Burnett joins athletic department as new Head of Football Program


Juliet Suess

By Jaidev Pant ’21
Michael Burnett has been named Head of the Football Program. The search for a new coach happened when Coach Scot Ruggles decided to resign as Head Coach. His most recent coaching job was at Tuscarora High School in Virginia, where he finished his career there with a 77-24 record and was the runner up in the Division 5A playoffs this year. Burnett also won the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award in 2015. Besides being a winning coach, there were many other things that separated Burnett from the other candidates.
”First, he is an outstanding teacher, both on and off the field. He is that rare individual that excels both as a academic teacher as well as a coach. Second, he has a passion for using the game of football to teach lessons of character and selflessness,” Head of Athletics Terry Barnum said.
Burnett has ties to Southern California as he coached at Santa Monica High School before moving his family to Virginia. Burnett has very high goals for the men and the players.
“Athletically, like every program at Harvard Westlake, we expect to perform at the highest level and compete for CIF Championships.  More significant to me, however, my goal as a coach is to help young men gain the tools they need to become better people and productive members of their community.” Coach Burnett said.
 The Athletic Department also announced that Deron Braswell would be named Associate Head Coach. He was the team’s offensive coordinator last year and was the head coach at Taft before that. The team is very excited about the two hirings.
 “I’m really excited to get to know and learn from Coach Burnett,” lineman Charlie Wang ‘21 said.