Some Stoneham High alums might remember Dick Burns as a teacher and
coach at SHS, but others know the 1950 graduate as an outstanding
After transferring from St. Pat’s, Burns took to the baseball diamond as
a catcher and in his senior season led the team in hitting with a .376
batting average and was on a team that went to the State Championship
On the gridiron, he captained the football team and ran wild against
Ipswich” in an 18-0 victory, according to The Stoneham Independent. It
was on the ice, however, that Burns would make his athletic name, which
would later lead to a coaching career. Burns was named a GBI All-Star as
a junior and then again as a senior, when he also led the GBI in
After graduating from Stoneham High, Burns took his hockey talents to
Boston University before transferring to North Dakota.
His playing days ended when Uncle Sam called Burns into service for a
2-year stint in the U.S. Navy. Burns returned from the service and
joined the Stoneham Police Department for six years. While on the force,
he went back to school to complete his degree at Salem State College.
His coaching and teaching career began at Reading High School where he
became the Rockets’ first hockey coach as entrants into the Middlesex
League. Burns then brought his coaching talents back to Stoneham, first
as an assistant and then head coach from 1964-1978, where he compiled an
impressive 164-70-38 record.
After leaving the Stoneham High bench, he went on to become an assistant
coach at Phillips Andover Academy before again returning to the
Middlesex League as the head coach at Lexington. In all, Burns won over
75 percent of his games coached, never had a losing season and took nine
teams to the State Tournament. His coaching success led to his recent
induction into the Massachusetts Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame.
He currently resides in Lynnfield with his wife Virginia, with whom he’s
had five children and eleven grandchildren.