Which former Dallas Cowboy was announced as Burleson football’s next head coach?

Burleson high school football has a new head coach.

Burleson ISD announced Phillip Tanner as Burleson’s head football coach and athletic coordinator on Monday. Tanner, a former NFL running back, was the head coach of Fort Worth Southwest during the 2023 season.

BISD Athletic Director Kevin Ozee and the selection committee unanimously recommended Tanner and trustees approved the hiring.

Tanner is taking over for Chad Worrell, who resigned to coach at his alma mater: Pilot Point. With Southwest, Tanner led the Raiders to a 4-6 record and a fifth place finish in District 4-5A D2.

Tanner played three years for the Dallas Cowboys and also had brief stints with the San Fransico 49ers and Buffalo Bills. He played college football at Middle Tennessee State and served as a coach there following his NFL retirement. After, Tanner served as a special teams assistant for the Dallas Cowboys.

Tanner, in a statement to BISD, said he has dreamed of becoming a head coach at Burleson.

“I’m excited to be the next head football coach here at Burleson High School,” said Tanner. “It’s such an honor, and I’m looking forward to laying a solid foundation and having a great season. Go Elks!”

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, in a statement to BISD, called Tanner one of the best people he has ever met and said his energy is “contagious.”

“His discipline and work ethic helped him overcome a challenging upbringing and allowed him to graduate from college and live out his dream of being an NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys!” Garrett said. “He was one of the most trusted members of our team and he always performed when called upon. Phillip’s greatest quality is his ability to make a positive impact on everyone around him!”

Tanner isn’t the first Dallas Cowboy to be head coach of Burleson. Jon Kitna served as the Elk’s head coach from 2020 to the 2022 season.

Prior to his stint at Southwest, Tanner served as an offensive coordinator at Burleson under Kitna.

“We received considerable interest in the position at Burleson High School from highly qualified coaches. Coach Tanner’s deep connection to the Burleson community and his rapport with Hughes Middle School and BHS students stood out during the interview process,” BISD Athletic Director Kevin Ozee said in a statement. “Phillip’s prior experience at BHS laid a solid foundation for our student-athletes and staff. During his two years as head coach in Fort Worth ISD, Coach Tanner maintained relationships with the students and staff he connected with at BHS.”

Tanner will meet with Burleson staff, players, and parents at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 in the BHS indoor facility.