Stephen Phillip Burnett
Beloved father, brother, mentor leader friend and coach.
Stephen Phillip Burnett was born April 29, 1958, to the late Eugene Howard Burnett Sr. and Mary King Burnett in Philadelphia, PA where he grew up and graduated from Edison High School with honors. Following his father’s blueprint and footsteps, Stephen excelled in sports at an early age. He went on to star locally in the park and recreation leagues and on the football field and basketball court in high school. Stephen studied at Texas Southern University, in Houston, TX, and Alabama A&M University, in Huntsville, AL, respectively.
Stephen was an avid swimmer and his early jobs included Lifeguarding at the Y.M.C.A. and Hartranft Community Center in Philadelphia.
In 1980 Stephen enlisted in the US Army. He quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant. Stephen served in the 82nd Airborne Ranger Battalion. During his tenure, he served in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Kauai. Most notably, he served heroically in Operation Desert Shield during the Gulf War. He retired with numerous awards, commendations and accolades in 1994.
Stephen relocated to Alameda from the East Coast after he retired from the service. For two decades, he served as a Campus Supervisor at Alameda High School. Stephen coached many sports at Alameda H.S., football, ping pong, and badminton are just a few. However, this was not his biggest accomplishment, basketball and women’s golf was where he shined! With a competitive nature and drive to win, he taught students a spirit of excellence and determination. It paid off! Coach “B”, which the Alameda community knew him as, rarely lost a game, championship, or tournament under his leadership. He was especially proud of his record versus crosstown rival Encinal claiming to “never losing to Encinal in anything.” In a casual conversation, you could catch Coach “B” saying, “I hate kids,” but the community knew this was far from the truth as he attended sporting events for students year-round, coaching and cheering from the stands.
His genuine, authentic character touched the lives of thousands of students who walked the halls at Alameda High and was a legend in the community. His laugh was contagious, and his relentless pursuit to see everyone excel made him a strong pillar throughout the Alameda community.
Coach “B’s” favorite pastimes included traveling, fine dining, fancy cars and family. Coach “B” was dedicated to his Alameda High School Family. He somehow knew everyone’s name, their story and always made each student he met feel supported, loved and special.
Stephen is survived by 1 brother Eugene Jr., 3 sisters, Cynthia, Dominique (Debbie), and Marsha, his daughter Danielle, 2 stepsons Patrick & Damien Jackson, and a host of nephews, great nieces/nephews, and friends.