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Published January 31st, 2024
Accolades for Lamorinda football led by Acalanes coach, Floyd Burnsed
Floyd Burnsed at state championship game Photo Chris Malmquist

How do you top winning the state high school football championship? For Acalanes' head football coach, it was being named the Bay Area News Group Coach of the Year and the California State Football Coach of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.
In a 19-year stint at Miramonte, beginning in 1982, Floyd Burnsed's teams won 154 games, 10 league titles and four North Coast Section championships. Despite the four NCS championships, this year's state championship was Burnsed's first appearance in such a game for the simple reason that the state championship games did not begin until 2006. Since taking the reins at Acalanes in 2016, Burnsed now has a combined career record of 212-98-2.
Burnsed accepted the award with typical understatement and then passed on the credit to his players. "It's a nice honor," Burnsed said. "Our kids played well, and the main thing is that they took ownership of the team and when a team does that, they hold each other accountable and are then playing for each other and that makes a huge difference."
Despite Acalanes losing their first three games, Burnsed never lost his confidence in the team. "These were non-league games, and we were not really game planning for these teams, and we hadn't really settled on who would be starting," Burnsed said. "It's great to play tough non-league teams because you actually find out about your team. When you play teams like that, that's when you find out where the chips lie."
There were many others that Burnsed shared the credit with. "We wouldn't have been where we were without our staff," Burnsed said. "David Ortega and his assistants did a really good job on defense, making nice adjustments. Joel Isaac ran the offense for us, and he did a great job with film study and putting in the game plan. Bill Hansen and Randy Henderson did really well with our freshmen and JV teams (respectively)."
Burnsed also acknowledged the support the team got from the school, the student body, and the Lafayette community: "We had a nice crowd that came down to Mission Viejo for the championship game. They bought into the program and really enjoyed it."
The 76-year-old Burnsed decides after each season if he will continue to coach or retire, and he has already confirmed that he will be returning to Acalanes next year. A year before, Burnsed had his hip replaced after going through a lot of discomfort. "I'm in great shape now," Burnsed said. "I'm back 100% and I feel great. We're already putting next year's roster together and we have already scheduled Nevada's state runner up (Galena) for a home game on next year's schedule."

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