Frank Burns, head coach of the Rutgers football team from 1973-83, died July 14 at age 84. He also played quarterback for Rutgers from 1945-48.
Burns had eight winning seasons in Piscataway for a 78-43-1 record at Rutgers, including an 11-0 campaign in 1976. The Pennsylvania native also coached at the high school level and at Johns Hopkins University. His lifetime collegiate coaching record was 84-52-2.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger had this to say about the former player and coach:
He remains the winningest football coach in Rutgers history, the architect of the program’s first rise to national prominence. …
Said Dan Pfabe, a co-captain of the 1976 team: "You could tell he believed something fundamental about football — those games are won at practice and he knew that. That’s kind of the way he pushed us. Those games were almost an afterthought. Practice was the grueling part and he was a tough guy. He’d been through all of it himself."
Burns was known as "Flinging Frank" when he quarterbacked the Scarlet Knights to a 27-7 record in his four years in the late 1940s. An honorable mention All-American, Burns was named MVP of the 1949 College All-Star Game when he made 17 tackles against the Giants. In those days, the college all-stars played the NFL’s champs.