thinks and have some success and have some failure in order to succeed.

And I think going back to those head and assistant coach qualities, I think one day. That is super important. Now, probably more than ever before, is your ability to connect and your connection. So as a head coach, or as an assistant your connection to your staff mates that you’re working with and your connection to players.

Because obviously again, we brought up the portal a couple of times, but it’s not even just about players leaving or staying. It’s just about in order to get the best out of them. It does take something beyond just being able to communicate and being able to figure out how can I connect with this young person?

How can I connect with my staff? How can I connect with the athletic director? How can I connect with the community to make them feel like we’re with them? And we’re building this together. How can I connect with our boosters to make them feel comfortable with, to invest even more money than they probably thought they wanted to?

So I think that part is kind of an X factor thing, right? It’s like you have these other things that are the kind of foundational things that are super important to you. You know, your ability to connect. I think that the best in the business have figured that part out and they continue to work at that and invest in that because ultimately it’s a people’s business, it’s a people game.

And if you can’t connect and it makes it really hard for you to get things done the way you want to now, before it used to be like do it, because I said to do it and my position says I’m important now it’s really more so based on how they feel like their connection is with you more times than not.

[00:53:36] Mike Klinzing: What’s been the key for you in your career. As far as building that connectedness with players, what have you been able to do? How do you go about, or in your mind? What do you think about when you think about connecting with players? What does that look like for you as an assistant coach?

[00:53:49] Brian Burton: Yeah. Good question.

I think some of it, honestly, as much as I’d like to say this data, and I think some of it is natural I think I’m naturally a person who wants to see others do well. I think the servant leadership. Comes more natural. If some things I do more instinctively that I don’t even know that I’m doing, because I want to see either that person do well or I see something in them that I like to get out.

But I think some of the things I’ve probably done more intentionally as I get older, I’ve just noticed, have been successful at this. They may be natural, but let me repeat that, which is number one, listening, I think is a huge thing to just listen to players, listen to now, similar to what you’re doing on this.

I’m in the media side of things and podcasts and side of things is listening. I mean, people will tell you a lot of what’s going on in their heart and their mind and their spirit based on just asking a few questions and then you get out of the way and listen. And I think that’s where some of my best work happens because then my field can come out and lack an understand that.

And instead of leading them like a player or my daughters for that matter, or my wife from my own vantage point, I live in a house with four women. So a lot of listening is important and this paid off. So but in order for me not to lead just from what I think should be happening to what they’re actually expressing in their heart and in their mind and their situation, and then taking that and said, okay, well, how can I fit where I would like to get them to go here?

And I think so, for example, I’m doing some things now even where we’re training coaches and training you know, some youth league organization leaders and doing some different consulting days. And I think one thing we talk about a lot is. You know, if you’re developing leaders in your program, or if you want to lead young people, instead of just saying, well when we need you to buy into the team or, Hey, you’re not being your best today, or we need you to play better or whatever the case may be finding out what they want to get out of that experience and what their goals are and holding them to that is so much more powerful.

And sometimes you have to do a combination of both, right? It’s not always just a little straight line, but knowing that that kid wants to be an all conference player is really important to help you motivate them towards their own ambition. Instead of Hey coach is saying, you need to be doing this well, he does may not be feeling that conversation.

He may be tuned out because he’s not motivated by what coach thinks, right. But coach is expecting you to get through to this kid. So then you spin it and say, Hey, I know you want to be an all-conference player. Today, practicing like this, does it help you do that? So how can we get you back on track to be, you know what I mean?

It’s like using their own words and their own motivation, not necessarily against them, but to motivate them. So I think listening has been a huge one. And I think just investing the time, you can’t really get out of something, you get out of things, what you put in, and if you want to be great with players or have great player relationships or have great relationships, period, it just, it takes time.

If you don’t put the time in it’s hard to really get any good at it. So I think that’s probably the last one or the second one. And the last one would be you know, you gotta still have fun. It can’t just be all business. They can’t just only see the coach side of you. You have to try to connect on some other things that are not just that.

So you can still have fun within all of it and you can still celebrate and, you know be able to not be so serious all the time. That’s what I would say.

[00:57:36] Mike Klinzing: What’s that look like off the court as a college assistant, are you meeting guys for meals? Are you having them stop by the office in between classes?

What does it look like off the floor when you’re making that investment in time and making things fun? Because obviously there’s a time when you’re in practice that you got to go to work and you got to do the things that you need to do in order to be successful. So I’m thinking more just off the court stuff.

What were some things that you did or times when you hooked up with guys, just to let them know that, Hey, I’m out here more than just as your basketball coach, but I’m out here as a guy that really cares about you as a person. Yeah.

[00:58:10] Brian Burton: I think some cool things I can think of off the top of my head. So players struggling, right?

You usually get in the gym, you talk, you do all these things. You know, one time we just watched like the, his highlights from high school, like, and we’ll come by the room. I got some, I want to show you. And then we just pulled it up on a laptop, talked about it, about it, but it got him feeling good. Again, it got to remember it.

