Oregon Magazine

Pigskin Pete
Pigskin Salutes New
Viking Head Coach

By Fred Delkin

We bid a warm welcome for new Portland State head football coach Nigel Burton...a very qualified choice to repair the damage done by Jerry Glanville, who, in three years, proved himself totally incapable of justifying his selection. Glanville's showbiz ego forced his coaching partner Mouse Davis into retirement and utterly failed to inspire his players. Burton, 33, is young, smart and an accomplished recruiter. He knows the territory, having spent 10 years in the Pacific Northwest as player and coach. He lettered at Washington for three years as a starting safety and served as captain of the '98 Husky team under coach Jim Lambright. During his tenure with the Dawgs, Burton earned all-Pac10 academic honors while earning his bachelor's degree. He then got an MBA in accounting from University of South Florida, where he also was an assistant coach.

Burton then became an assistant coach under Tim Walsh at PSU in 2001 & 2002. He moved up to Division I coaching duty at Oregon State for five years before becoming a defensive coordinator for the University of Nevada Wolfpack the past two years. Importantly, Burton is a winner, playing on three UW bowl teams, helping coach PSU to a 13-9 record and mentoring through an OSU 39-24 record and four bowl wins. At Nevada, the Renoites were 7-6 and 8-4 and qualified for two bowls.

Burton is in the process of selecting his assistants. This new team of mentors will guide a resurgence of PSU football, which under Mouse and then Pokey Allen, filled the stands and achieved entry into national playoffs. Glanville came very close to spelling an end to football here, with only season ticket sales forming attendance figures that were grossly inflated over reality. Go Nigel, go!!

© 2009 Oregon Magazine