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Burks returning to LaGrange High

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

4 months 9 days 22 hours ago |41 Views | | | Email | Print

Dialleo Burks is coming home.


Burks, a LaGrange High graduate, is returning to his old school to be the head football coach.


The official announcement will be made this evening at the Troup County Board of Education.


Burks, a member of LaGrange’s state-championship team in 1991, spent the 2013 season as the head coach at Lafayette High School in Alabama.


Before that, Burks had been an assistant coach at LaGrange High for two seasons under head coach Donnie Branch.


Branch stepped down after LaGrange completed a 3-7 season, and a search that began right away ended with Burks being offered the job.


Burks has had quite a journey to reach this point.


After leaving high school, Burks was a standout receiver at Eastern Kentucky before embarking on a professional career that carried him all across the world.


He played in NFL Europe, and he was on a handful of NFL rosters over the course of five seasons.


Burks really began to thrive as a professional player when he joined the Arena Football League.


In six seasons, Burks had nearly 400 catches, and in the 2003 season he had a franchise-record 102 catches and 28 touchdowns for the Dallas Desperados.


After retiring as a player, Burks went into coaching, and among the jobs he held were assistant coaching positions at LaGrange College and Troup High.


When Branch became the LaGrange High head coach before the 2011 season, he brought Burks in to join the staff.


Burks coached wide receivers for two seasons.


After Burks took the Lafayette job, Branch said he always felt he would be a head coach eventually, and he tried to help prepare him for that.


“I gave him some extra duties and responsibilities outside of being an assistant coach,” Branch said. “I gave him some things that would help him be ready when the opportunity came. I’m not shocked that he got a head-coaching job. He’s a good candidate.”


After Branch decided to step aside as head coach, he said at the time he felt Burks would be an excellent replacement, and school officials obviously felt the same way.


When Burks took the Lafayette job, he said his philosophy was “it’s game day every day. You come to work and do your job. That’s what I’m going to do to the best of my ability.”


OF NOTE: For much more on the Burks hiring, see Friday’s sports section.

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