And I just started asking questions Well, tell me about his game. What were you playing against? What was his, what was that? Oh yeah. Remember, and it just gets them kind of reliving it a little bit and it just sparks that. So that was one when we lived in El Paso twofold, no pass. So I used to cut guys hair in the locker room.

So that was a, probably a cool bonding experience because you know, when you’re in a barber chair, relaxing, kicking back and you’re serving them and maybe they pay 50 cents. So it’s not an extra benefit. Right. They can’t come back and give me the case to hear this. So that was one know another one is just going into the locker room.

They used to do some silly stuff there and just hanging out when they did their day, not trying to cover. That’s trying to be maybe they’re dancing, so maybe you jump in and you do something silly with a dance. I think that stuff is always fun. And then finding some of the Louie, my wife and I on Sundays and summer school, we had the guys over our house every Sunday for probably five weeks.

You know, we’d get them over, cook a meal, hang out, watch either a comedy or some NBA summer league or whatever it was. And they could come and go as they please. But it was just kind of one of those things, Hey, we’re having flu at this time and breaking bread and they always love that a meal and then obviously kids are on scholarship.

They have all these different meals that they can have. So sometimes meeting them in the calf I think is always cool. I think sometimes going by their rule, meet them in their territory. I try to be creative with all those kinds of different things. Right. And I think you know, sometimes even celebrating.

So I think one thing I think I’ve picked up that I was became good at was staying really tied into the circle back home that you recruited them with. Right? You recruit all these six or seven people, but then once they get there and I learned it from one of my own OGs, but, and he didn’t do it, he did it more for problems.

He was really good at like, when things were smaller problems, he was still communicating and I was not good at that, but I, I started doing the small things like that too, but also the celebrations, Hey, such and such, did a great job on his test today. He may not tell you, but I want to tell you ahead of time.

So when you talk to him, you can bring it up and it’s just this kind of, one of the songs that was cool. Yeah. Well, it ended up being cool. He, they were getting celebrated on that side and they have the pressure and they’re, they’re trying to be their best self too. They got a lot going on and you’re juggling.

And college is hard. People that tell you differently. I mean, they’re juggling strength, conditioning and study hall classes, social skill development, extra work film. So you got so many different things pulling out. And you want to be the player that everyone thought you could be and the player you were in high school and all that stuff.

So to be able to get celebrated for some of those other things, even if it was a great practice stuff like that, just try to try to have some fun with, or, or yeah. Try to video them when they didn’t know we were videoing them and then come back and say we’re watching film and pull up something of them doing something that makes them laugh.

Just try to make it not so serious all the time. You know, there’s so much business that goes on and the head coach is normally the higher fits. I think those things I found a lot of you know, success. And then now the social media aspect of things, I did, some of that, some places are more comfortable with that than others.

When I was still coaching, social media was still kind of trending upward. It wasn’t where it is now. But I mean, there’s social media is definitely a cool way within your athletic department and within your own personal social media, Being able to celebrate your guys in some positive ways, because that’s the world that they existed.

You know what I mean? And even if it’s not in a quote unquote post and it’s on your story when you tag them in it and then they can share it or whatever, I think there’s been a, have some fun and celebrate them, but also invest in the time.

[01:02:23] Mike Klinzing: There’s so many good things that you can do with social media.

And obviously there’s some clear downsides to it as well. But I think when you look around the social media landscape, you can see that there’s lots of coaches and programs. Have embraced it that are doing a lot of cool stuff that as you said, are able to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of their program and their players.

And to me, that makes a ton of sense because we oftentimes hear the negative. Right? You hear the negative stories of things that happen, and somehow it gets out there. And so we have this perception in a lot of ways that social media can be bad for athletics. And there certainly is that downside, but I do think that if you do it right, and you understand it and you help your athletes to understand it, that there’s a tremendous amount of benefit that can come from it because you can put out those small celebrations, like you just talked about.

[01:03:15] Brian Burton: Yeah. Not only that, I mean, you look at the culture now think about this. And, and when, when I coached and I’m not, I don’t want to sound like I’m a dinosaur. It wasn’t two years ago, but I say that, but coming up those 15 years it’s changed a lot. There was no social media when we first started.

And so many things have changed, but you didn’t celebrate in the locker room with your team and have a water celebration or a dowsing of the codes or anything like that, unless it was a championship. And now it’s the exhibition game. It’s the inner squad scrimmage. It doesn’t matter. You’re just finding a way to celebrate it and record it and let everyone see that you’re celebrating your wins.

And I think that’s one of the best things about the culture of basketball now and celebrating wins in college. Basketball is people are celebrating and it used to be offensive, or they did this. They can’t believe they tried to show us up, but now it’s so commonplace. You just know if you lost to somebody, they’re probably celebrated locker room and it’s probably going to be recorded and it may be seen, you know it’s just part of it.

