Ron Burton is in his 10th season as defensive line coach at the Academy.
During his nine seasons, Burton has developed some of the school's best defensive linemen. Last season's inexperienced group at the beginning of the season became a strength with multiple freshmen playing significant snaps. In 2010, he led Rick Ricketts to an all-conference year and defensive most valuable player honors in the Independence Bowl. In 2009, Burton led senior Ben Garland to all-conference honors and a free agent signing with the Denver Broncos in the NFL. In 2007, defensive end Jake Paulson was a first-team all-conference choice.
Prior to coming to the Academy, Burton was the defensive line coach at Grand Valley State and helped the school to the NCAA Division II national championship in 2002, the first in school history. GVSU was a perfect 14-0 in Burton's first season at the school. Prior to his stint at GVSU, Burton was the linebackers coach at Indiana for five seasons (1997-01) where he was responsible for the development of two Butkus Award nominees, Justin Smith and Jabar Robinson.
Burton was a four-year letterman at the University of North Carolina (1982-86), where he made three bowl appearances and was named team captain and best defensive lineman as a senior. His eight sacks during the 1986 season presently tie him for seventh on UNC's single-season sack list. He graduated in 1987 with a degree in industrial relations.
Moving on to the next level, Burton spent four seasons playing linebacker in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys (1987-89), Phoenix Cardinals (1989) and the Los Angeles Raiders (1990). He started the last six games at middle linebacker for the Cowboys his rookie year in 1987. He also started 15 games in 1988 at outside linebacker for the Cowboys. While playing for Los Angeles, Burton was on the team that played in the 1990 AFC Championship Game.
After spending two seasons as a graduate assistant for North Carolina, Burton took his first full-time assistant coaching position at Morehead State in 1994. He worked with the defensive backs for one season and then went to Eastern Michigan, where he served two seasons as the linebackers coach.
Burton was an all-state, all-district and all-region selection as an outside linebacker at Highland Springs High School (Va.). He was also named the prep player of the year in 1982.
A native of Highland Springs, Va., Burton and his wife, Andrea, have four children, Ronald, Ryan, Roya and Reid.