Burglund guided Gulls to state tourney

Some coaches claim they would do anything for their players.

Heather Burglund proved it.

Burglund, the coach of the Everett High School volleyball team, changed her career path this year from accounting back to teaching in order to continue guiding the Seagulls. Everett advanced to the state tournament for the first time in 19 years, and Burglund, who teaches math, doesn’t regret her decision one bit.

“It was the best choice I could have made,” she said.

Her 8-to-5 accounting job would have made it nearly impossible to coach, she said, and she “wasn’t gonna give up on these kids. They’re the reason I came back.”

For her part in leading Everett to a Class 4A state berth, a 4A District 1 title, a Wesco South championship and an 18-2 overall record, Burglund has been selected The Herald’s All-Area Volleyball Coach of the Year.

Last year the Seagulls narrowly missed a trip to state, falling one place short at districts. This year, Burglund’s sixth season as Everett’s coach, her emphasis on team bonding and goal setting pushed her squad over the hump.

“Volleyball is such a mental game,” Burglund said, “and you need to be able to work with your teammates.”

To build trust among the Seagulls, Burglund applied lessons from her playing career. A 1994 graduate of Cascade High School, she played volleyball at Shoreline Community College, where she was named the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Northern Region Most Valuable Player, and at Montana State University-Northern. Burglund unites the best of what her coaches offered with a fearless passion for trying new ideas.

For instance, Burglund had the Seagulls complete an activity called “Mine Field” in which one player is blindfolded and must trust her teammates to lead her through an obstacle course. Everett has also used visualization techniques and attended several galvanizing off-season camps.

In addition, Burglund incorporates goal setting into every aspect of the season, from maximizing effort in every practice drill to winning a district title. She inspired the Seagulls by sharing her senior scrapbook from Cascade, where she helped the Bruins reach the state tournament for the first time in 13 years.

“These are the times you’re going to remember,” she told them.

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