July 26, 2012

Burns to Take Over Reigns of SCR-I Football Tigers in 2012

by Brock Bondurant

After coaching the junior varsity football team in 2011, his first year on Coach Brent Bondurant's staff, Daniel Burns will take over the varsity job in 2012. Burns is pictured above firing up the troops before the Salisbury game in 2011.

Some circumstances in life cause things to happen much quicker than initially anticipated. This can sometimes be a negative occurrence. For Coach Daniel Burns, it is a blessing.

Following the Scotland County R-I football team's home playoff loss to Louisiana in October, Coach Brent Bondurant resigned his position as head football coach. This left the Scotland County football program with its first coaching vacancy in a decade. First year assistant coach, Daniel Burns saw an opportunity he had always dreamed of. A dream that would be realized when SCR-I Superintendent, Dave Shalley offered the head coaching job to Burns this off-season. Burns gladly accepted.

From his days of growing up in Unionville, Burns was always fond of sports, especially football. He graduated from Putnam County High School in 2004. While at Putnam, he excelled in football, baseball, and basketball. He attended college at Graceland University where he played football for five years on a Graceland team that was consistently nationally ranked. He also participated in track and field as a thrower his senior year. To start his football career, Burns was made a nose guard on defense, but was then moved to the offensive line his second year, where he would play the rest of his career. With Burns as an offensive lineman, Graceland was able to win a conference championship during Burns' sophomore year. "I learned so much [at Graceland]," Burns says. "I was lucky enough to play both [offense and defense] and gain a lot of knowledge of both. Different coaches gave me different viewpoints which I believe will help me to become a better coach myself."

Burns also credits his coaches and experience at Graceland with his decision to become a coach. "[My experience at Graceland] made me want to stay around the game and coaching is one way to do that."

2011 was Burns' first year at Scotland County. It was also his first teaching/coaching job. "I had been looking around [for a job] for awhile," Burns says. With the economic strain the way it is, it has been tough for many young teachers and coaches such as Burns, to find job openings. When Burns got his first job at Scotland, he was truly thankful. "To be able to go somewhere I was familiar with, and a place with great people to work with was amazing. I was able to ease into teaching and coaching my first year. It's been fun teaching all the sports I love."

Burns, in his first year, was assistant football and basketball coach, as well as being the head coach of the baseball team, which won its second straight conference championship this season. It is evident with his quick success that Burns' coaching can lead the Tigers in a positive direction. "Luckily, the baseball talent was very easy to work with in my first year. I didn't have to do much coaching because of the talent and understanding of the game that the team already had," states Burns. "They already knew how to win."

Coach Danny Burns will take over the reins in 2012 as the new Tiger head football coach. He emphasizes how this year's team will look almost completely different than the year before. "We lost a lot of seniors," he says. "They left a lot of holes to be filled this year. We will also have to make up for all of the [2011 seniors] offensive output. Out of all the total points scored last year, [our returning players] only accounted for 30 of those points."

To make up for the lost production, the Tigers will be switching to a new offense, "We will be running some flexbone," Burns says. "The transition is going very well. We've attended camps and learned from the best, and the kids are excited for something new. We're excited to get started."

Burns is very excited and optimistic for the new season. "We want to compete first of all," says Burns. "We feel we can be competitive and hopefully do so in conference especially."

Burns believes that Milan will be the team to beat in the Tri-Rivers Conference this season. "They are defending champs so obviously they have to be the favorites." Burns also thinks that Knox will be a tough team this year as well. "They have plenty coming back and should be much improved. They will have a say in who wins the conference this year," he believes.

Most of the time, losing a long time coach could spell havoc for a small, class 1A school. However, the Tigers appear to be in good hands behind the leadership of Danny Burns. "It has always been a goal of mine to be a head coach," states Burns. "It happened much quicker than I expected, but it worked out well. I love the people here and this is a great place to reach my goal so early in my career."

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