The Washington Redskins announced today that they have hired Keith Burns as Special Teams Coordinator.
Burns, 40, spent the last six seasons as Assistant Special Teams Coach of the Denver Broncos after a 13-year playing career.
Burns replaces special teams coordinator Danny Smith, who joined his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff in the same capacity. From 2007-12, Burns worked with a Broncos unit that accumulated 10 combined punt and kickoff return touchdowns, tied for most in the AFC and second-most in the NFL.
In that time period, the Broncos ranked fourth in the AFC and fifth in the NFL in punt return average (10.5 yards per return).
Last season, several specialists set Broncos franchise records under Burns' guidance, as kicker Matt Prater set the single-season team record for scoring by a kicker (133 points) and punter Britton Colquitt broke the team record for net punting average for the second consecutive season (40.2 in 2011, 42.1 in 2012).
Also, return specialist Trindon Holliday led the NFL with a 32.5-yard kick return average in addition to ranking fifth in the league with a 10.8-yard punt return average after being acquired by the Broncos off waivers on Oct. 11.
During his six seasons with the Broncos, five different players totaled eight AFC Special Teams Player of the Week awards.
As a player, Burns was a key member of the Broncos' special teams unit in his 11 seasons in Denver, 10 of which were played under current Redskins Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan.
In those 11 seasons, Burns led or tied for the team lead in special teams tackles seven times. He totaled 186 special teams' stops in 166 career games played as well as 70 defensive tackles, 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble and helped the Broncos to victories in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII.
"Keith was an excellent special teams player and a strong influence in the locker room for two Super Bowl championship teams," Shanahan said. "I know our players will enjoy playing for him."
Burns entered the NFL with Denver as a seventh-round choice (210th overall) in the 1994 NFL Draft after playing collegiately at Oklahoma State.
Originally a native of Greeleyville, S.C., Burns attended T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. Burns was born on May 16, 1972.