Mike Burt hits the ground running at Joshua ISD Thursday morning, just hours after meeting some of the JISD board members for the first time.
After signing his contract to be the district’s new head football coach and athletic director on Wednesday night, Burt said his first order of business was to meet with the district’s coaches and begin evaluating the students he’s taking under his wing.
The eldest of 11 children and father of six, Burt rode a full football scholarship to Rice University where he was a linebacker from 1981-84. There, he majored in history and physical education. He said that coming from a large family has prepared him for his role as athletic director and head football coach. This will be his second head coaching job, after his six-year stint at Dumas ISD.
At Dumas, Burt led the football program to three playoffs in six years with a 31-32 record. Though the team didn’t make it past the first round before his leadership, the school hadn’t gone to that many playoffs since the 1960s.
“Watching kids compete and coaches coach, that’s my passion,” Burt said. “And I get paid to do it, so that’s pretty cool.”
Burt started coaching seventh- and eighth-graders in 1985 in his native Lewisville.
“I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to be making $20,000 a year,” he said. “And I was having fun doing it.”
He also served under Que Brittain at Flower Mound Marcus where he helped kick-start the football program. Other coaching jobs include several seasons as defensive coordinator at both Bridgeport ISD and Dallas Skyline High School.
The seasoned coach comes to JISD — the fifth district he’s served in nearly 30 years — with many plans on how to lead the football team into a winning future.
“I have plan A, plan B and plan C,” he said. “You have to have a multitude of plans. The goal I had where I came from and the goal I will bring here is to have a winning season.”
His main goals, he said, include practicing during Thanksgiving week.
“That means we made it to playoffs,” and maybe through several rounds, he said.
Burt said he has coached many sports including track, soccer and power lifting. While his main focus is football, he said there’s more to a successful athletic program than just a successful football team.
“I love the band,” he said. “That’s huge to me. I think it’s awesome our band is called The Spirit of Joshua.”
Burt also counted cheerleading, color guard and other student organizations as being fundamental to a district’s overall success.
“As many kids as can get involved,” he said. “We’re talking lifetime memories here.”
Superintendent Fran Marek said district officials sifted through more than 75 applications and narrowed it down to Burt because he fit the criteria they were looking for.
“We needed someone with head coaching experience, someone who had gone in and helped a program come up from the bottom,” she said. “We knew we needed that person who had that character to come in and build a program up.”
School board president Ronnie Galbreath said he was excited about Burt’s future with the district as he’s already been an inspiration to the board in speaking with them about Joshua’s potential.
“He’s going to be good for us,” he said.