Tanner Burns made the most of his coaching debut in 2019, helping the Flames during their first full season at the FBS level to a bowl game win as Liberty's Special Teams Coordinator.
Prior to coming to Liberty, Burns was familiar with the coaching role, having served as the quality control staff member for special teams at Arkansas for the last five seasons (2014-18).
Burns coached punter Toby Baker, a Ray Guy Award nominee in 2015 and 2016 and a Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist in 2016. Baker averaged 43.0 yards per punt across 27 games for the Razorbacks and boomed 27 punts of at least 50 yards and 45 of his attempts landed inside the 20-yard line.
In 2018, Connor Limpert was named to the Phil Steele Postseason SEC All-Conference third team after he knocked down 19-of-24 field goal attempts and was a perfect 29-of-29 on extra point attempts.
The Razorbacks also led the SEC in net punting average at 41.8 yards in 2016 and ranked No. 29 in the country in kickoff returns in 2018 (23.04 yards per return).
After graduating from Ole Miss in 2012 with a general studies major with minors in history, sociology and parks and rec management, Burns spent the 2013 as a special teams intern with the Oakland Raiders. As a team, Oakland ranked second in the AFC and tied for third in the NFL with an average of 47.8 yards per punt.
Flames Flashback: 2019 Year in Review • Burns' special teams units played a vital role in Liberty finishing its first full season at the FBS level with an 8-5 record, including a win over Georgia Southern in the 2019 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. • With the Cure Bowl victory, Liberty became the third team in NCAA history to win a bowl game during its first full season at the FBS level. • Under Burns' guidance, kickoff return special Shedro Lewis and kicker Alex Probert were two of the 11 Liberty players named to the Phil Steele FBS Independent All-Conference teams. • Liberty finished the season ranked No. 19 in the country in kickoff returns (24.25 yards per return) and No. 40 in kickoff return defense (19.48 yards allowed per return). • Louis individually ranked No. 12 in the country in kickoff returns for a touchdown (1), No. 13 in kickoff returns (27.6 yards per return) and No. 20 in combined kick returns (657 yards) • Probert finished his career with the Flames ranked third in program history in kicker scoring (278 career points), field goals (46) and extra points (140).
Burns at a Glance Coaching Experience: 2019-present – Liberty (ST Coord.) 2014-18 – Arkansas (Quality Control for Special Teams) 2013 – Oakland Raiders (NFL Intern – Special Teams) Education: Bachelor's degree in general studies (Ole Miss, '12) Wife: Becca Children: Blakely Hometown: San Jose, Calif.