Thursday, March 24, 2011
HOLLANDALE — Roger Burton knows all about winning football programs.
The Columbus native spent the last three years as the offensive line coach at West Point High, where the Green Waves have won back-to-back Class 5A state titles.
Now, Burton hopes he can carry over the success at one of the state's most successful 5A programs to Class 2A Simmons.
Burton, who was an assistant at Oxford before going to West Point, was named Simmons' head football coach Monday night. This is will be Burton's first head coaching opportunity.
"This is a blessing from God to be a head football coach," said Burton. "I'm thankful for everyone involved in the hiring process."
Burton takes over for Carlos Thompson, who recently resigned after posting a 45-15 record. Thompson said he will, however, stay on as an administrator and athletic director.
For the last three seasons, Burton has helped develop one of the state's most successful rushing attacks. Last year, West Point rushed for nearly 4,000 yards and finished the season 14-1.
West Point went 36-5 while Burton was on staff.
His time under Chris Chambless at West Point, along with his tenure at Oxford, has prepared him for his new responsibility, said Burton.
"I'm thankful for all the coaches I worked for in the past at West Point and Oxford," he said. "Without them, I wouldn't have felt like I learned what I needed to know."
Burton said he's aware of the success Thompson has accomplished — and he wants to continue where he left off.
"All I want to do is continue on with the success that Simmons has had and continue to build on that," said Burton. "And help them reach their goals — and that's to be the best team that Simmons can be."