Nevada's Burton named Portland St coach

Dec 8, 2009 - 9:04 PM PORTLAND, Ore.(AP) -- The Portland State Vikings have named Nevada defensive coordinator Nigel Burton as their new head coach.

Burton replaces Jerry Glanville, who resigned last month after going 9-24 over three seasons at Portland State. The Vikings were 2-9 overall and 1-7 in the Big Sky this past season.

Burton was an assistant at Portland State under then-coach Tim Walsh in 2001 and 2002. He later served as cornerbacks coach at Oregon State before joining Nevada's staff in 2008.

"The opportunity to come back to a university that I loved being a part of before was outstanding," Burton said in a statement. "I believe the potential is here to return to the dominance that Portland State once had."

Nevada finished 8-4 this season and will play Southern Methodist in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24. The team was ranked atop the Western Athletic Conference in run defense and ninth in pass defense,

In total defense, Nevada was ranked third, allowing 27.2 points and 398.9 yards a game.

Burton, 33, played at Washington, where he was a safety.

"Nigel brings the whole package - great recruiting skills, a focus on student-athlete success, strong interpersonal skills, and an ability to teach," Portland State athletic director Torre Chisholm said.

When the Vikings hired Glanville three seasons ago, it was hoped that the gregarious former NFL coach with a penchant for wearing black would make Portland State a perennial Big Sky force. But the team was beset by injuries and Glanville was never able to develop his trademark defense or offensive coordinator Mouse Davis' run-and-shoot offense.

Walsh left Portland State after 14 seasons to become offensive coordinator at Army and has since become head coach at Cal Poly. He went 90-68 at Portland State, leading the Vikings to three straight playoff appearances at the Division II level before they moved up to Division I-AA and the Big Sky Conference in 1996.

Burton will be the 13th head coach of Portland State.

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