ABILENE, Texas (BCH Sports) – The Cowboys are back in the NCAA Division III playoffs, and that accomplishment can be attributed to the consistent leadership from head coach, Jesse Burleson.

“You know, this team has been battle tested. We’ve been through some wars. We had a bunch of injuries and a bunch of adversity, and they just kept pushing through,” said Jesse Burleson.

He is in his 13th season as the leading of the HSU football program and just led it to an outright conference title for the first time in 19 years.

Burleson said, “If you were going to tell me that we would have made it through all those different things, people would have said there is no way. they don’t listen to that. They just keep finding a way to keep getting it done. It’s perseverance. I believing it what we want done and playing really hard the way we do it.”

Burleson played for HSU from 1995 to 1998. He came back to his alma mater in 2006 as the offensive line coach and took over as head coach in 2011. HSU is a powerhouse and Burleson is a big reason.

“With our offensive line, they are selfless. They don’t care about the glory. There’s no ego in that group. It’s whoever can get in and get the job done. They take pride in other people’s success. It’s makes them extremely unique. They’re tough. They’re hard-nosed and really, really smart, and they care about their teammates. That’s what makes that group so special,” Burleson added.

“When you think about the big picture and try to educate them on those things, it works out really good. They get a meaningful degree while they are here, but they get a real, life education.”

Hardin-Simmons football head coach, Jesse Burleson, is this week’s Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week. He leads the Cowboys into the NCAA Division III playoffs on Saturday against Trinity.

That game is for a noon kickoff in San Antonio.