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Football: Burnham calls it a career


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Thanks Wally! Good luck in your much deserved retirement.
 
Posted December 4, 2015 - 12:17pmUpdated December 4, 2015 - 11:49pm

FOOTBALL: BURNHAM CALLS IT A CAREER

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Wally Burnhan is retiring after a 50-plus year coaching career. Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune

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By Bobby La Gesse
Sports Editor
rlagesse@amestrib.com

Wally Burnham is like most Iowa State fans. His favorite moment from his time as the Cyclone defensive coordinator is the obvious answer.

“I would say the Oklahoma State game is probably as good as I’ve ever been outside of winning the national championship when we were down at Florida State,” Burnham said.

Burnham, who spent the last seven years at ISU, is retiring after a 50-plus year coaching career.

“I can’t complain, not one bit,” Burnham said. “I never wanted to do anything else and I never did anything else. I have no regrets whatsoever.”

The 74-year-old Burnham contemplated retiring each of the last several seasons. He nearly did so after 2014, but came back for one last season with the Cyclones.

Burnham’s bend, but don’t break defenses were instrumental to ISU making three bowl games in the first four years of the Paul Rhoads era. As linebackers coach he coached arguably the two best players over the last seven years in A.J. Klein and Jake Knott.

Upsetting No. 2 Oklahoma State in 2011 is his top ISU memory. That list is long, though.

“We had some great wins here,” Burnham said, “going to Nebraska, winning out there, beating Iowa three times, those were big games for this program. We had a lot of big wins. It’s too bad we couldn’t sustain it over the course of the years.”

Burnham won a national title as player at Alabama in the 1960s. He is known best as his time coaching at Florida State and his various stops as a defensive coordinator, including ISU. He was the linebackers coach under Bobby Bowden when the Seminoles won the 1993 national title. He spent time as the defensive coordinator at South Carolina and South Florida before coming to ISU in 2009.

He is building a house in Tallahassee, Fla. and plans to spend his retirement with his grandkids and his wife, Barbara.

“Do the things I haven’t done for 50 years,” Burnham said. “I don’t think you can catch up on it, but will have a good time with what time I have remaining.”

 
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