PORTLAND, Ore. — A familiar face will roam the Portland State women's soccer sideline in 2017, as Director of Athletics Valerie Cleary tabbed Katie Burton – most recently the associate head coach at Big Sky-rival Sacramento State – as the Vikings' eighth head coach in program history.
"We are excited to welcome Coach Burton to the Viking family," Cleary said. "She brings many years of experience to the position, not only as a coach, but also as a former Big Sky student-athlete. Her knowledge of the conference is a great asset to the program and will help to position us for success."
Burton helped lead a program turnaround at Sacramento State in her two seasons on the Hornets' coaching staff in 2015 and 2016. The Hornets hadn't made the Big Sky tournament in four seasons before Burton's arrival, but broke that streak with a Big Sky tournament appearance in Burton's first year in 2015.
Burton helped lead the Hornets to a second-place finish within the Big Sky last season, when they clinched the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Big Sky tournament with a 2-1 win over the Vikings in both teams' regular-season finale.
"I am honored to be named the head coach for the women's soccer program at PSU," Burton said. "I'd like to thank Val, [Portland State Associate Athletics Director] Lisa Miller, and the rest of the search committee for this opportunity. I'd also like to thank Lois Mattice and the Sacramento State Athletic Department for their guidance over the past three years.
"I am eager for this opportunity to build off the past success of the Portland State program. I am not walking into a situation of rebuilding, but rather a great foundation to build upon. I've heard incredibly positive things from the athletic department about this group of athletes, and I'm looking forward to getting started and seeing what we can accomplish together."
Burton steps into the head coaching role at Portland State after former head coach Laura Schott stepped down following nine seasons at the helm. Schott led the Vikings to our Big Sky regular-season titles in her nine years, as well as seven straight Big Sky tournament appearances from 2008-14.
Burton will be looking to build off that success, and will have the experience within the Big Sky in order to do so. Besides coaching at Sacramento State, Burton played for the Hornets from 2003-07, and has faced several of her Big Sky coaching peers as both a player and a coach.
"Having experience both playing and coaching in the Big Sky will allow for a very smooth transition," Burton said of her unique experience within the conference. "Having knowledge of the style of play of the other teams and their key players will give me a significant advantage in my first season. I've also learned from my previous coaching stops in two other strong conferences, which should allow us to bring a different look to the Big Sky."
Burton cut her teeth as an assistant coach at the University of San Francisco from 2011-14, giving her experience in the nationally respected West Coast Conference.
Burton helped lead another program turnaround at San Francisco, which hadn't finished better than seventh in the WCC in the previous five seasons to Burton's arrival. Burton helped lead USF to two top six finishes in the WCC in her four years at the school, and laid the groundwork for the Dons' record-breaking season in 2015, when the team set program records for best WCC finish (T-2nd), most WCC wins (7) and best WCC record (7-2-0).
Burton's first coaching stop came at UNLV, where she spent a year-and-a-half as an assistant coach/camp director/director of operations for both the men's and women's soccer programs from 2010-11.
"My first priority at Portland State will be to meet the team and the support staff and to establish that relationship," Burton said. "Setting standards and expectations is critical to implementing and establishing the culture I envision. A championship mentality on the field, in the classroom and out in the Portland community is the direction I will lead this program in. The student-athlete experience is the most important aspect of the job for me."
As a player, Burton helped lead the Hornets to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 2007. Burton and the Hornets swept the Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles that season, and finished with an unbeaten conference record at 4-0-3.
Burton was a three-time All-Big Sky selection as a player (2003, 2006, 2007), including an All-Big Sky first-team selection as a senior in 2007.
Burton's first day as head coach at Portland State will be July 5.
University of San Francisco, M.A., Sports Management, 2013
Sacramento State University, B.S., Business Administration, 2008
• 2015-17, Sacramento State, Associate Head Coach
• 2011-14, San Francisco, Assistant Coach
• 2010-11, UNLV, Assistant Coach/Camp Director/Director of Operations Men's and Women's Soccer
• Sacramento State, 2003-07
• Helped Sacramento State to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 2007
• Led Sacramento State to Big Sky regular-season and tournament titles in 2007
• Three-time All-Big Sky selection, including first-team selection in 2007
• All-Big Sky tournament selection in 2007