Former Notre Dame safety Jeff Burris is living in Indianapolis right now, trying to get into coaching and also a little bit of broadcasting. Insights caught up with the 1993 consensus All-American to find out exactly what he's been up to.
Irish Insights: Obviously you played in the league, but what have you been up to?
Jeff Burris: "I live in Indianapolis now, been doing some coaching myself. I coach on the high school level. I had a clothing store for a while, which retail clothing right now is not the ideal thing to be doing, and I'm doing some broadcasting as well for Marian College. It's kind of cool."
II: Is that something you saw yourself getting into, the broadcasting?
JB: "It's actually, it's progressed over time. Because it's a competitive field and from a former athlete's standpoint, most guys gravitate to that field, whether it's coaching or broadcasting, it's something that is challenging and I really enjoy it."
II: I remember talking to Frank Stams about the same thing and he's done this for a few more years. What's the biggest challenge for you in doing it?
JB: "The biggest challenge is making sure you're staying on top of the offenses that have changed. You think you know the game of football until you start watching it from a different perspective. For me, I can sit and watch it from a defensive perspective looking at an offense but from an offense looking at a defense, it tends to get a little tough for me. The names are challenging. That's coming over time. I try to get and be actively involved with the team and meet as many players as possible and be in tune with what's going on."
II: Do you see it as a future path or is it just biding time?
JB: "Well, I'd like to see it as a future path. Ultimately, I would, because it is something that really intrigues me. I enjoy watching games and I actually, if you talk to a lot of former athletes, they don't watch games any more and I still do. I love watching AFC, NFC Championship games. I have friends that work in video departments of certain teams and I'll call them just to get those games and watch and see what defensive coordinators are doing, what offensive coordinators are doing. I try to stay in tune with the game and I have an 11-year old daughter and a 9-year old son and I have a nephew going to college this year off a football scholarship to South Carolina State. So, to me, it's still alive in me, something I need to be a part of."
II: So, the clothing store, how did that...
JB: "Yeah, exactly. It was, I've always been in fashion but it was post-career, NFL career and I was trying to find something that would fill that void at that time and it happened to be something that came along, not necessarily my cup of tea but it is what it is and I learned. It's part of steps in life you learn from. It was in Indianapolis, called Sienna Amore. Sienna is my daughter's first name and Amore is obviously to love."
II: It sounds like it was a complete departure for you from anything you'd ever done before?
JB: "It was. It was something totally different, definitely out of the norm, the anticipation of life after wasn't that anticipation but no regrets about it. You learn, like anything in life you learn from all your challenges. This was one that I learned a lot about the retail business and helped me realize this is definitely not what I wanted to do. I can circle that off the list of things not to do anymore."
II: You also mentioned coaching. How'd you get involved with that and pick that up?
JB: "It's something that's come about over time. Instead of going right into coaching, I went into retail clothing. I was reluctant to go into coaching because I wasn't sure if I could translate what I learned and give it back to young people. Ultimately, that's what coaching is, being able to transfer your experiences and give it to someone else. I love it. I coached at Fishers High School the last two years. I did an internship with the Buffalo Bills this past summer as well and it's very intriguing. I loved the high school level because at that stage you have the most impact. You can still develop kids into a football player and into a person. That's what Coach (Lou) Holtz does. He develops people and that's what I appreciate about coaching itself."
II: So it was a coaching internship (in Buffalo) then? Were you working mostly with DBs?
JB: "For the Buffalo Bills, it was a coaching internship. Believe it or not, I was a special teams intern. It was crazy. I went over as a special teams intern, I had a wonderful time, learned a lot from one of the best in the business, Bobby April, as a coach for the Buffalo Bills and it was a great experience."
II: Are you going to coach again in high school this year?
JB: "Actually, I may try to pull dual hats with Marian College. I'm hoping to. I'm going to try and coach and broadcast on the weekend. I don't know how that's going to work, but we'll see. I have mentioned it to their sports information director, who is the person who hired me, and he mentioned to the head coach but it's something that he and I have to talk about, whether that's plausible or not. I'd like to try it if I could."
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