Entering his 13th season as head coach of the University of Michigan men's soccer team, Steve Burns led the Wolverines to a historical season in 2010. In 2010, U-M reached the pinnacle of the collegiate men's soccer scene by advancing to the programs first-ever NCAA College Cup and capturing the 2010 Big Ten Tournament title , another first for the young Wolverine program. Burns was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year by FieldTurf, and was also a NSCAA National Coach of the Year Finalist for the Wolverines' efforts in 2010. Since being named the program's first head coach on March 26, 1999, Burns has guided the team to varsity status, overseen the proposition and execution of the new U-M Soccer Complex and built a program that is consistently among the nation's elite.
The Wolverines set the standard for Michigan men's soccer in 2010. U-M entered the College Cup on a nine-game winning streak and set new program records for games played (25), wins (17), goals (53), assists (49), shots on goal (185) and shots (480). U-M reset the offensive record books, breaking every offense record in program history including many that stood for at least seven years. The Wolverines picked up numerous postseason accolades, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year in Soony Saad. Saad also was an All-Big Ten first team selection and All-Freshman team selection. Joining Saad on the All-Freshman team was Fabio Pereira. Additionally, Justin Meram and Hamoody Saad earned All-Big Ten second team honors.
2011 saw Burns lead the Wolverines to a 5-14-1 record after losing 94 percent of the team's offense due to graduation and players pursuing professional careers. Burns, working with an entirely new coaching staff, had three players collect Big Ten honors in juniors Latif Alashe and Kofi Opare (Big Ten Second-Team) and Tyler Arnone (Big Ten All-Freshman).
In 2009, his 10th season at the helm of the men's soccer team, Burns and the Wolverines picked up their 100th career victory in style with a double-overtime win over No. 12 Northwestern in the final home game of the season. With 10-plus wins in eight of the program's 11 campaigns, Burns has amassed a 117-84-22 record. The 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2010 Wolverines each made NCAA Championship appearances with the 2010 team paving the way with a program best 17 wins and a trip to the College Cup. Michigan has made regular appearances on the NSCAA/adidas Top 25 Coaches Poll. U-M made its debut at No. 11 in the Oct. 20, 2003 poll, climbing as high as seventh during the season. U-M earned its highest national ranking in 2010 when they concluded the season ranked No. 4, the highest national ranking for a U-M men's or women's team. The Wolverines had rankings of No. 23 in 2004 and No. 10 in 2008.
While success on the field has come quickly to the program, Burns has proven that academics are a key component to being a part of the Michigan soccer program. His teams have produced 68 Academic All-Big Ten nominees and 54 U-M Athletic Academic Achievement award recipients. In 2004, Matt Niemeyer became a prime example of this when he was named to the ESPN Academic All-America first team. Under Burns, Niemeyer and Dawson Stellberger were both tabbed with NSCAA/adidas Scholar-Athlete All-Region honorable mention. During the 2007-08, team tri-captain Michael Parke was bestowed U-M's male Big Ten Conference Outstanding Sportsmanship Award while goalkeeper Chris Blais became a member of the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine All-District First team in 2009.
Eight Wolverines have traded in the Maize and Blue for the colors of professional squads, including five Major League Soccer draft picks. Perica Marosevic became U-M's highest draft pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft going to FC Dallas with the fifth pick overall. Teammate Michael Holody was also drafted in 2009 by the Colorado Rapids, marking the first time U-M had two players drafted. The Wolverines have had players drafted in each of the last three consecutive SuperDraft, including Justin Meram, who was U-M's second first round selection in 2011 going to the Columbus Crew as the No. 15 overall pick. Holody, Marosevic and Meram are each still active in the MLS. Former Wolverine Soony Saad inked a Generation Adidas contract following his freshman season, as is now a member of Sporting K.C. in MLS.
Kevin Taylor became the first Wolverine drafted by an MLS team. The Colorado Rapids selected the three-time All-Big Ten defender with the 25th overall selection in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. In 2005, two more Wolverines had their names called on draft day. Midfielder Knox Cameron was tabbed by the Columbus Crew with the 44th pick in the MLS SuperDraft and goalkeeper Peter Dzubay was drafted to the New Jersey MetroStars as the 17th overall pick in the league's Supplemental Draft. Forward Ryan Alexander, who has most recently been playing in Stockholm, was the first overall selection by the Detroit Ignition in the 2006 Major Indoor Soccer League College Draft.
Under Burns' tutelage, U-M has collected 11 All-Big Ten first team and 17 All-Big Ten second team plaudits. Michigan has also collected a heft of Big Ten Player of the Week honors, with 18 Wolverines collecting 28 weekly awards from the conference. 12 Wolverines have also been selected to the Big Ten All-Tournament team, led by two-time honorees Patrick Sperry and Michael Holody. U-M has also had a Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Tournament in Chris Blais (2010) and Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Tournament in Soony Saad (2010).
Burns also helped Knox Cameron become the 2003 Big Ten Player of the Year. On the strength of a program record 33 points Cameron became the first All-American under Burns when he was named College Soccer News All-America first team and an NSCAA/adidas All-America third team. Michael Holody became the second All-American to come out of the Wolverine stable, earning a spot on the 2008 NSCAA/adidas All-America third team while Soony Saad is U-M's most recent All-American picking up the honor in 2010 after his outstanding freshman campaign. Peri Marosevic has been recognized on the national stage twice, earning a spot on the College Soccer News All-Freshman third team in 2006 and the 2008 TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Season.
Before overseeing the programs transition to a varsity program, Burns served as head coach for the Michigan men's club soccer team from 1993-99, after serving one year as assistant coach (1992). Under his guidance, Michigan won back-to-back national titles in 1997 and 1998 at the culmination of six consecutive appearances in the national club championship tournament.
Outside of his work with the club team, Burns coached the Mid-Michigan Bucks in the Premier Development League of the United Systems of Independent Soccer Leagues, a position he held for four seasons (1996-99). The Bucks compiled a 69-28-0 record during his tenure, finishing as national finalists in 1996 and 1997, and winning divisional titles each year between 1996 and 1999. The team advanced to the round of 16 in the 1999 U.S. Open Cup, losing to the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer by the score of 2-1. Burns was named the USISL Premier League Coach of the Year in 1997. The Michigan head coach has been involved in the Michigan Olympic Development Program (1995-98) and with ODP Region II team since 1999. He worked as a staff coach with the Ann Arbor Youth Soccer Association from 1994-99, and he continues to serve as the director of the U-M Boys' Soccer Camps since 1997.
Burns holds two degrees from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering (1989) and a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology (1998). He was a member of the Michigan club soccer team as an undergraduate (1984-88), serving as team captain from 1986-88. He went on to play for the Detroit Wheels in the USISL Professional Division in 1994 and 1995, captaining the 1995 squad.
A member of the U.S. Soccer Coaches Association and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Burns is a United States Soccer Federation "A" License holder. Burns resides in Ann Arbor with his wife, Judy, daughter, Kate, and son, JT.