Keith Burns Named to Football Staff

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder announced today that veteran coach Keith Burns has been named to the Wildcat staff as an assistant coach who will work primarily with the defensive backs.

Burns, a former Broyles Award finalist as the nation's top assistant coach, just completed his 26th year in the college coaching ranks. A former head coach at Tulsa, he comes to Manhattan having served the past six seasons on the staff at San Jose State, including three as defensive coordinator.

"Keith brings a great deal of experience from several programs and with coaches whom I have great respect for," Snyder said. "He is a players' coach who has earned the reputation of being an excellent teacher who develops lasting relationships with his players and enhances their ability to play at the next level. I think he fits in extremely well with our present coaching staff and players in our program."

Last season, the Spartans ranked 22nd nationally in pass defense, yielding just 183.7 yards per game through the air. Burns' son, Tanner, led the San Jose secondary with 96 tackles and two interceptions from his safety position, while Duke Ihenacho was one of five Western Athletic Conference players to repeat as a first-team all-league selection. He had 89 tackles last season, broke up six passes, forced two fumbles, recovered one and intercepted one pass.

In 2008, Burns coordinated a San Jose State defense that ranked in the top-20 nationally in tackles for loss (7th), passing defense (10th) and quarterback sacks (11). The Spartans also finished 21st nationally in both points allowed and turnover margin in 2008.

The Spartans were 9-4 in 2006, which included wins over Stanford and New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl, and finished with the most victories in a season for the program since 1987.

As the cornerbacks coach, Burns mentored three NFL draft choices in his last three seasons at San Jose State. Dwight Lowery became San Jose State's first two-time, first-team All-America selection and was a 2008 fourth-round pick of the New York Jets. Christopher Owens, a two-time All-WAC corner, was a 2009 third-round choice by Atlanta, while Coye Francies was taken in the sixth-round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. In all, Burns has coached 14 players who have gone on to have successful careers in the professional ranks.

Burns was the head coach at Tulsa from 2000-2002 where his teams were the basis for the Golden Hurricanes' 2003 Humanitarian Bowl appearance. His first team in 2000 went 5-7 to give Tulsa its most wins in the previous eight seasons.

He has also coordinated defenses at Arkansas (1998-99), Southern California (1994-97) and Pacific (1986-87) while also spending time at Rice as defensive pass coordinator and special teams coordinator (1989-92).

In two seasons at Arkansas, the Razorback defense under Burns improved from a national ranking of 103rd to within the top 20 in total defense. During his tenure, the Razorbacks posted an overall 16-7 record and made consecutive bowl appearances. Following the 1998 season at Arkansas, Burns was one of five finalists for the Frank Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach.

Prior to Arkansas, he spent five seasons under John Robinson at Southern California. There, his defensive units ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense in 1994, first in the Pac-10 in scoring defense in 1995, second in total defense in 1996 and first in rushing defense in 1997.

Burns worked as an assistant at Rice from 1989 to 1992, a time that saw the team turn the nation's longest losing streak into a 6-5 record.

A native of Hurst, Texas, Burns was a three-time letterwinner at Arkansas (1980-82). He and his wife, Yvonne, have three sons, K.C., Tanner and Davis.

BURNS' COACHING EXPERIENCE
2008-09: San Jose State University defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach
2007: San Jose State University associate head coach/cornerbacks coach/special teams coordinator
2006: San Jose State University special teams coordinator/cornerbacks coach
2005: San Jose State University special teams coordinator/tight ends coach
2004: San Jose State University defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach
2000-02: University of Tulsa head coach
1998-99: University of Arkansas defensive coordinator
1994-97: University of Southern California defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach
1993: University of Southern California defensive backs coach
1991-92: Rice University defensive pass coordinator
1989-90: Rice University defensive backs/special teams coach
1988: University of the Pacific offensive coordinator
1987: University of the Pacific defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach
1986: University of the Pacific co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach
1985: University of the Pacific defensive backs coach/special teams coach
1984: University of Arkansas graduate assistant