And it’s not a negative on that sense, but more of a positive that guys get to celebrate with their coach. Coaches are dancing in locker rooms. People are getting to experience those kind of moments and celebrate wins because it is really, really hard to win one game in college basketball. If you know anything about it, because both teams are full scholarships or whatever scholarships or whatever recruiting that they’ve done to get their team, both teams had a scatter report more or less both teams had a game plan.

Both teams have coaches that are getting paid for this for their professors. You know, you keep going down the line. It’s like, it is a lot harder than what people think to win one game. So yeah, I think social media is a great way to be able to celebrate some of those things. And the culture of basketball is changing to where there’s more celebration going on than just the negative.

[01:05:11] Mike Klinzing: And you talked a little about in interjecting some fun, right. And trying to win games, like you just said is difficult and getting through a practice, getting through a season for a coaching staff for players. It’s not, it’s not always, it’s not always that fun. It’s always like, Hey, we gotta, we gotta get to work.

And there there’s, there’s for sure that work aspect to it. So if you can interject some fun, whether it’s just in the locker room with a quick little celebration and a video, and of course the kids today, You unlike my generation, I’m still not used to, Hey, I’m filming every single thing that I do, but right with the kids today, that’s just the way it is.

They they’re used to something happens and I’m pulling out the phone and I’m recording it. So to be able to kind of jump down to their level, to, to get on that level with them, to be able to celebrate those small victories of those big victories, to me is really something that if you can do that, you’re just interjecting a little bit of fun, a little bit of, Hey, let’s we just, we just accomplished something.

And I think sometimes that can get lost. And it’s really important if you can do that.

[01:06:21] Brian Burton: Yeah. I think it goes back to that connection I was talking about, right? It’s like, that’s an X factor. Everyone does feel comfortable celebrating those things and everyone doesn’t do it. And still not everyone does thing, but it’s way more commonplace.

However it does connect. To your players. We want us together. We put in this together and there’s so much adversity that happens in the season, whether it’s injuries or losing streaks or whatever it may be in the psyche of a team is you look at these playoffs series. It’s like, okay, this team won at home.

Now they go on to road. I lose to, what’s going to happen in game five. It’s like, where’s the site. You know, all this stuff is, everything is so fragile. So anyway, to say that to be to be able to connect with your players and that type of way, thinking just helps the bond grow closer. And you know, that those guys are a, that you’re with them.

[01:07:11] Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. All right. Let’s jump to some of the things that you’re doing now, since you got out of coaching, you’re working with rising coaches, you got your all access network. Tell us, start with whichever one you want to start with and just tell us a little bit about sort of your, your semi post career activities that you’ve got going on right now.

[01:07:28] Brian Burton: Yeah, so kind of I I’d say if I had to point to someone who kind of gave me a little bit of a model and a blueprint that I didn’t know what it was, or didn’t know that I was even following this, but it just was very inspired and moved by as is the late and great legendary Kobe Bryant. Right? So Kobe, post basketball playing career was just involved in so many things that he was passionate about and that he could help other people.

And he was involved in the game and a lot of different ways. So I think probably just taking a little bit of inspiration from there. Some of it was. You know, accidents slash God’s divine Providence, or divine design, whatever you want to say. And just kind of ended up doing a lot of different things.

Now, basically, I guess the way I would sum it up is almost touching almost every aspect of the game. That’s not the actual college coaching part, right. From a media to the rising coaches and the development stuff, to all access in that part of the media to broadcasting games. Now this last year did almost 30 games, which was an amazing experience to be able to be at that level of division one and then there’s some sports management side of things, which kinda my wife and I started a company.

She’s a volleyball coach, as I mentioned, I’m a former college basketball coach. So just trying to figure out how can we still use those same skillsets and experience. And help others with, so from events to consultant to development, which is kind of gross. So we did a rising coaches classic last year that so I have a position with rising coaches vice-president of DEI lines that kind of came about long story short.

I didn’t know anything about rising coaches and during a pandemic everybody’s at home and we were doing some zooms. And quite honestly, at that point in my life my, I was trying to hide from anything social, because I felt like the narratives was almost like, I don’t know, you just, you get the narrative sometimes in college basketball, you just want to play things safe.

Right. You just, you don’t know, what’s supposedly being said, or what’s not. Or I was in a position where I was just trying to kind of lay low and not have be misperceived, like somebodies thinking like, Hey, look at me in particular, the boss that I worked for at the time I thought he struggled with that.

Right. So I’m trying to be respectful to him and also not be misperceived. So started doing some zooms off the grid, text messages, advertisement, and I mean, it grew, it was me and another buddy of mine that I coach with who would just want to do some stuff for quite honestly started with minority coaches that show that, Hey, we’re more than just guys.

They go recruit let’s show, let’s get a chance to show that we can coach and let other people that may not know, or may just be interested in growing as a coach. So it started that way. And then it led to just anybody getting on that made sense. And I went from four people the first time to all the way to where you had to have a waiting room.

