PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns announced Tuesday that head coach Bret Burchard will return for a second season.
Burchard will lead the Phoenix Suns’ NBA G League affiliate in 2019-20, following his first year as a head coach at the professional level. The NAZ Suns finished 12-38, but greatly improved over the course of the season, finishing 9-14 in their last 23 games. They improved across most statistical categories as well, most notably averaging 109.8 points per game over their last 15 contests compared to 99.3 PPG over the first 35.
Burchard also saw a NAZ Suns player get called up to the NBA last season, as Jawun Evans signed a Two-Way contract with the Phoenix Suns (he’s now with the Oklahoma City Thunder).
“We are excited to have Bret back as the head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns and look forward to building upon the foundation that was put in place last season,” Interim General Manager Dylan DeBusk said. “As an affiliate of the Phoenix Suns, the Northern Arizona Suns play a key role in player development and we value what Bret can do to help all of the players that don a Northern Arizona Suns jersey. We are confident in Bret’s abilities to lead this franchise and are excited to see the progress that we make in year two.”
Burchard, 32, will call Prescott Valley home for the third season in what will be the fourth year of existence for the Northern Arizona Suns. He was an assistant coach during the team’s inaugural season in 2016-17. He was promoted to associate head coach entering their 2017-18 campaign shortly before getting called up to the Phoenix Suns, where he spent the year as a player development assistant.
“I am excited and thankful for another opportunity to coach the Northern Arizona Suns and again be a part of the quad-city community,” Burchard said. “I thank James Jones, Dylan DeBusk and Monty Williams for believing in me as a coach and for trusting me to develop our young talent. I’m looking forward to sharing more great moments with our fans and supporters, and help the next group of young Suns players realize their dreams to the NBA.”
For over nine years, Burchard has been with the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Northern Arizona Suns. He worked 2013-16 as the Phoenix Suns’ video coordinator after spending 2010-13 in the basketball communications department for the Mercury and Suns.
Before joining the organization, Burchard was an assistant coach for two years at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he also went to school and played basketball. A Columbia, Missouri, native, Burchard earned his degree in sports management and public relations from Taylor in 2008.