The Lions’ Athletic Department is pleased to announce the hiring of Linfield’s new high school Head Football Coach, DeChon Burns. Coach Burns, who has served as the Lions’ Defensive Coordinator for the past two seasons, brings a wealth of football experience to Fox Field including years spent coaching at the NCAA Division I level and for the NFL and UFL (United Football League).
In 1988, Burns earned a scholarship to the University of Southern California to play football for the Trojans after proving himself as an exceptional 4-sport athlete at Rubidoux High School. A neck injury suffered by Burns his redshirt sophomore year of college simultaneously ended his playing career and launched his coaching career when the USC Coaching Staff invited him to stay on as an Assistant Coach from 1990-1992. After graduation, Burns continued to build his coaching resume in the high school ranks first at Beverly Hills High School then at Bishop Amat before jumping to the collegiate level in 2001 to coach for the University of Florida. After a season with the Gators, Coach Burns was invited up into the professional ranks to coach with the Washington Redskins and later with the San Francisco 49ers. In 2004, Burns returned to the collegiate ranks and served as Defensive Line coach and also the Interim Head Coach at Texas Southern, then went on to serve as the Defensive Line Coach for the University of Texas – El Paso. Most recently Burns worked with Andy Reid at the Philadelphia Eagles serving as assistant special teams coach under the Bill Walsh minority Intern Program.
After an impressive and successful journey through the ranks of football, the Burns family decided to move back to where it all began and in 2010, settled in Moreno Valley, just 20 miles from Rubidoux High School. In the summer of 2011, DeChon, his wife of 15 years Enid, and their three children Lorenzo (9th grade), Simeon (8th grade), and Jaylin (5th grade) walked onto Linfield’s campus and fell in love with the school where they now attend.
“Linfield has been a blessing to my family,” says Burns. “My kids enjoy what Linfield has to offer. They are thriving and getting a phenomenal education while also growing in the Lord. I am passionate about football, but I am infinitely more passionate about my own kids, and Linfield is a wonderful place to witness growth take place in a young person’s life.”
For the past two years, Burns has served on the football field as the Defensive Coordinator and off the field as Linfield’s Director of Athletic Development, a role in which he seeks to find collegiate athletic opportunities for Linfield’s graduates. During that time he has also served as Defensive Line coach for FBU (Football University). Burns’ effort to advance the quality of all Linfield sports while also creating opportunities for graduates to move on and play in college has resulted in an improved experience for Linfield student-athletes.
Athletic Director Timm MacDonnell is excited about what Burns brings to Linfield. “There are opportunities for Linfield athletes to play at the next level. Last year we had 8 Linfield grads go on to play in college, that’s 11% of our graduating class! And the pipeline of qualified student-athletes looks strong. I am excited to see what is to come, both for Linfield football under DeChon Burns leadership, but also for all Linfield Athletics.”