Belleville Bulls General Manager and Head Coach George Burnett worked his 1000th career OHL game as a Head Coach on Thursday night against the Niagara IceDogs.
The milestone brings Burnett back to the region where he started his OHL coaching career in 1989 with the Niagara Falls Thunder where he would serve behind the bench for three seasons receiving back-to-back Coach of the Year honours in 1991 and 1992.
He becomes just the fifth OHL coach to reach the 1000 game milestone behind Larry Mavety (1,458 games), Bert Templeton (1,735 games), Brian Kilrea (2,156 games), and Stan Butler (1,022) who reached the milestone last season and continues to coach the Brampton Battalion.
After his tenure in Niagara Falls Burnett moved though the professional ranks for five straight seasons winning a Calder Cup in the AHL in 1993 and later serving one season as Head Coach of the Edmonton Oilers in 1994-95. He also worked two seasons as an Assistant Coach in Anaheim after capturing an OHL Championship with Guelph in 1998. Prior to joining the Bulls in 2004 he served as bench boss of the Oshawa Generals for four seasons. Before coaching, Burnett played three seasons with the London Knights and three at McGill University.
This year marks his 16th season in the OHL and heading into his 1000th game he carries an overall record of 486-458-55 ranking sixth all-time in coaching wins.
Burnett is also serving as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for a second consecutive year, having helped Canada claim silver in 2010. He has also served as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 2001 and 2010, winning a gold medal both years, and was an assistant coach for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus, where Canada finished seventh.
In October, 2009, Burnett was inducted into the Township of Scugog Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony in his hometown of Port Perry.