Offensive Line Coach
Drew Burton joins the SVSU Football coaching staff as the offensive line coach for the 2018 season, beginning his duties in January.
Burton comes to SVSU from Alma College, where he spent the past four seasons as the offensive coordinator / offensive line coach and helped the Scots improve in almost every offensive category. The 2016 squad produced one of Alma's most prolific ground games in school history, as the Scots posted the fourth-best rushing total in the history of the program and tied with school record with 28 rushing TDs. During the 2015 campaign, Alma racked up over 4,000 yards of total offense, become the 11th team in school history to accomplish the feat. Burton's offensive line also paved the way for the ninth-best rushing total for an Alma College back in school history.
Prior to joining the Alma staff, Burton spent four seasons (2010-13) coaching the offensive line at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. During his final season in 2013, the Pointers averaged 399.8 yards per game, the highest total for UWSP since 2004. When Burton arrived in 2010, he helped the Pointers to improvements in a number of offensive categories. He also mentored six different players that earned All-WIAC honors, including one that was selected to play in the 2011 Aztec Bowl, the premier NCAA Division III all-star game.
Before his stint at UWSP, Burton spent one season (2009) as the varsity defensive line and offensive line coach for Grand Haven High School.
As a player, Burton was an offensive guard from 2003-06 at Grand Valley State University, seeing action in 43 games, including 17 starts. As a sophomore, Burton was a part of the 2003 squad that won the NCAA Division II championship and played in all 15 games. He also spent two years (2001-02) at the University of Idaho before transferring to GVSU.
Following college, Burton played for the Muskegon Thunder professional indoor football team in 2008 and 2009.
A 2006 graduate from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, Burton also earned a master's degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2012. He is currently working on a master's degree in sports psychology at the University of Idaho.
Burton and his wife, Tracy, reside in Alma, Mich., with their daughter, Kinley.
Wide Receivers Coach
Renato Diaz joined the SVSU Football Coaching Staff as the Wide Receivers Coach in the Spring of 2018.
Diaz comes to SVSU after serving as the Wide Receivers / Returners Coach / Special Teams Unit Coordinator at Coastal Carolina University. He coached for the Chanticleers for five seasons, from 2012-2016. During this time, Diaz was instrumental in helping Coastal Carolina achieve a 51-15 record, three Big South Conference Championships, the best APR in the Big South for 3 years in a row (2014, 2015, 2016), the first ever, #1 National Ranking in the history of the university and the Big South Conference, four appearances in the NCAA FCS Playoffs and two Quarterfinal appearances. Diaz was a member of the Coastal Carolina Offensive staff the finished Nationally Ranked in the FCS Top 20 in Total Offense and Scoring Offense for four of the five seasons that he was there. The 5th season was a transition season from FCS to FBS.
Under Diaz’s tutelage, three of Coastal Carolina’s receivers were invited to NFL rookie camps in three consecutive years, including Matt Hazel, NFL, 6th round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins and present Cleveland Browns wide receiver. Hazel was selected to participate in the 2013 East-West Shrine Game: Just the 3rd Chanticleer to play in the Shrine Game (Jerome Simpson in 2008 and Josh Norman in 2012) and 4th from the Big South (Presbyterian's Justin Bethel in 2012). Diaz also coached Wide Receiver/Kickoff returner, Devin Brown, a prolific kickoff returner and Coastal Carolina’s first Freshman All-American. Brown set a Big South Conference record with five career kick returns for touchdowns (FCS record for career kick returns is six and FBS record is seven).
Prior to Coastal Carolina, Diaz coached the 2011 season at Georgetown University, serving as the Wide Receivers Coach / Special Teams Assistant. Diaz helped Georgetown achieve its best record (8-3) to date since becoming a Division I-AA Independent in 2000 and a member of the Patriot League in 2001.
Diaz joined the Hoyas' staff after spending the previous three seasons (2008-10) on the coaching staff at Delaware State University. Diaz served as the Hornets' Running Backs Coach as well as coaching the kickoff and punt returners. He coached Larrone Moore who led NCAA FCS with a kick return average of 34.80 yards per return in 2010. He also coached Travis Tarpley, who finished 10th in the nation in kickoff returns averaging 26.33 yards per return in 2009.
Prior to his time with the Hornets, Diaz spent three seasons (2005-07) as the Running Backs and Tight Ends Coach, while serving as the Recruiting Coordinator at Florida A&M. He helped running back Phillip Sylvester become the 2007 MEAC Rookie of the Year, rushing for 858 yards on 151 carries (5.68 yards/carry), as he led the MEAC and finished 17th in the nation, averaging 164.3 all-purpose rushing yards per game as a freshman. Diaz also helped tight end Taj Jenkins earn All-MEAC First Team. In 2005, he helped Rashard Pompey lead the MEAC in rushing (110.7 yards per game) and rush for 1,107 yards on 194 carries (5.71 yards/carry).
During the 2004 season, Diaz worked as the Running Backs and Special Teams Coach at Widener University, helping the kickoff return unit rank 11th in the nation with 23.3 yards per return and two touchdowns.
In the late Summer and early Fall of 2003, Coach Diaz interned with the offensive staff of the New York Jets, under the direction of Head Coach, Herman Edwards. And upon his return from New York, he joined the staff at Christopher Columbus Catholic High School, in Miami, FL, as the Wide Receivers Coach.
Diaz has been at the genesis of two Division I football programs in the state of Florida, the University of South Florida and Florida International University. He was a member of the inaugural football staff at Florida International University and coached the running backs for two seasons, from 2001-03. At FIU, Diaz coached RB Rashod Smith to a spot on the Division I-AA All-Independent First Team. Prior to his time at FIU, Diaz spent the 2000 season at Columbia University, where he helped Johnathan Reese become the first, and only (to date), RB in school history to top the 1,000 yard mark and a unanimous Ivy League First Team selection.
Diaz began his coaching career as an inaugural member of the football coaching staff at his alma mater, the University of South Florida, in 1996 as an offensive assistant. He rose to the position of Tight Ends Coach, Special Teams Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator from 1998-2000. Diaz coached kicker Bill Gramatica, USF's first All-American and a 4th round draft choice by the Arizona Cardinals. During his tenure, he also coached Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Super Bowl Champion long snapper, Ryan Benjamin. In 1999, his punt return unit finished ranked eighth in net punting, in Division I-AA, while his kickoff return unit ranked 12th in the nation with 22.3 yards per return. In 1998, his punt unit ranked first in the nation in fewest total return yards against, limiting opponents to a season total of 30 yards.
Diaz, a Habana, Cuba native, was raised in Miami, Florida and graduated from the University of South Florida in 1983, with his Bachelor of Science in Geology. Diaz also graduated from the NCAA Advanced Coaching Academy in 2005 and the NCAA Expert Coaching Academy in 2007. Diaz and his wife Patricia were married in June 2010 and have four grandchildren, Avery, Jermiah, Izra and Miriam.