Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz announced the addition of Jeff Burris to the staff as the Bulldogs’ cornerbacks coach, the program officially announced on Feb. 26, 2018.
Prior to joining the Louisiana Tech staff, Jeff Burris spent the 2017 season on the UNI football staff coaching the cornerbacks for the Panthers after he spent a season at his alma mater, Notre Dame, in 2016. Burris played for Notre Dame as a defensive back from 1990-93 when Skip Holtz was an assistant coach for the Fighting Irish.
“Jeff brings a wealth of experience to our staff as both a former player and a coach,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “He is a character guy. I had the opportunity to coach him in college and he understands what it takes to be successful as a player. He is a great person who gets along with others and he has the morals, values and character we want on this team. I have known Jeff a long time and feel really fortunate he is joining our staff. He knows the game and can be a model for his players.”
In total, Burris brings more than 10 years of coaching experience to the Bulldogs’ defensive after the former NFL defensive back has coached players from the high school ranks, college and professionally. He will take over a defense that helped lead the Bulldogs to four straight bowl championships and ranked seventh in the nation last season in interceptions.
Burris was an All-American safety during his playing days at Notre Dame, while he returned to South Bend in 2016 and served as a senior defensive analyst for the Fighting Irish where he assisted the defensive coordinator with valuable information designed to improve the efficiency and success of Notre Dame's defense. Burris joined the Notre Dame coaching staff after a three-year stint as the assistant defensive backs coach with the Miami Dolphins (2013-15).
In 2014, Burris assisted a Dolphins defensive backfield that finished the season ranked sixth in the NFL after allowing an average of just 223.3 passing yards per game. It marked the third straight season the unit had improved its ranking. With the help of Burris’ assistance, Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes recorded a team-leading five interceptions en route to his second Pro Bowl in as many years with the team. Additionally, safety Reshad Jones was one of three players in the NFL to record 70-or-more tackles, one sack and three interceptions in 2014.
In 2013, Burris helped guide a secondary that saw marked improvement, going from being ranked 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game in 2012 to being ranked 16th in 2013. The defense also nearly doubled its interception output, from 10 in 2012 to 18 in 2013. Further, the defense allowed only four touchdown passes to receivers all season. The unit was fifth in the NFL in passer rating against, limiting opponents to a 77.3 rating.
During his playing days, Burris was a safety for the Irish (1990-93), while he was also a consensus All-America pick and senior tri-captain. As a senior, Burris helped lead Notre Dame to an 11-1 record in 1993 as the Irish ranked second in the final national polls that season.
After being selected as a first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 1994 NFL Draft, Burris played cornerback for 10 seasons with the Bills (1994-97), Indianapolis Colts (1998-2001) and Cincinnati Bengals (2002-03). Burris earned a spot on the NFL’s all-rookie team in 1994.
Burris, who coached at UMass in 2012, also spent one year coaching cornerbacks for the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions in 2011. He also served a coaching internship with the Bills in 2008. He began his coaching career in 2007 at Fishers (Ind.) High School, where he worked with the defensive backfield and assisted in the implementation of the school’s defensive scheme.
Burris is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina.
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