Cause it was more than a hundred people on. And then so rising coaches, one. Kind of recommended me to go on there and they have a big platform at doing some things. So I did, and it was fun. And then it kind of led to doing some social justice round tables because of the time when Georgia, Florida, and all that was going on, it felt like one of the, make an impact.

Right. So that started and then that led to kind of baiting this DEI position. So that’s been really cool, but the, the, the event that we put on, we put on our first MTE, my wife and I with his company and thriving coaches, because of our relationship with the DEI Alliance, they decided to invest in buy the naming rights.

So they actually had nothing to do with putting the event together. And then they jumped on. It was like, Hey, we want to do the naming rights. So that helped promote it and help make it even bigger. So that was a cool. The experience. I never thought I would be hosting a division one tournament. We had 14 that I was at a college of Charleston.

It was really, really cool thing. And then, so we’re doing some stuff with youth now with basketball doing some consulting, like I said, kind of helped with some coaches develop helping players and parents understand the recruiting navigation stuff. Just education and do’s and don’ts so being able to be in sourced there, work with a few different camps as well.

And then, yeah, so that’s kind of that part. And then being able to consult as well with different coaches in the business, whether it’s interview training. We do the thing with rising coaches and DEI, where we had a next step initiative, which was for minority. It wasn’t for only minority coaches, but our Alliance is made up of kind of these social justice groups slash equality groups slash.

Just diversity groups. So there’s about 12 different groups of all different nationalities and male, female, whatever. And they got to nominate people within their organization to be in this next up. So there’s 12, it was 12 people, two years in a row with a search firm come in and kind of did the simulation of what it’s like to get a job and interview.

And it was really powerful. The first year we had three people go on to be head coaches. Ben Johnson from Minnesota was a part of the program. Coach G they said Colgate on the women’s side. And then Jason Hart, there was at USC that’s now I’m in G league. So really successful thing to be able to do so kind of a professional development.

So now my wife and I do some of that ourselves through uprise and it was kind of taking those same kind of principles and access that we got and our. Client was a, my wife’s twin sister. Who’s now the head coach at UC Riverside. So, so yeah, just kind of touching all kinds of different things. Frigging from sports management to media, to the development side of things, to, yeah.

To just hanging out and try new. We do our all access network as a podcast. We’ve had over 25 million views and two seasons, which has been an incredible amount of credible number. And we’ve been able to have coaches all the way from women’s basketball to junior college, to division three, to NAI, to high major that have come on and just try to be a small version of, of 15 minutes of fame or ESPN for college basketball coaches and really coaches, period, and people period during the season.

Cause it’s like, you get these great wins, but no one cares. And it feels like, again, kind of like going back to that celebration thing, taking the patron. Just allowing the coaches and some of the programs to be celebrated for. I mean, no, one’s really paying attention to let’s just think of, I mean, really let’s say peers is a great example.

If it wasn’t for the NCAA tournament, no one knows that St Peter’s has won surfing. Simpsons has been there. So who, where does St Peter’s get a chance to sell their story during the year when they get a big wing and they just don’t so I think that’s kind of was the idea of just feeling like you’re frustrated with media.

And when I was at, when I was a coach, because not very many media people I’ve ever played and not very many college basketball mini I’ve ever coached. So the perspective that they have. It’s just from a different lens that they don’t necessarily understand that lens. And the cool part about how we’ve done it with the network is aligning with other media members so that we can kind of infiltrate and overlap and co-exist with them.

And so now hopefully we can change some of their perspective and their reads can help our reach. And now they get to interview some of these coaches with us. And so they get to know them and they get to get a different perspective. And so it’s been really cool so far. Great feedback. And just who knows what all of next, I think you asked that before we got on.

I mean, I think the cool part about it is it kind of tests taken a life of its own. There’s definitely some things you have to say no to we do some stuff in the, in the scouting space for, as far as the portal and high school and Juco. You know, I’ve been approached by two different entities to do scouting for them in a, like a national scouting kind of position or role.

But we’ve been blessed. You, you get to say no to some things that come along and some things you say yes to. And I think now it’s just kind of figuring out what is the sweet spot of things to keep growing. And what things do you kind of think are maybe situational and you’ve kind of leave those alone, but ultimately just want to help as many people want to lead the nation in that sense as best we can as many years as we help as many people from parents to coaches, to families, to you know, programs, you name it.

We just want to try to figure out how we can help and do some good and give back to the game that’s done so much. And then also just shine some light on some of the. There’s so many great people doing great things. And his game is that’s hard for all of them to get the spotlight, but with ESPN and major networks, they’re usually going to only cater to who they think they can who are the biggest names and who they can make the most money off of because they’re spotlighting them.

So what about everybody else? So that’s kinda been the mission. Our, our youngest daughter we found out 11 weeks in the pregnancy at a high chance that have special needs. And so part of our company, the concept of it is apprised. It’s the name and the concept with the slogan motto is to rise above limitations.

So I think we want to knowing that we have a young person that does have special needs, the best thing that could’ve happened to our family, for sure. And just helps us have a different light that we kind of carry as we go through life, because we know is way bigger than just a ball. You know, you also have an opportunity to help people believe bigger and achieve bigger and kind of that same things we’ve been talking about impact.

