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Burns hires Dan Ebben as boys basketball coach

Apr. 20—CHEYENNE — A familiar face is returning to the sideline for Burns boys basketball.

Dan Ebben was announced as the Broncs' coach Tuesday afternoon. Ebben was Burns' girls coach from 1999 to 2004. He then spent six season as a girls assistant under Barry Ward, followed by six seasons as a boys assistant under Sean Patterson and Kurtis Suloff.

He stepped away from coaching after the 2021-22 campaign, but never strayed far from basketball.

"I've watched a lot of basketball around (Wyoming) and northern Colorado, and watched my grandson play, and kind of got the itch to get back into coaching," Ebben said. "I saw a lot of new things that I wanted to try and see how they work out.

"I was able to look at the game from a different perspective during my two years as a spectator, and always found myself thinking, 'What would I do?' I even talked through games aloud to myself or my family."

Ebben has a career head coaching record of 111-86. He also spent time as a girls head coach in Crow Valley, Colorado, before moving to Burns. Ebben has more than 25 years of coaching experience, said Suloff, who is now Burns' AD.

"Additionally, coach Ebben teaches in Burns, and has already established strong relationships with the athletes in the program," Suloff wrote in a news release. "We look forward to seeing the program thrive under his direction."

Ebben attended every Burns home game last season, and watched all of the Broncs' road games on NFHS Network. That gave him a good sense for what's returning to the roster from a team that went 1-23 this past season.

"There are a few seniors on there, but, for the most part, it's a younger team with a big freshman class coming in next year," Ebben said. "There's some potential there, and, hopefully, I can mold them into something Burns can be proud of."

Ebben thinks Burns has the talent to play his preferred uptempo style on both ends of the court.

"I'd like to put a lot of pressure on the ball and do a lot of pressing," he said. "With this group, especially some of the younger kids, I can throw a pressing group out there that can cause a little havoc every now and then, and maybe get the tempo going a little bit.

"This group has some quick feet and not a lot of size. We're going to be undersized moving back to (Class) 3A, but the speed in this group will help out if I can direct them in the right areas. They have the quickness and effort to maybe get after some people."

Burns has had 10 consecutive losing seasons and hasn't won more than nine games in a season since 2014. Ebben knows creating a winning culture isn't going to happen overnight.

"It's not going to be a quick fix," he said. "Maybe after three or four years, we can be competitive in whatever division we're in."

Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at jjohnke@wyosports.net or 307-633-3137. Follow him on X at @jjohnke.