Sammy Burnett said, “Well shoot! This is where I was born and raised. everything I know. This is everything I learned.”
That’s the answer you get when you ask Brownwood head football coach Sammy Burnett why it was so important to return to his hometown and alma mater to lead the program Gordon Wood made famous. He always wanted to coach the Lions, and the experience has been exactly what he hoped.
Burnett added, “Everything that I am as a coach I learned growing up in Brownwood, Texas and being a Brownwood Lion. My goal was to get back and give back to the community that gave me so much. It’s still a blessing everytime I walk outside and see that logo on the side of the helmet. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the program.”
As you can tell, being a Brownwood Lion is important for Burnett. He wants his players to love being Lions, too, and the players say learning from someone that’s been there makes a big difference.
Taylor Bessent said, “If you are a coach from somewhere else, you don’t reallyl understand the tradition around here. He gets it because he grew up here.”
Kyren Deal said, “He grew up here, so it’s not like he’s just telling us a false story. Everything that’s coming from him is truth.”
Making the players love being Brownwood Lions isn’t the only goal for Burnett. He says his main mission as a football coach and a mentor goes much farther than that. Burnett says kids need to know someone cares, and he does all he can to make sure the Lions know he cares.
Burnett said, “The greatest gift we can give anyone is love. I try to love them up every day. I try to help them reach their potential, so that I can sit back as an old man and watch them be successful, and that’s when my rewards will come.”
Blaize Espinoza said, “Some kids, if they don’t have this, they don’t have a lot. It’s crucial, and it plays a big, key role in some kids life.”
Deal added, “I love coach Burnett, and I know he loves us, too. He’ll get on your butt if he needs to, and he’ll uplift you when it’s that time. He always has that energy, and he’s always the core to our team.”
Burnett added, “I consider them my players to be my children. They’re my family. When my wife told me when our youngest daughter was born, she was saddened because she found out it was a girl and thought I wanted a boy. I am blessed to have daughters. The Lord has given me thousands of young men to be my boys, I am blessed all the way around.”
Sammy Burnett is the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week.