|Jesse Burleson has been an assistant coach for five
seasons and assistant head coach for three at
Hardin-SImmons athletics photo
Hardin-Simmons has named Jesse Burleson as the 19th head coach
of its football program.
"This is a dream come true for me," said Burleson. "I am a Hardin-Simmons guy through and through and I am ready to tackle this opportunity head on. It is a great honor to take over this program. Coach Keeling built this program; I am going to see that we take it even further."
Burleson, 33, has served as the offensive line coach at Hardin-Simmons for the past five seasons. He has been the assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator since 2008. He was named the interim head coach after Jimmie Keeling retired in November after 21 years as the Hardin-Simmons head coach.
"Coach Burleson is a passionate Christian leader, a dedicated coach, and an exemplary alumnus of the HSU football program," said Hardin-Simmons president Lanny Hall. "He is committed to building Christian character in our athletes and has a network of support in the coaching profession. I believe he will be able to build on the great success of Coach Keeling and continue making HSU football a source of great pride for our university.
At HSU, he has also been the director of football operations and was directly responsible for maintaining the budget, equipment ordering and travel planning. He also was in charge of the recruiting for the Cowboy program.
He has coached six All-Americans in his five seasons at HSU and Josh Knox won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center in 2006. Three of his players have played in national all-star games.
In his time at HSU as a player, student assistant or assistant coach HSU has a record of 82-24. HSU has won four conference titles, and gone to the national playoffs five times.
"Throughout his career as a student-athlete and as a coach, Jesse Burleson has always had a deep commitment to Hardin-Simmons University and our football program," said HSU athletic director John Neese. "He is an exceptional person who is highly motivated and is mature beyond his years. He wants to make sure that HSU provides our current student-athletes with the same great experience that he enjoyed as a player."
Prior to his stint at HSU, he was the offensive coordinator for two years at Odessa Permian High School under former Hardin-Simmons player Darren Allman. Prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator at Temple High School. He also had stops at South Grand Prairie and Clyde High Schools. He spent time as a student assistant coach at Hardin-Simmons after his playing career.
Burleson, a native of Clyde, was a four-year letterman, three-time all-conference selection, four-time academic all-ASC selection, three-time conference champion, a team captain and an academic all-American. He graduated magna cum laude from HSU.