Shawnee State Athletics has named former Coppin State (Md.) head coach DeWayne Burroughs as the newest head coach of the nationally-renown SSU women’s basketball program, as announced by SSU Athletic Director Jeff Hamilton Thursday. Burroughs becomes the third person to lead the unit into action in what will be the program’s 34th season of competition.
“We are extremely excited to be bringing DeWayne to Shawnee State University,” Hamilton said. “His energy, passion, and experience are an ideal fit for our women’s basketball program and will allow the program to continue growing upon the milestones that have already been reached. His commitment to his athletes and his meaningful relationships will help ensure the continued success or our program. Our athletes will naturally gravitate to his engaging personality. He has a great track record recruiting and coaching top level talent to excel in the game of basketball, which will continue to bring stability and consistency to our fantastic program. We are really looking forward to having the opportunity to work with DeWayne.”
“I’m greatful to (Shawnee State Athletic Director) Jeff Hamilton,” Burroughs said. “He’s been fantastic throughout this entire process. I’m really appreciative of him and (Shawnee State President) Jeff Bauer giving me the opportunity. I talked to our young women Wednesday afternoon and told them, ‘We have to work hard. We have to work hard during the offseason. We have to work hard during practice. One of my goals was that we need to get better each and every day. They are very good kids. They understand the fact that we need to work hard. They understand the fact that it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take hard work — on the court and off the court — to make sure that we are ready for every game that we participate in.”
Burroughs, a veteran with 25 years of coaching experience, is a former graduate of Coppin State who turned an opportunity to play baseball with the Eagles into a coaching career in the game of basketball.
Building success early
A three-sport standout in high school, Burroughs made an immediate impact as an assistant for Coppin State very early in his coaching career, helping the 1990-91 Coppin State women’s basketball program obtain its first-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championship in school history.
The unit ultimately finished the ’90-91 season 19-8 and was inducted into Coppin State’s fourth athletic hall of fame class in 2015.
That season later became a springboard for future success, as Burroughs later went 143-40 overall at three Baltimore-area schools — Woodlawn High School, St. Paul School for Girls, and Northwestern High School. At Woodlawn, Burroughs won four Baltimore County Championships and three regional championships, with an appearance in the state semifinals and two appearances in the state championship.
Ace coach and recruiter in the DMV
Following his time coaching high school basketball, Burroughs made a successful transition as a college basketball coach.
In 2006, Burroughs got an opportunity to become an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for NCAA Division II Bowie State, rewarding the Bulldogs with a 95-45 overall record in his five seasons on staff. That mark included no less than 18 wins in any season during the five-year stretch, including a 22-5 overall record during the 2007-08 season.
Following a strong five-year tenure at Bowie State, Burroughs moved on to coach for the University of District Columbia, a fellow NCAA Division II member that was coached by Lester Butler.
Taking on the same tasks that he once held at Bowie State, Burroughs led UDC to a 77-38 overall record in four seasons under Butler before getting his first collegiate head coaching opportunity with UDC in the 2015-16 campaign following Butler’s departure to coach the men’s basketball program at Virginia Union.
In his first head coaching campaign with the Firebirds, Burroughs posted a 21-9 overall record before leaving to take the job at NCAA Division I Coppin State — a position that Burroughs held from 2016 to 2020.
“(Lester) Butler was fantastic,” Burroughs said. “I learned a lot from him and he learned a lot from me. We bounced ideas off of each other. That was a great situation.”
Burroughs’ deep roots in the famed D.C./Maryland/Virginia area — or DMV, as it is known nationally to college recruiters across all landscapes — means a great deal to the Randallstown, Md. native. He plans to pick from an area that is full of rich basketball tradition to add to a program that is, also, full of rich tradition with a 851-220 overall record all-time — a 79.5 percent winning mark that stands as the best of any college basketball program in Ohio.
“Being in the DMV, there’s a lot of talented kids who love the game of basketball, but don’t get the opportunity,” Burroughs said. “That’s going to be one area that I’m going to recruit in, and get them down to Shawnee State. The history behind the program is great. One of my main priorities is to come in and keep the tradition going. It’s already been established — I just have to keep it going. I just want to make things better for our players and keep improving from a results standpoint each and every season.”
With the strong background that Burroughs has put together in the game of basketball, the coaching veteran certainly understands the expectations — and wants to meet and exceed those.
“We want to continue and and build upon what Robin Hagen-Smith and Jeff Nickel accomplished here as head coaches, which is to compete for Mid-South Conference Tournament Championships and compete for national championships. Those are the goals.”
Burroughs is a 1991 graduate of Coppin State (B.S, Liberal Arts) and a 2010 graduate of the former Mountain State Academy in Beckley, W. Va. (M.S., Strategic Leadership). He is married to Tabby Rideout Burroughs and they are the parents of three children — Kristina, Christopher and Stephanie.