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Blake hires Burns as football coach

Posted Feb 29, 2012 by Bill Ward

Updated Feb 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

When sorting through the 26 applications he had for the job of head football coach at Blake High, Yellow Jackets athletic director Jesse Salters kept one thing in mind: “Build a program.”

After narrowing the list and conducting 12 interviews, 39-year-old Micheal Burns was the person Salters believed could accomplish that goal.

Burns, a former head coach of New Haven High in Michigan and a former co-offensive coordinator at Celebration High, was officially named the Yellow Jackets’ new head coach Wednesday. Burns, a graduate of Florida A&M University, will join the Blake staff within the next two weeks, Salters said.

“He (Burns) is a very organized person, he interviewed well and he came with a plan to help Blake get to the next level,” Salters said. “More importantly, the kids here believe he will be a good fit and he wants to build a program through steady progress over the long haul.”

Burns replaces Harry Hubbard, who in three seasons at Blake posted a 9-21 record. The last two seasons, however, Hubbard’s teams were 4-6 and last fall played in a competitive nine-team Class 5A-District 8 with traditional powers Jesuit, Robinson, Lakewood and Spoto.

Salters confirmed the Blake job was initially offered to a different applicant but declined to reveal their name. He said the individual had a late offer to coach outside the state and decided to accept that position instead. Salters said both his initial choice and Burns were “extremely qualified” and fit all the requirements he and Blake’s administration were searching for.

Salters also said he and Burns are considering bringing former Tampa Catholic star Kenny Kelly, who was one of the 26 applicants, on the football staff. He said, however, nothing concrete has been decided about Kelly.

Besides New Haven and Celebration, Burns was an assistant at Jacksonville high schools Mandarin and Jackson, as well as Kissimmee Poinciana.

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