Dan Burns grew up in Wilmington, Massachusetts, and graduated from Wilmington High School. He earned several awards while playing soccer and hockey at Wilmington and served as a team captain in both sports. Burns also competed in both sports during a year of post graduate studies at Canterbury Prep School.
Burns came to Lake Forest College in the fall of 1977 and joined the Forester soccer and hockey teams. In soccer he was named All-Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference and the team’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore. He also earned all-conference honors the next season and captained the Foresters to MCAC titles as a junior and senior. The halfback tied for the team lead with nine goals and led the squad with six assists his senior year as Lake Forest went 10-2-1 and advanced to the NCAA Playoffs. Burns finished his Forester soccer career with 13 goals and 14 assists. Burns was also successful throughout his four seasons on the ice, where his 67 goals and 122 points ranked sixth and 11th in program history, respectively, at the time of his induction. Lake Forest advanced to the NCAA Division II championship game his freshman season and Burns finished among the top four on the team in points each of his final three years. The Lake Forest soccer and hockey teams posted a combined overall record of 93-48-6 during his four years at the College.
Burns graduated from Lake Forest College in 1981 with great friends Jack O’Brien and Kevin Ryan. In 1984, he founded Burns Construction, Inc. in Foxboro, Massachusetts.