Team unity

Soccer Coach William Burns emphasizes teammates growing together as a family

As the season progresses for the WWU Wolves soccer team, Coach William Burns shares how he is focusing on the team growth and closeness.

WWU: What drew you to coaching the soccer team here at Walla Walla University? 

William Burns: The opportunity to build an Adventist collegiate men’s soccer program was the challenge I was looking for. I've worked at the high school level in public school as a soccer coach and many times I would run into Sabbath conflicts, so being able to work at an Adventist institution where that is not an issue was a big draw. 

WWU: What are your goals for this year's team? 

Burns: My goal for this year is to grow as a team. We are a diverse team with talented players from different backgrounds and the goal is to get them all working hard, but together as one unit. Building relationships as young men on and off the field is important and something we will work on throughout this upcoming season.

WWU: What is your coaching philosophy? 

Burns: I believe in team unity and being committed to giving it your all. I want a student athlete to enjoy the special bond that can be created from athletics, but in order to experience that special bond you have to sacrifice your ego and get out of your comfort zone. Players have to buy into trusting one another and believing in each other as well as the coaching staff. We’re one big family and once we all understand that then we will compete for each other and give it our all. 

WWU: What are your interests other than soccer and coaching? 

Burns: I enjoy spending time with my wife, Hilleary, and our children, William and Amanda, and traveling and trail riding. I also work as a full-time teacher at McLoughlin High School in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, and when I get a chance I like to go and support my students in their after-school activities as well. 

To learn more about the WWU Wolves soccer team, including player statistics and game schedules, visit

Posted Oct. 15, 2019

Coach William Burns stands in an orange WWU athletics polo against a green background.
Soccer was the first sport Burns learned to play as a child.