TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - University of Alabama head football Nick Saban announced today that Burton Burns, an assistant coach at Clemson University the past eight seasons, has joined the Crimson Tide football coaching staff. Burns' specific duties have not been determined at this time.
Burns has been part of six of the top 10 offenses in Clemson history as running backs coach for the Tigers. Burns has tutored star runners such as 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year James Davis, Reggie Merriweather, Travis Zachery and Duane Coleman at Clemson and former New York Jet Jerald Sowell at Tulane. This past season, Davis led the Tigers with 1,187 rushing yards on 203 carries and scored 17 touchdowns, while freshman C.J. Spiller had 938 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. The Tigers averaged 5.7 yards per carry during the regular season.
A native of New Orleans, La., Burns spent the last eight seasons with head coach Tommy Bowden at Clemson after a five-year stint at Tulane that included a 12-0 season in 1998. Over 13 seasons as a college assistant coach, Burns has regularly produced versatile running backs that have been effective in every phase of the game. His players have proven to be equally effective as pass catchers, as well as in the running game.
Burns, 54, spent nine seasons as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Saint Augustine High School in New Orleans, La., before joining Bowden's staff at Tulane. Burns helped lead Saint Augustine to district titles in 1987, 1992 and 1993, his second stint at the school. Burns' first experience as a coach also was at Saint Augustine, where he served as an assistant from 1977-79 and helped the school win three more district championships on the way to consecutive state titles in 1978-79. Burns also coached at Shreveport's Booker T. Washington High School in 1980 before a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Southern University in Baton Rouge from 1981-85.
As a player, Burns played fullback for four seasons at the University of Nebraska under head coach Tom Osborne. A member of three Cornhuskers teams that won at least nine games each season, Burns participated in the Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl as a player. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Nebraska in 1976.