It starts with our home and sees impacting us every day. And I think that helps us have a different motivation to just go against maybe the odds or the naysayers or, Hey, you’re a college coach. What are you doing now? And you shouldn’t be doing this and why are you doing that? You didn’t stay in one lane.

It’s like just kinda just figuring out how to help more people and not think with limits.

[01:18:19] Mike Klinzing: And you get to do that through the game of basketball. I think that’s one of the things that is truly special is you get to do something that you love and you get to use it to be able to have an impact.

As you said, to be able to impact coaches, to be able to impact parents, to be able to impact players. I think that’s one of the things that when I look at the basketball landscape, I think the ability to. Educate all those different groups about what’s really happening and what, and to, to, to shine a light on some of the stories that as you said, are maybe lesser known.

I feel like that’s one of the things that we’ve gotten a tremendous amount of satisfaction on with our pod is just the opportunity to be able to talk to coaches at all different levels. I’ve often said that when you talk to somebody, let’s say you’re interviewing a high major division one coach, and those coaches oftentimes have had an opportunity before to tell their story.

Maybe they’ve had a big feature article in a magazine, or maybe they’ve had ESPN come and, and film and do all this things that people have a really good understanding of kind of what their backstory is and where they’ve been. And yet you go and you interview a high school coach that high school coach has probably never had a chance to tell their backstory and to kind of go through it and think about what they’re all what they’ve done and how they’ve gotten to where they are.

And that to me, that’s always been one of the most fun parts of what we do is just the opportunity to hear these stories of different coaches and how they’ve started out and going back again, when we go back to their childhood and okay, what were you like as a player and when did you want to become a coach and how did you end up as a high school coach and not a college coach or how’d you end up as a college coach, not a high school coach and just hearing those journeys and given light to people who have had success at all different levels of the game.

That’s really been fun. I think you’re trying to do that. Same exact thing is to be able to give those people a platform, to be able to share, because there’s tremendous amount of value that coaches at all levels can provide. And that’s, I think really exciting when you think about you’re behind the microphone behind the camera.

Experiences. How long did it take you or when did you feel like you kind of had a handle on it? Cause I know we always talk about my, my partner. Jason is not with us tonight, but he’s on, he’s on baby duty as his fourth is his fourth babysit. He spent a little bit hit or miss here in Alaska. And the last couple of weeks he’s been a little hit or miss with helping his wife to make sure the baby’s sleeping and all that good stuff.

But anyway, he and I, yeah, exactly. No question about that. But he and I have talked a lot about thinking back to our, the beginning of this podcast and how, how bad we sounded and how sort of uncomfortable you were with that mic in front of me. And we talked about earlier about trying to grow and improve.

So just how long did it take you before you felt like at least semi comfortable behind the mic doing interviews. And then when you think about broadcasting games, just talk about your experience behind the microphone.

[01:21:20] Brian Burton: And I’m glad you asked that. I think kind of going backwards just a little bit. The, the part that I love too, about what we’ve set out to do with all access is to target more assistant coaches as well.

Because what happens in a program is program gets a big win. The head coach gets to talk to the media, but the assistant coach is kind of in the background. So from being that guy, that’s in the background and knowing it’s so hard to self promote yourself, because then it looks bad and you don’t really want to do it anyway, but you do want to get the reps to do it.

If you have an opportunity, just working to provide more opportunities for coaches to get the reps to be comfortable so they can feel more confident to do it. So kind of taking a go back to what you said. Yeah. I don’t know. That’s such a good question. Some of it is such a blur for me. So we were in the pandemic and you just go going, I can remember doing it.

We used to call it talking hoops. We, when we were doing. With a buddy of mine from four to over a hundred. And that was a fun, fun ride. I could remember doing it with him and he’s a former head coach and he had so much more comfort to do a lot of aspects where I was still kind of trying to hide.

Right. So I’m still kind of trying to hide and fall back. And I’m kind of the one that was marketing to get everyone there. But then when I got there, it was almost like I wanted to hurry up and say my part and get out of the way. And it was almost like, and I think what, honestly, to be honest, to be transparent, I think for me, I was hiding behind asking questions for a long time, because you can ask a question and get outta the way.

And you can even now with technology, you can take yourself off the screen. You’re not even there. Like I was doing a lot of that at first, because if for a while, No, I think some of it was just trying to not make it about me, but the other part was not being as comfortable. So I think when it started to be more comfortable was the first time that I had to get interviewed.

And I remember before I did it, I was literally asking a friend of mine, like, man, am I, am I supposed to like, am I okay to do this? Cause it was almost like a pretty low radios situation. And it was like, well, if I’m going to go back to college, like people may judge this and think like he shouldn’t be doing this.

He cares too much about his own whatever to be. So I had asked that question like, man, am I messing up something by doing this? And they gave me great advice and it was like, Hey sometimes it’s bigger than thinking about all that other stuff later. If you have that opportunity now you kind of feel like guys, he may be doing something totally different than what you even know.

