In 2020, the Historical Commission is highlighting some of the Town’s historical figures each month. This month’s tale concerns Elmer Burnham, who was perhaps the best athlete West Newbury produced and who was both successful and beloved in his 42 years as a high school, Big Ten, and Division 3 college coach. During his tenure as Purdue’s head football coach in the first years of World War II, he successfully navigated unprecedented disruption resulting from military drafts, mid-season and sometimes mid-game player military-ordered transfers. West Newbury’s Burnham Field was named in his honor.
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