Blake Burdette has stepped down as coach of the Utah men’s rugby team — a team that is under indefinite suspension due to multiple violations of university policy.
Burdette posted a statement in Facebook at the end of April that he was resigning:
“It has been a privilege to coach the team these past six years. I have poured my heart into the team and so it is very hard to do this. I am very passionate about rugby and the U of Utah, but I think it is the best thing for the team going forward. I wish the best to the program and will continue to do all I can to help it grow and continue the momentum that the program has built over the past few decades. … Thanks again for all the support and relationships that I hold dear to me.”
Burdette was a three-time All-American rugby player for the U between 2003-2006 (he was an Honorable Mention his freshman year) playing both prop and sometimes moving to center.
During his senior year he was also “The Utah Man” on coach Urban Meyer’s Utah football team.
Blake went on to play hooker for the New York Athletic Club and started at that position for the United States Eagles in the 2007 World Cup held in France.
Burdette returned to the U to assist Coach Dave Anderson in working with the forwards in 2007-08 and then took over as head coach the following year. As a player, Blake’s Utes went 61-12 and made it to the Final Four of the 2007 National Collegiate Championships and the Championship Game of the 2006 Tournament, losing to California both times. As a coach, Burdette’s teams posted an 83-25-1 record and went to the National Championships every year, losing to California in the Final Four in 2011. Blake, working with Jason Pye, also took the University of Utah to the National Collegiate Championship in sevens play in 2010 when they defeated California 31-26 in the finals.