And that guy was right. He was, so that was the kind of started. But I think the first time I went on chop shop radio with Jim hex and Robert had her in Houston it started there, got more comfortable after speaking. And then the next thing somebody says like, never forget, a buddy of mine was like sent me a text.

And he said, this is your lane. And all caps, explanation points. I’m like, what is he talking about? I don’t even know what his lane is, you know? Like what does that mean? So had those moments, I think I was just you know, for a long time, just it’s a challenge. I don’t know if you’ve ever coached in college.

I don’t know your full story, but leaving the college basketball, it’s almost like people think like, what’s wrong with them. What’s wrong with that person, right? Like, well, how could you do that? Like you, you kind of have to, it’s a drug it’s like people almost think. Well, surely you want to get back in, right?

Like you’re not just right.

[01:25:03] Mike Klinzing:  There’s so many people that there’s so many people that want to get in that it’s hard to imagine that somebody would want to get out and actually be content with it

[01:25:08] Brian Burton: So I think that part for me was it’s such a mental shift because when you’re in that lane as a college coach, you’re so all in you’re so immersed and that’s all I knew for the most part for the greater part of 16, 17 years, almost 20 years.

So you’re like, it’s just hard to reprogram your brain. Right. And you’re so, so anyway, it took a while. I would say, I think when I got interviewed and the more I got interviewed, the more I started being comfortable because I couldn’t just ask a question and get out of the way. Right. I couldn’t just spotlight somebody else and then chime in some and then get out of the way.

So because I actually had to have my own answers. So I think that’s when it started and. Yeah, the broadcasting yeah, my first time doing it, I volunteered to do it with my brother, my brother, the women’s basketball head coach at Texas a and M commerce. They’re not going to the Southwest conference.

They were number one in the country last year for the first time in program history. So he’s done a lot of great things. He’s all the time when his head coach there. So on and so forth. Well, I went in there at Christmas break we’re at home for Christmas and I just tried to volunteer cause I was asking everybody there independently, but it was a weird time.

People didn’t want people in gyms and they didn’t want extra media people on. So you just, it’s kind of like being a player that wants to get on a team, but you have no film. It’s like, well, why would we put you on your team where you don’t have any films you’ve never played. So it was tricky to get reps doing it.

But from the first time I put a lot of prep into it cause I wanted it to go well and probably put, I mean, it’s crazy. It sounds maybe for add four games in a row. So two on Saturday two on Sunday, doubleheaders men and women. And I, I mean, I want to say it was six to eight hours of prep from Watson to stats, to phone conversations, to going through every roster, talking to an assistant head coach, just really wanting to kind of know what I was getting into.

And so I would say the first time I felt really comfortable the first time and a buddy of mine who works now works in sports illustrated. He kind of said to me, Know, it’s pretty natural for you. A lot of people don’t have the same. It’s so different than podcasting. Cause there’s kind of a rhythm and a timing and a pace to it.

And so I think, and this silly I was very comfortable and then it was funny because then when I did my first ESPN plus game, this year, I was so uncomfortable. Like you want it to go, well, you don’t know how you sound. I think I was speaking so low. Like I was just like, I don’t know, very in my own head, it’s just natural.

Sometimes you just, you want to do so well and I did prep well, but I just, I don’t know. I was nervous. I was doing it with somebody else. And again, you’re just like wanting to make sure it goes well. So a little bit nervous on that one. Didn’t know kind of my rhythm with this particular guy. Wanting to do it right.

He had way more experience than I did may have been a little bit intimidated, but just wanted to make sure I didn’t do a bad job. Right. So they’re like, Hey, you don’t need to come. You know? So it worked out. We only have one game in November and then we had a lot of time off and just found myself watching more college basketball, and then kind of getting the feel of some of the nuances.

I didn’t go to school for this. I didn’t, I don’t really. And the other games I did were on, they were technically radio, which means the play by play guy is talking a lot more. And the color analyst just kind of jumps in world television. It’s not necessarily the opposite, but it’s more about the analysts, a little more led by the analyst than it is the play by play even.

So that’s the part where I was very uncomfortable too, cause it was a shift. And so anyway, I watch more games and talk to the guy I was working with and got some more chemistry and. Yeah, from then on I’ve just started having fun with it. Probably started stop making it so serious. But continuing to do the prep work.

Cause that makes you feel confident. And then yeah, next thing you know, you look up and you’re calling games in the mountain west. I called my first game there and was again, really nervous because the production level was even more you’re doing prerecorded injuries. You’re on more video with your, whatever you’re wearing.

And there’s so many people talking in your ear. It’s like, wait a minute. Like I got distracted. Like, are you talking to me or somebody else? So I think that was a whole thing to learn, but ultimately I don’t know that I ever got to where I thought I was necessarily great at it, but I felt like I was comfortable to just call what you see and don’t think about who’s watching, who may be watching, how does it sound?

