(Editor's note: University of Providence media release)
GREAT FALLS – The University of Providence athletic department announced the hiring of Danny Burstein as the interim head coach of the men's soccer program Thursday morning.
Burstein takes over the men's soccer program from head coach Matt Ball, who joined the men's soccer program at Montana State Billings as an assistant coach. Burstein was the assistant coach under Ball during Ball's first season as head coach at Providence in 2018.
"We're very fortunate to have Danny join our program again," athletic director Doug Hashley said. "He has an advantage of knowing some of our student-athletes already and knowing the University of Providence system is very helpful. I'm excited for Danny and our men's soccer program."
"I also want to personally thank Matt Ball for his dedication and commitment to our program during his time with us," Hashley said. "We were very fortunate to have a coach like him on our staff and I wish him the best moving forward."
Burstein joins the program with a plethora of coaching experience. He spent the past year as an assistant coach at Adams State University, an NCAA Division II school in Alamosa, Colo., as an assistant coach for both the men's and women's programs, working primarily with the goalkeepers.
As the assistant coach at Providence in 2018, he helped lead the program to an 8-5-3 regular-season record and a berth in the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament. In addition to his position at Providence, he served as the head coach for two teams at Montana Rush and led his U19 boys team to a 2018 state cup.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to return to the University of Providence," Burstein said. "I'm grateful to Doug for providing me the chance to follow in Coach Ball's footsteps and build on what I helped him start a little over two years ago. It is a place I wanted to return to at some point in my career, I just didn't realize it would happen so fast. UP has a great environment where everyone makes you feel welcomed and is working to help our students succeed in every endeavor."
Prior to his arrival in Great Falls, Burstein was a staff coach at St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club for five years. He also has coached high school soccer in Missouri, with stops at Whitfield High School and Mary Institute of St. Louis as the goalkeeper coach. He served as an undergraduate assistant at Brandeis University, a NCAA Division III school in Waltham, Mass.
Though Burstein won't have the chance to work with the players in person until next semester, he's gotten to know them through various Zoom calls as they begin to prepare for a spring season.
"I have had some great conversations over the last couple of days as I get to know all the players, especially those I didn't have a chance to coach two years ago," Burstein said. "We have a fantastic group of guys who love the game and want to work hard for each other. They are itching to be back on the field and playing, so just seeing everyone's passion and energy on the first day of training when we get started will be great. Certain aspects are out of our control, but we will work within our limits to create a positive experience and get through these uncertain times together."
"We will be a team that works equally hard on and off the field," he said. "Success in the classroom is just as important, if not more important, as results on the pitch. I hope to play a brand of soccer that is enjoyable to watch and that the players are excited to be a part of. Ultimately this is about the student-athletes and finding the best way to get all the pieces working together. It is my goal that the men's team can continue to make a positive impact on campus and in the Great Falls community."