Bruce Burnett was a two-time South Yosemite League Champion and placed first, second, and third in the Central Section Championships while at North High. After graduating, he went on to Bakersfield College and was a two-time JC State Champion with a 55-3 record. Bruce was named the state’s outstanding wrestler in 1970.
While at Idaho State University in 1971 and 1972, Bruce went undefeated in dual meets and was the Big Sky Conference Champion and the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Champion. He finished his collegiate career with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education.
Bruce coached at Meridian High School in Meridian, Idaho, from 1974-87 where his teams compiled a record of 154-13-2 and won nine conference, six district and four state championships. Under his direction, the wrestling program grew from just 23 wrestlers his first year to 119 his last season. The Idaho Coaches Association voted him Coach of the Year six times, and in 1987, he was inducted into the ISU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Between 1987 and 1990, Bruce was an assistant coach at Oklahoma State University where he helped guide the Cowboys to two NCAA team titles, three Big Eight Conference titles and two National Dual Meet team titles.
Bruce has served as the national freestyle coach for world and Olympic competition since 1992 with his 1996 team capturing five medals (three gold, one silver and one bronze). In 2000, his Olympic freestyle team won one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. He was named the Freestyle Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1995 and 96, and, was named the United States Olympic Committee Elite Coach of the Year in 1996.
Bruce is in his 13th season as the head coach of the US Naval Academy’s wrestling program. He has led the Midshipmen to a 107-56 record producing nine Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Champions, with ten wrestlers earning All –American status. Over the last six seasons, Navy has won seven EIWA individual crowns, while garnering All-America honors seven times.
According to Navysports.com,” Bruce Burnett is a winner. At every level of the sport, Burnett has seen success and it is without a doubt that he will continue the winning tradition that has made Navy a household name in the sport of wrestling”.