Burroughs football coach steps aside after two seasons

Burroughs High football coach Rand Holdren has stepped down after leading the Indians’ program the last two seasons.
(Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

His goal was to make the Burroughs High football program a winner, and he did just that.

Rand Holdren, who guided the Indians to a winning record in 2019, stepped down as head coach of the program Wednesday.

Holdren announced his resignation via a message on Twitter: “It has been a tremendous ride at Burroughs High School that my family and I will be forever grateful for. It is impossible to thank all the people that put in work, but please know that it was appreciated.

“With that said, I am stepping down as head coach at Burroughs High School. Thank you.”


 Rand Holdren
Burroughs High’s head coach Rand Holdren watches his team during a game against Harvard-Westlake Upper School in September. Holdren announced his resignation as coach in a message on Twitter.
(James Carbone)

Holdren was hired as coach in March 2018. He took over for Mike Reily, who stepped down in January of that year.

Although he said he is not leaving Burroughs for another coaching position, Holdren said he felt it was time to step aside and will keep his options open in regards to other opportunities in football.

“I currently have a few opportunities and I’m looking around, but I don’t have another position as of now,” Holdren said. “With the landscape of high school football, it’s hard to be a full-time coach at a public school that doesn’t have that position.


“So, family first, as they say. But I’m not done coaching, that’s for sure. I will be trying to sort out some opportunities and see where they might lead me.”

Burroughs Athletic Director Keith Knoop, who coached Indians football for 19 seasons, said he understands why Holdren made the decision to step down.

“It’s just tough for walk-on coaches these days,” Knoop said. “It’s just tough to come on and have a coaching stipend where it comes out to like seven cents an hour. He has kids and a wife and it was tough for him.

“I totally agree with his decision and I really get it.”

In his two seasons at Burroughs, Holdren’s teams went 8-12 and 4-9 in the Pacific League. In 2019, Burroughs had a 6-4 record and went 2-4 in league to finish tied for fifth. The campaign included what many considered a 29-28 upset Pacific League win against cross-town rival Burbank in the annual “Big Game” rivalry game.

“Rand’s transition from his first year with us, being a new coach, to his second year was just phenomenal,” said Kmoop, who served as an assistant coach under Holdren. “He really took everything to heart and he applied what he felt comfortable with.

“And because of that I think that’s why we were as dynamic as we were last season. "

In 2018, Holdren’s first season, Burroughs went 2-8 and 2-5 to place sixth in league.


Burroughs didn’t qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs either season. The Indians haven’t made the postseason since 2015 under Knoop.

Prior to his arrival, Burroughs was 4-5 and 3-4 in league for fifth during the 2017 campaign.

“I have to say the support here and the administration here at Burroughs was A-plus,” Holdren said. “From day one they were always supportive of me and they were fantastic. And for the support of Keith Knoop, I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. Even Mike Reily when I got there, he was helping me out.

“It was just an extremely positive experience from top to bottom and Burroughs is really a great school. We had great kids who bought into what we were trying to do and I’m so grateful for that.”

Holdren was a quarterback at San Marcos High in Ventura County and Bishop Diego before playing at Southern Methodist University. In high school. Holdren broke a dozen school records as a senior quarterback at Bishop Diego in 1996.

He initially walked on at SMU and earned a scholarship with the Mustangs.

Holdren was an assistant football coach at Harvard-Westlake as well as at Alemany prior to his tenure at Burroughs.

In addition, Holdren has also worked as an actor and is the founder of Underground Football in Los Angeles, which teaches football fundamentals and includes former NFL players.


Knoop said the school will now move forward and begin the task of finding a new head football coach.

“We want to find a good, quality person to come in and try and get Burroughs to where it used to be — that’s our goal,” Knoop said. “We want to find a guy who has experience and who can make kids come out and want to play football.

“So, we’re looking to move forward and keep this program running smoothly.”

Knoop added that he is not interested in returning as Indians’ head coach.