Burnum steps down as Pierce football coach
After four years leading the Pierce High football team, head coach Scott Burnum is stepping down.
"I'm still going to be wearing blue and gold," Burnum said. "I'll be at every sporting event. I'm not going anywhere. I'm just not going to be the head varsity coach for a few years."
Burnum said he wants to continue to work with the football team next year but doesn't yet know in what capacity. He wants to help with the junior varsity team and possibly even the varsity team in a support role.
Pierce athletic director Gary Teague said the school is accepting applications for the position, but Burnum hopes his assistant, Chuck Wayman, gets the job.
Wayman grew up in Arbuckle and was an integral part of the Bears' success for the last four years as the offensive coordinator.
"I'm going to be on the sidelines helping Chuck during the varsity game; hopefully he gets it. He's going to put in his application," Burnum said.
Burnum began teaching at Pierce in 1993 soon after graduating from Chico State and sank his roots in Arbuckle. His two children, ages 8 and 6, go to school in Arbuckle, and his wife teaches there as well.
"I like it here, this community, the kids," he said. "I've had opportunities to go to bigger places, but we got lucky — my wife, when we got married, she found a job in this area, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
In his four years, he guided the Bears to a 30-14 record and two Sacramento Valley League championships. In his last season, Pierce went 6-5 and came a 2-point conversion shy of winning a third league title.
"The first year was a struggle with players, with coaching and adapting to the system, and then once we adapted to it we had a pretty good group," Burnum said.
The long hours of watching tape and coordinating everything that goes into running a winning football program wore on Burnum.
"I'm really not a football coach, I'm a basketball coach. I realized how hard I had to work at being a good football coach," Burnum said.
He played basketball at Butte College after finishing high school in Oroville and was the head varsity basketball coach at Pierce for 14 years. He coaches basketball at the eighth-grade level this year.
Burnum doesn't rule out a return to the varsity football team in a few years, but he wants to spend more time with his kids for now.
"It's time for somebody else to do a varsity sport for a while. I can just go back to teaching for a couple years," he said. "When my kids get a little older, I can get back into varsity, who knows?"
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 749-4789