Tanner Burns is in his fifth season as a quality control coach for special teams.
Burns coached punter Toby Baker, a Ray Guy Award nominee in 2015 and 2016 and a Burlsworth Trophy semifinalist in 2016, who averaged 43.0 yards per punt across 27 games for the Razorbacks. Baker boomed 27 punts of at least 50 yards, including a career-high of 60 yards, while 45 of his attempts landed inside the 20-yard line.
The Razorbacks also led the SEC in net punting average at 41.8 yards in 2016.
In 2014, Burns was instrumental in helping the Razorbacks’ special teams improve in several areas. Arkansas finished fifth nationally in kickoff return average (25.71 yards per return) and led the SEC in punt return coverage (3.06 yards allowed per return).
Burns worked with punter Sam Irwin-Hill, who earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the Nov. 22 win against Ole Miss. In that game, Irwin-Hill punted six times for 243 yards (40.5 avg.) and landed three inside the 20. Irwin-Hill dropped 18 of his 26 punts (69.2 percent) inside the 20 during the final five games of the season.
Burns spent the 2013 season as a coaching intern with the Oakland Raiders. He was an integral part of the Raiders’ special teams, assisting with quality control, scouting reports and game plans. As a team, Oakland ranked second in the AFC and tied for third in the NFL with an average of 47.8 yards per punt.
Burns wrapped up his collegiate playing career at Ole Miss, where he played free safety and contributed on special teams and was elected team captain. He began his collegiate career at San Jose State and was an honorable mention All-WAC selection as a sophomore in 2009 after starting all 12 games and leading the team with 96 tackles in addition to recording two interceptions, one pass breakup, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The San Jose, California, native graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in general studies while minoring in history, sociology and parks and rec management.