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Burt hired as new Warriors football coach

Bob Burt has been hired as the new Fallbrook High School head football coach. Burt was offered the position April 27 and signed the paperwork April 28. He remained on campus April 28 to introduce himself to the team.

"We're excited to see what he can do with this group of kids," said Fallbrook athletic director Pat Walker.

CIF San Diego Section regulations only allow Burt to have contact with the team during sixth period until spring practice begins May 9, so he will continue to become acquainted with the players during their sixth-period athletics class. He will commence drills, which continue into after-school hours, once that becomes permissible.

"Right now I'm just working on putting my coaching staff together and hopefully we'll have that done in the next several days and then we can go to work," Burt said.

Burt acknowledged challenges of becoming a team's new coach. "It's a big learning curve," he said.

One challenge is determining the skills of his players, and Burt acknowledges that the familiarity aspect is a task for both sides. "They have to know me," he said.

Burt played on the San Pedro High School football team as a center and defensive end and was also a pitcher on the Pirates' baseball team before graduating in 1958. He then played center and defensive end at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo.

Burt returned to California for graduate studies at Los Angeles State College and began his coaching career in 1962 at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs. Burt was an assistant to head coach Marijon Ancich, who won 360 games during his high school career, which ranks second all-time among California coaches.

"I was fortunate to work for him and learned a lot from him," said Burt of Ancich.

Burt was also the St. Paul head baseball coach during his four years with the Swordsmen but has not coached baseball since his time at St. Paul.

In 1966, Burt became the first head football coach at Pater Noster High School in Eagle Rock. He coached at Pater Noster for three years and then became the head coach at Santiago High School in Garden Grove.

After six years as the Santiago coach, Burt made his college coaching debut as the head coach at United States International University in San Diego, which is now Alliant University. Burt continued to teach at Santiago High School while driving 120 miles each way to USIU for practices and games.

"I wanted to get into college coaching," said Burt. Although the Gulls only had 28 players in 1975, USIU finished the season with a 7-3 record. "It was a great year," Burt said.

Burt enjoyed college football more than he enjoyed the commute, and after a year at USIU he became the assistant defensive line coach for UCLA. One of the UCLA players in 1976 was defensive back Pat Schmidt, who was Fallbrook High School's football coach in 2006 and 2007.

"He was well respected by his players," Schmidt said of Burt. "I'm sure it's going to be the same thing at Fallbrook High School." Schmidt resigned as the Warriors' coach in November 2007 after the Warriors won two games in two seasons.

Schmidt was replaced by Joe Silvey, who resigned in November 2012 after a five-year record of 11-42-1. Kyle Williams was hired later that month and compiled a record of 17-17 during his three years, including CIF playoff games in all three seasons and Valley League championships in 2014 and 2015.

On Feb. 16, Williams, who attended Poway High School, provided notice that he had taken the coaching position at Westview High School, which is part of the Poway Unified School District. School district policy requires that notices of position openings first be posted in-house, but no Fallbrook Union High School District employees applied during the priority period and the vacancy was then advertised outside the district.

In 1977, Dick Tomey, who was UCLA's defensive coordinator in 1976, became the head coach at the University of Hawaii and invited Burt to join the Rainbow Warriors' coaching staff.

"We had a lot of success and had a great time over there," said Burt.

Burt was on the Hawaii coaching staff for three years but returned to California to be closer to his daughter. He was the assistant defensive coordinator at Cal State Fullerton from 1980 to 1985. "We had real good teams," said Burt. "We had a great program." In 1986, Burt took over as the head coach at Cal State Northridge. The Matadors had an 8-3 record in Burt's first season, and in 1990 the team earned a berth in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the only time in school history. Burt continued to coach Cal State Northridge through 1994 and then returned to the high school level.

In 10 years as the Temescal Canyon High School coach, Burt led the Titans to a 90-30 record and eight CIF playoff appearances. Temescal Canyon won three league championships and one CIF Southern Section championship during Burt's seasons as the head coach. Burt was also a non-coaching athletic director at the school before retiring in 2007. "Had a great 13 years there," he said.

Temescal Canyon is part of the Lake Elsinore Unified School District. "In Lake Elsinore there was a community around Temescal Canyon," Burt said. "I get that sense from Fallbrook." Burt continued to coach after his retirement as a faculty member.

Notre Dame High School in Riverside is also the Titans, and as the head coach from 2008 to 2010, Burt led the team to three playoff appearances. He was the head coach at Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights for the 2011 season and spent 2012 and 2013 as the Cypress High School coach. In 2014, Burt became the first varsity coach at Santa Rosa Academy in Menifee.

The American Football Coaches Association presented Burt with the 2013 Power of Influence Award at the AFCA's January 2014 conference.

"We were after a highly qualified character guy and his reputation both as a football coach and as a character man was phenomenal," said Walker. Burt, who lives in Hemet, intends to coach at Fallbrook longer than one or two years.

"This is a different situation," said Burt. "I'm here to stay. I love the idea of a one town and one school atmosphere. I think it's a great opportunity."


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