CORVALLIS – Eleven-year Pac-12 Conference veteran coach Greg Burns and former UCLA Bruin standout fullback Michael Pitre (pronounced Petrie) have joined the Oregon State football staff, Beaver head coach Jonathan Smith announced Wednesday. Burns will assume the role of secondary coach and Pitre will mentor the running backs.
Their appointments are contingent on the completion of all university hiring processes.
Oregon State will be Burns’ fourth tenure on a Pac-12 staff, serving most recently as California’s defensive backs coach from 2014-16. He was also Arizona State’s defensive backs coach from 2008-11 and held the same status at USC from 2002-05, where he helped the Trojans to a pair of national titles.
“Coach Burns brings a wealth of experience to our staff and tremendous knowledge of the Pac-12,” Smith said. “He’s coached on the biggest stages of college football, won conference and national championships, and is an excellent recruiter and communicator. I’m very excited to add Coach Burns to our staff and look forward to watching our safeties and cornerbacks grow under his watch.”
Burns has coached in 11 bowl games during his coaching career, including twice in the Orange and Rose Bowls. He has either served as a defensive backs or cornerbacks coach throughout his career that began in 1997 at Idaho and includes other stints at Louisville, Kansas State, Purdue, UMass and in the NFL with Tampa Bay. Burns has been on the staff of teams that have won six conference titles and has recruited extensively in Texas, Florida and Southern California.
The Los Angeles native was a standout defensive back at Washington State, lettering four years for the Cougars (1991-93, 95). The three-year starter was a Pac-10 Conference honorable mention selection in 1992 during a season where the Cougars won the Copper Bowl.
He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from WSU. He began his post-college career as an academic counselor at WSU for three years. In addition, he is a member of several national organizations and is a past recipient of the Black Coaches Association Outstanding Achievement and Contribution Award.
Pitre arrives at OSU after serving as Montana State’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator for the last three years. He also assisted with special teams and opponent scouting while with the Bobcats. MSU’s rushing attack ranked in the top 20 the last four years in the Football Championship Series (FCS), including eighth twice.
“Coach Pitre is one of the bright young coaches in our profession and I’m excited to bring him aboard to assist in the development of our offense,” Smith said. “He has a tremendous reputation as a strong recruiter with outstanding West Coast ties.”
Pitre was a three-year letterman fullback at UCLA from 2004-06, including one year as a team captain, in the same backfield as Maurice Jones-Drew. While at UCLA he was a part of the Bruins’ Leadership Council, recipient of the Jerry Long “Heart” Award, was a two-time Pac-12 Conference Honorable Mention selection and a three-year starter. He was a member of the Bruins’ program for a total of five years, redshirting as a true freshman and missing nearly all of his senior year with an injury.
Following his career as a UCLA student-athlete, he was invited to the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp in 2008. He first joined the coaching ranks at Rancho Santa Margarita High School in California for the 2008 season and was invited by the New England Patriots to be a scouting intern the next fall. From 2009-12 he was a defensive assistant coach at Servite High School in Anaheim, Calif., helping the team to multiple league and region titles.
Pitre returned to the college game for the 2012 and ’13 seasons at Colorado as a graduate assistant with the running backs and offensive line before moving to Montana State.
The Fontana, Calif., native is a 2007 graduate of UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in history and earned a master’s degree in 2016 from Colorado in educational, equality and cultural diversity.
Oregon State has now completed its full-time on the field roster of coaches, which includes the new NCAA rule of allowing FBS program 10 assistant coaches as of Jan. 9, 2018. The Beavers’ staff:
Jonathan Smith Head Coach
Jim Michalczik Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line/Associate Head Coach
Mike Riley Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends
Brian Lindgren Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Tim Tibesar Defensive Coordinator
Trent Bray Linebackers
Greg Burns Secondary
Jake Cookus Special Teams
Kefense Hynson Wide Receivers
Michael Pitre Running Backs
Legi Suiaunoa Defensive Line
Education: Washington State, 1995, ’97 – bachelor's and master’s degrees in psychology
Family: Wife, Crystal; Sons, Cristopher, Carter and Cooper
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Bowl Games: 11 (coach), 2 (player)
National Championships: USC, 2003 and ‘04
Coaching History: 2014-16 California, safeties/cornerbacks; 2013 UMass, defensive backs; 2012 Purdue, defensive backs; 2008-11 Arizona State, cornerbacks; 2007 Kansas State, defensive backs; 2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive backs; 2002-05 USC, defensive backs; 1998-2001 Louisville, cornerbacks; 1997 Idaho, cornerbacks.
National Championships – USC 2003 and 2004.
13 – Bowl games as a student-athlete and coach.
11 – Number of years as Pac-12 coach.
136 – Number of victories as a college coach
6 – Number of conference titles
Appointment: Running Backs
Education: UCLA, 2007 – bachelor's degree in history; 2016 – master’s degree in educational, equality and cultural diversity
Family: Wife Tara, daughter Ashlynn Kay
Hometown: Fontana, California
Bowl Games: 5 (as a player at UCLA)
Coaching History: 2014-17 Montana State, running backs/recruiting coordinator; 2017 Kansas City Chiefs, Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship; 2012-13 Colorado, graduate assistant for running backs and offensive line; 2009-11 Servite High School (Anaheim, CA), defensive assistant; 2009 New England Patriots, scouting intern; 2008 Rancho Santa Margarita (Santa Margarita, CA), running backs.
Honorable Mention – two-time Pac-12 Honorable Mention athlete
5 – number of bowl games as a member of the UCLA football team
3 – number of league champions as a coach at Servite High School
3 – number of CIF and state titles at Servite High School
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