John Burns

A 1959 Crater graduate, John participated in Band, Football, Basketball, Track, Drama, and was President of the Torch honor society.  He was named Outstanding Senior Athlete; was a state track and field meet qualifier his Junior and Senior years; Southern Oregon Conference Champion in javelin throw and State meet qualifier in the high jump.  He set a school javelin record of 208’9″.   In 1959 he placed second at State in the javelin and third place in the high jump.

John then attended the University of Oregon where he was a member of the University of Oregon track and field team which included being part of the 1962 University of Oregon National NCAA Championship Track and Field team.  He was a three-year National NCAA Championship Meet Qualifier.  The following year in 1963, he placed 5th in the NCAA Championships in the javelin and set a University of Oregon school record in the javelin at 250’1”.  He was a three-year member of the Order of the O Lettermans’ club. John graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

In 1964 John was a member of US Olympic training team and placed 5th in the javelin finals at the Olympic Trials.  He went on to place fourth in the 1966 National AAU Championships Meet where he threw 266’ (at that time #1 in the world).   In 1964, John was accepted into the Oregon Health Sciences Dental School and received a degree from University of Oregon Dental School in 1967.   He then began his dental practice in Oakland, California. From 1967-2003 he was an associate, minor share holder and owner of Naismith Dental Group.  In 2003 he became the managing dentist and majority owner of City Center Dental, also in Oakland, California.  In addition to his dental practice, from 1967-1973 he was the javelin coach at University of California at Berkeley.  In addition, he coached youth sport teams in Lafayette, California from 1972 to 1997.  This coaching included mostly soccer, basketball (both girls and boys) and age group track (Diablo Valley Track Team included most of Contra Costa County).  This was done as a volunteer coach and administrator.  From 1981-2019 he was the throws coach at Acalanes High School.  

In addition to his coaching duties, John continued to compete himself.  Since turning 40, John has won six national titles competing in Masters Athletes.

“I consider myself lucky to be able to combine my business and athletic career.  My Crater High teachers and friends are still in my thoughts particularly Lloyd Hoffine who brought joy back into basketball my senior Year.”

After serving as a dentist in the Oakland, California area for more than 45 years, John chose to retire.  Following his retirement, he and his wife Charlene moved to Naples, Florida where they currently reside.