Call what you see, do a good job in a game. And I’ve got to call some really cool games. I mean, Wyoming had an amazing year unexpectedly. They were top 25 Boise state. I got to call them. They were a team that won both championships in the mountain west. So yeah, I got to do a lot of coolest stuff, which was great.

A lot of overtime games. I got, I got a game where the coach got kicked out the first five minutes of the game. I’ll say I was a big deal. I got another one where it was like oh no, I think it team came back from like 27 in the last six minutes of the game or something insane. Or so, yeah, I had some crazy comebacks and crazy games to call it some inverse moments.

So I think that was probably my proudest moment of it all. Was that when it was probably the hardest and the most unpredictable moments, I think I was able to kind of settle in and not let my own emotions. Lead me to just reacting and has been able to take a step back and do a good enough job to still be on the call.

And I got a couple of cool compliments from you know, some high level head coaches after one of the game. One was the game I was calling and the coach that got kicked out, the other one was an NCAA tournament level coach that was watching the game and he, him and his wife reached out. And I was so shocked to hear it from them and thinking Hey, you, you may have you may have something here.

You may be this is really natural for you and blah, blah, blah. I was like, is this really happening? Like, I felt like I was I felt like I was like trying not to mess up. And if you knew only what I was feeling, but I think that’s the cool part about it is like when people get. Give you encouragement, who knows where it goes.

I’m, I’m having fun with it. I’d definitely love to do it and we’ll see where it goes. But I think for both of them, I don’t know that there’s a point of like true arrival, but I do feel like there’s some cool moments of people recognizing what you’re doing. And I think the less you think about, and you said the best, I mean, it’s really more about being comfortable than it is thinking that you’re good at it.

You know? I don’t know that I’m sure. You know, but I think it’s just more of, I feel like I’ve found my own niche to do it my own way and people that like it. Great. We appreciate it. And people that don’t no big deal. We’re going to keep going anyway.

[01:32:29] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. That’s a perfect way to say it. I think you have to almost forget that the microphone’s there and almost forget that a bunch of people are listening to you. And instead, what you have to do is just allow your own personality to come through. And either people like you or they don’t like one of the things that we were most surprised about with the podcast, honestly, Brian, is we thought, Hey, if we can get guest X, who’s going to be a big name that people are going to come on and they’re going to listen to that episode.

And that’s really going to help us grow our audience. And that helps maybe to some degree. But the reality is that when people listen to our podcasts, they only listen more than one time is. They like the hosts. And if they don’t like the hosts, it doesn’t matter who the guest is. Like, God, I don’t want to listen to Mike anymore.

That guy is atrocious and they’re going to go somewhere else. And so I think ultimately what you have to do is you have to kind of forget that the microphone’s there. And once you can do that and you can just talk and be yourself and have your own personality come out. As you said, you try to grow just like you do as a coach, just like you do as a player, you try to grow and improve and you self critique and all the things that we talked about earlier, and you hope that over the course of time that you get better at it.

But ultimately what you’re trying to do is make it seem like you’re just having a conversation that it’s not something that you’re doing behind the microphone for you. You’re just talking basketball and you’re showing and try to help the viewer to better understand what they’re seeing in the game and in a podcasting realm when you’re interviewing somebody, you’re trying to give them.

The platform to be able to share their story and your questions. You’re just kind of guiding them along to hopefully help them to be able to share their knowledge with your audience. And that’s ultimately, we try to do, and I think it’s, it’s just something that for us, I know has been a lot of fun because you see your own growth, you see your own improvement.

And then as a result of that, I think hopefully you’re being able to provide value to your audience, whatever that audience may be.

[01:34:34] Brian Burton: Yeah. I think the part, I mean, you guys are say, you guys, you are very natural at this. You can tell you’ve done it a lot. You can tell you’re kind of have a, I don’t want to say perfected your craft, but you worked on your craft.

You can tell for sure. There’s an element of when you’re comfortable as a host and you can establish a certain level of comfort. It definitely helps. Yes to be more comfortable to just be themselves. And when you can kind of build that rapport, right? I mean, we’ve talked only about this podcast, but it’s easier.

And I think most people have been on more or less. I’ve been on multiple interviews of some kind, maybe not multiple podcasts, but, and you hear like some of the horror stories of some are like, yeah, I just didn’t. I just kept talking and I didn’t get to talk or they just can’t there’s one right.

That happened. And I think it’s natural for you in the space that you’re in. And you guys have obviously had some great amount of reps and have built a great reputation. But I do think the cool part about it’s kind of like being a head coach. Like some people think you should be doing it this way. Some people think you should be that way, but you know, you’re going to feel the people that like the way that you coach or want to support your program just based on being you and not somebody else.

And yes, you’re going to grow and evolve. You know, the more you can be yourself. I think that’s the thing. And for me, I think the fun part has been just such a point guard and how I think. So I’m always kind of thinking problem solving or helping somebody be their best or look their best.

