Just three months after accepting the position, Blake High head football coach Micheal Burns has resigned, Yellow Jackets athletic director Jesse Salters told The Tampa Tribune on Tuesday morning.
"Coach Burns thought it would be best to resign for the betterment of the program,'' Salters said. ''He likes Blake High and wants to see the program succeed, but it just seems like it was not a good fit.
"His ideals did not exactly mesh with our team and ultimately, the changes that he was trying to make were just too many at one time. He wanted to make an abundance of changes, which is hard to do at the high school level."
When reached by phone, Burns said Salters' assessment of the situation was "fair enough" but said the changes he was trying to implement at Blake were not that monumental.
"Sometimes you have to agree to disagree," Burns said. "When you talk about making changes, it's big for some folks and for some folks, it's not. You want kids to understand it's a game. In fact, it's the third thing you should worry about.
"Number one, you have to take care of home. Number two, take care of school, and then, football. They have to understand this game is going to end a lot quicker than you expect and you have to have something to fall back on.
"The disagreement comes on how you implement that.''
Another issue, Burns said, was the fact his wife was having difficulty making the commute from her job in Orlando and the appartment they had rented in Tampa. Burns had not joined the Blake teaching staff full time and was working at the school as a permanent substitute. Salters said contrary to rumors, Burns' resignation had nothing to do with any issues involving the treatment of players.
"As a person, he (Burns) is fantastic to me,'' Salters said. "I had no issues with him and we actually applaud what he was trying to do here. It was too many changes all at once."
The 39-year-old Burns, a former head coach of New Haven High in Michigan and a former co-offensive coordinator at Celebration High near Orlando, was named Blake's coach in late February. Burns replaced Harry Hubbard, who in three seasons at Blake went 9-21. He departed in December when the school decided to "go in a different direction," Salters said. Last fall, Hubbard's team was 4-6 playing in a competitive nine-team Class 5A-District 8 alignment that includes traditional powers Jesuit, Robinson, Lakewood and Spoto.
Salters said the football coaching vacancy has not been posted yet with the county but he expects to be conducting interviews for the position later this month. In the meantime, he said longtime Blake assistant football coaches Darryl Gordon and Duane Thomas will be on hand to help players with summer conditioning.