July 15, 2010

Burns Named R-MC Director of Athletics

Yellow Jackets Promote Longtime Coach, Administrator and Hall of Fame Member

ASHLAND, Va. --- Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren announced on Thursday that Jeff Burns ’87, the college’s current Associate Athletic Director and Director of Athletic Development, has been promoted to the position of Director of Athletics, effective immediately.

“Provost Bill Franz and I sought the counsel of numerous individuals, both internally and externally, regarding the future direction which the athletic department should take,” said Lindgren.  “It quickly became clear that our best candidate in terms of experience, leadership and vision was, without question, Jeff Burns – one of our own.”

“Jeff is a loyal and dedicated member of the R-MC community and has shown exceptional skills,” said Provost Franz.  “He has been actively engaged with the athletic department during his tenure at the college and has earned the respect of coaches, faculty, staff, students and alumni.  I am confident that Jeff, with his well-earned promotion to Director of Athletics, will make valuable contributions to our outstanding athletic department and will serve as a strong role model for our student- athletes.”

While a student at R-MC, Burns played soccer and tennis, and was coached in both sports by Yellow Jacket legend Helmut Werner.  During Burns' career as a student-athlete, the men's soccer team won two Virginia state titles, and he compiled a 30-2 overall record for the men’s tennis program.  He was an all-region selection in soccer as a senior in 1986, and was a two-year team captain. He is a 2005 inductee into the Randolph-Macon Athletics Hall of Fame.

Following his graduation from R-MC, Burns went on to become assistant men's soccer coach and head men's tennis coach from 1987 to 1995, later serving as associate men’s soccer coach from 1995-2002. In addition, from 1988 to 1995, he was the head women's soccer coach. In that role, Burns was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Coach of the Year four times, leading his team to seven ODAC championships, two NCAA tournament appearances and a 114-23-13 (80.3%) overall record, ranking him eighth all-time in NCAA Division III Women Soccer history. 

In May 2005, Randolph-Macon won its first-ever ODAC championship in golf, and Burns was named the conference Coach of the Year in that sport, which he led from 2002 until 2008, when he resigned after taking on the role of Associate AD and Director of Athletic Development.

“I want to thank President Lindgren and Provost Franz for giving me the opportunity to lead an athletic department at a college that has meant so much to me over the course of the last three decades,” said Burns.  “It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of R-MC coaching and administrative legends like Hugh Stephens, Ted Keller, Helmut Werner, Hal Nunnally, and Carroll LaHaye, individuals who have provided outstanding and very long-term leadership and commitment to our athletic program.

Burns joined the R-MC Athletics administration ranks in 1997 when he was named Assistant Athletic Director. He then served as the school's acting director of athletics from summer 2003 through spring 2004. In addition, he was director of the Yellow Jacket Club from May 2000 to August 2001, and was assistant director of that fund-raising organization from 1995 to 2000, a management role that continued after he was named Director of Athletic Development.

Burns has spearheaded fundraising efforts for the Yellow Jacket athletic department, helping bring to life such projects as improvements to the R-MC weight room, R-MC Men’s Basketball foreign trip to Chile and the current facility upgrades to Day Field and Hugh Stephens Field.  Since taking over as Director of Athletic Fundraising, athletic annual fund giving has increased 150% and participation has doubled.

In addition to his Randolph-Macon education, Burns received a master's degree in recreation, parks and tourism from the SportsCenter program at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2002. He has been a soccer coach with the Richmond Strikers Premiere team and a coach with the Virginia Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development Program.  He also currently serves as the chair of the Randolph-Macon Athletics Hall of Fame Committee and as a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee. 

Burns succeeds Denis Kanach, who retired following the academic year after a six-year stint as Director of Athletics at Randolph-Macon, that was preceded by a 34-year tenure at Georgetown University. 

Burns’ wife Shelley is a 1987 graduate of R-MC, who is actively engaged with the college and currently serves on the Society of Alumni and the Alumni Recruitment Team. The Burns’ have twin 13-year-old daughters, Madison and Jenna, and reside in Glen Allen.

This release is courtesy of the Randolph-Macon College sports information department.