So podcasting and then doing the broadcasting the broadcasting is really almost a, it’s definitely an art form is definitely a skill. There’s a lot of nuances. And I had a buddy that was very academia about academic, about it. And he went to school for journalism and all that, and he’s kind of watching the game and he’s telling me these notes and I’m like trying to keep up.

And then the one day he watched one of the games, it, an overtime was like, ultimately. Whether you’re doing all those things or not, it’s entertaining when you’re doing your games. So just keep doing what you’re doing. You know, he’s like, ultimately that’s what, that’s what people are going to. They’re not going to care if you’re checking every box and do whatever technical aspect they can teach you that stuff.

But what’s, you’re doing is your passion for the game comes out. So you have to keep doing that part. And I think there’s such a part, so kind of how I got motivated to do this broadcasting a little bit was there’s so many guys that just did a bad job when we, when we had games and it’s like, you’ve never talked to us.

You never came to a practice, never came to a shoot around, but yet you’re telling, whoever’s watching this broadcast, who we are and what we’re doing, or you don’t even know. So I felt like it’s just a way that you put so much into it. And knowing as a coach, how much we put into our craft to win a game and to build a program and to recruit good players, All of these things and for somebody to get on a microphone and not honor that I just felt like it’s so disrespectful to the game.

And I think more than anything, I got just put more into it because I want to respect the game and respect the coaches that are coaching and the players that are playing and the people that are watching to give them the best representation of whatever they would want to get out of this. Not because I think I know the answers or because you know what I mean, it’s more so about just diving into this and being the expert of these two programs and this matchup and these moments, and then having some fun with it and obviously giving the proper shout outs when they’re needed or whatever.

But I just think it’s just such a way to honor the game. So that’s probably the part where I’m more conscious of doing what I, what I hated people to do. Hate’s a strong word, but I just really strongly dislike them to do when. Going, and then also just you know, want to just honor the game and just give the respect when it’s due.

And sometimes you are hired by a home team. It’s not a CBS or Fox broadcast, so to speak or ESPN, sometimes you’re hired by a home team and your, you don’t want to be the home broadcast is also overly biased that makes other people want to push mute. Cause they’re only going to hear about the home team it’s like everything, the home team does well, that should have been a block.

Well, then that should have been a charge. And I can’t believe this has happened in that railroad call that, you know so anyway, I think that’s probably more of the motivation for me. No, that part has been fun. I think the coaches have respected that part of it too. It’s hopefully helps for further opportunities.

If so fed, if not, I’m, I’m great doing just what we’re done to this point, because I’ve been able to do some NCAA tournament games division to do the wit game this year. So, I mean, I’m still learning what I’m even doing, and I didn’t have the quote unquote highlight film that you send out to show people what you do is just literally asking, beg, borrow, and plead and Hey, I’ll do it for free.

Just let me do it. And next thing you know, like it kind of takes a life as though

[01:39:52] Mike Klinzing: Giving back to the game, putting all that time in and preparing and trying to do a great job because it’s important to you because of the respect that you have for. The game of basketball and what it’s done for you.

And I think that’s something that we’ve tried to do a hundred percent is to make sure that we’ve been true to what we believe true to the game of basketball and try to give people an opportunity, a platform, to be able to share. We have blown past an hour and a half. Brian. I want to give you a chance before we wrap up, share how people can find out about all the different things you’re doing, how they could connect with you, whether you want to share website, social media, email, whatever you’d like to share that people can use to find out more about what you’re doing.

And then after you do that, I’ll jump back in and wrap things up.

[01:40:37] Brian Burton: Yeah. So first and foremost, thanks so much for having me on taking the time, making the time. I know sometimes it’s difficult with rescheduling and scheduling and whatever may come up. And I just appreciate the you know, the professionalism and the Me feel comfortable to still do it and not feel bad.

Like, man, am I, is this the wrong time? It’s the right time. So you’ve been awesome. I appreciate that. And that’s it.

[01:41:03] Mike Klinzing: It’s all good, man. We appreciate, we appreciate you, man. We don’t take our guests lightly. We don’t take their time lightly. So it’s been, it’s been great,

[01:41:10] Brian Burton: Man, for me. I’m email easiest email is coachburton13@gmail.com. Social handle for Twitter and IG is @coachburton13, pretty simple. Most of everything else you can find there probably the easiest way. And then website wise, I think the only one we have up and running so far, we just got it up and running is the uprise sports management apprise athletics group, which is our sports management firm.

And that is www dot apprise, aig.com. So yeah, that’s the, that’s the best way to find me. And usually it’ll lead them more rabbit holes. It’ll you’ll find other things for me.

[01:41:56] Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. Brian, we cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of your schedule. Appreciate. Just, as you said, you appreciated making it work.

We appreciate you making it work. And it’s been a lot of fun getting to know you getting to know a little bit about what you’ve done in the game of basketball, both, both as a coach. And now in this sort of after coaching life that you’ve gotten started a lot of exciting projects and things going, and I’m sure there’s going to be more things on the horizon.

So again, thank you and to everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.

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