Burns attended the University of Southern California as a student-athlete, where he played cornerback. He played in 1989 for a team that went to the Rose Bowl Game, but suffered a neck injury that ended his football career; he served as an assistant to the coaching staff for the 1990-92 seasons.
Burns shifted to baseball and played center field for USC in 1992. He graduated with a bachelor of arts in communications in 1993 and was in the Houston Astros' Developmental League in 1994.
Burns was formerly the defensive line coach at UTEP, the defensive line coach and Defensive Coordinator at Texas Southern. Prior to that, Burns coached for the National Football League Washington Redskins, the Florida Gators, at Bishop Amat High School and at Beverly Hills High School.
Coach Burns talked about his football playing and coaching career in a 2009 interview on OTTObox.
- Jeffrey, Parenti (March 1, 2013). "DeChon Burns named new Linfield football coach". Press Enterprise.[permanent dead link]
- "USC Football All Time Lettermen A-C". Archived from the original on 1999-04-28.
- "Rose Bowl 1989".
- Jerry, Crowe (August 21, 1990). "USC's Burns Told to Quit After Injuring Neck". Los Angeles Times.
- "UTEP Miners Bio: DeChon Burns".
- "Texas Southern coach fired, replaced by defensive coordinator".
- "OTTObox talks to DeChon Burns".