TMHS Soccer Coach Chris Burns Inducted Into Lowell High Athletic Hall of Fame
Nov 21, 2014 06:45PM
● By Rick Spencer
TMHS boys soccer coach Chris Burns is a Lowell High Athletic Hall-of-Famer
Tewksbury High boys soccer coach Chris Burns doesn’t exactly come off as the fired-up, emotional type of guy when you watch him on the sidelines of a TMHS soccer game.
He’s more of a “walk the walk” guy than a “talk the talk” guy.
And if you needed any proof that Burns has actually walked the walk in his playing days, all you had to do was show up at Lenzi’s function hall in Dracut Thursday night. Burns was one of five former Lowell High School standout athletes who were inducted into the Lowell High Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday, and none had a playing resume more impressive than that of the third-year TMHS boys’ soccer boss.
Burns, who led Tewksbury High to a Merrimack Valley Conference Division 2 championship and then took his team on a deep state tournament run this fall, starred in three sports at Lowell High School. He played soccer and basketball and ran track and field. After high school, Burns went on to achieve the rare distinction of being a two-sport athlete at the NCAA Division 1 level in college.
At Lowell High, Burns was a three year starter on the Raiders’ soccer team, playing both midfielder and forward. As a senior captain, he scored 10 goals and added 10 assists, and earned the team’s most valuable player award. Burns was named to the MVC all-conference team, and earned Eastern Mass all-star honors.
In basketball, he was also a three-year starter. He scored 465 career points and grabbed 399 career rebounds, in spite of missing most of his junior year with a fractured ankle. As a senior, the 1997 LHS graduate captained the Raider basketball team and averaged 12.1 points and 10.1 rebounds in addition to leading the team in assists, while playing the center position.
Burns also ran track for three years at Lowell High (he was a teammate of current TMHS track coach Peter Molloy) where he specialized in the high jump. As a senior, Burns finished third at the Massachusetts All-State championships and third in the New England championships. He set a school record clearing 6-feet, 7-inches.
Burns earned both MVC All-Conference and Lowell Sun All-Star honors in all three sports as a senior.
After high school, Burns again participated in all three sports at Worcester Academy, before being recruited by the University of Rhode Island, where he ran track and played soccer for two years. Burns transferred to Union College for his final two years, where he played soccer and ran track until graduation.
In his acceptance speech, Burns thanked a long list of coaches and family members, including his sisters Jen and Melissa, who are also members of the Lowell High Athletic Hall of Fame for their accomplishments in swimming. He thanked his mother, Roberta Burns, for her support and sacrifices, labeling her “a cheerleader, a driver, a chef and an all-around Super Mom.” But Burns spoke most eloquently about the support and inspiration he received from his father, William Burns.
“I learned about sports from my Dad,” Burns said. “He was my first and best coach…He was the person I looked up to and respected the most…He gave me a love of sports that I carry with me to this day. He taught me about accountability, responsibility and goal setting. He gave me the confidence to believe in myself that I could be a good athlete.
“My father was not only the best coach I ever had, but also my greatest teammate,” Burns added.