In 2017 when Coach Burnsed joined the Dons family, AHS quarterback Robby Rowell (now a quarterback for the California Bears) stated, “Coach Burnsed is a legend around Lamorinda”.
When you have over 40 years of coaching football, you have a coach with knowledge, a level-headed approach and experience. Our Acalanes varsity coach has all that and more. Throw in other adjectives like passionate, focused, positive, friendly, approachable and cooler than ‘Joe Cool’ that is Floyd Burnsed.
There are many qualities that encapsulate Coach Burnsed, he is a calm but inspiring leader who can help us keep our heads straight in a crazy game, and focus on the task at hand, #14 Graham Oh, 2019 & 2020 Varsity Running Back & Middle Linebacker
A long-time Vallejo resident and football coach, Burnsed established himself as one of the top high school coaches in the nation by compiling a 154-62-2 record while winning 10 league championships and four North Coast Section championships. Burnsed was named Contra Costa County “Coach of the Year” three times, 1983 Champion “Coach of the Year”, the San Francisco 49ers 1996 “Coach of the Year”, the San Francisco 49ers 2019 “Coach of the Week”, and the North Coast Section “Coach of the Year” in 2000. He was inducted into the Miramonte Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
When the Friday Night Lights illuminate across 94549, everyone convenes at Acalanes for the event of the week, Varsity football! Burnsed and his Dons pour it all out on the field in an effort to prevail. Don fans pack the stands to support and cheer on student-athletes. There’s a genuine love and desire to see the team and players do well.
I knew Coach Burnsed believed in me when I got my first start of the season, #8 Brady Huchingson, 2019 & 2020 Quarterback
Acalanes football has always been about building a solid foundation for a young person’s life, based on principles and experiences that can only be taught through the game. It’s about cultivating genuine relationships between players, coaches and a community of fans and that is what Coach Burnsed does so very well.
There’s nothing like Acalanes football!
But this year as covid dominates our lives, classrooms are quiet, hallways vacant, our football bleachers sit empty and the excitement of Fright Night Lights is put on hold as our community misses the blue magic on our football field. We asked Coach Burnsed what did you do last Friday night? I was watching two high school football games on ESPN, wishing that our players could’ve experienced the same thing. Yet, the covid pandemic does not stop Burnsed’s coaching or developing his Dons. The pandemic has taught Burnsed how important it is to have a strong, efficient varsity coaching staff: We are in groups of 12 players and coaches have to stay with one group. It has been great to have a staff that is willing to put in the time to ensure our players have a great experience. I’ve also learned that we have to be able to cope, and live with, things that are beyond our control.
WE ARE PROUD OF OUR VARSITY-2019 DAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!
Our first Dons football game is four months away. The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school athletics in the state, announced in July a modified schedule for its sports due to the covid pandemic. Coach Burnsed has taken advantage of this situation for better coaching with his staff, Burnsed shares, fortunately football is a sport in which a great deal of practice is spent in position groups. We are able to really teach a lot of technique to each position. I think each player has benefited greatly from the practices and has been a great release for them with everything going on.
Coach Burnsed goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the Dons are prepared for Friday nights, with countless hours of film study and schematics instruction to simulate real-time game situations. Game knowledge and skills development is one of the essential parts of the game. Though the understanding of the game and expertise can be gathered through playing and observing skills developed through perseverance and arduous practice, and then Burnsed puts it all out on the field. What is happening in Burnsed’s head before the kick off? I am thinking about the game plan, trying to anticipate how the game will unfold. Our opening plays are scripted so I replay those in my mind a few times. The Dons might be on the field for two hours every Friday night, but Burnsed is working with an around-the-clock effort.
My favorite Burnsed quote is “Hurry Hurry Hurry!” #5 Niko Cortessis, 2019 & 2020 Varsity Wide Receiver & Linebacker
Many coaches serve as educators, mentors and more importantly, positive influences on many players, this is one of the strong attributes to Coach Burnsed. His vision in leading the program is to prepare athletes for the field, in the classroom, and as young adults. High school and football not only serve as learning experiences and opportunities to improve, they should also create enjoyable and memorable moments for each athlete. Coach Burnsed is proud of each young man who plays for the Dons. When asked what makes a great football player Burnsed replied, First of all, a good football player has to be coachable, believe in the system and care about his teammates. After that, we look for dedication to the sport, athletic ability and his work ethic to become a better athlete.