Former Tigers volleyball player Max Burt has announced his retirement from professional volleyball.
Burt’s road to the European professional ranks started after a five-year career with the Tigers. He landed in Halifax from Gander, NFLD in the fall of 2006 and made an immediate impact. In his five seasons, he helped lead the Tigers to four AUS championship titles, while earning U SPORTS second team all-Canadian honours twice. A three-time AUS all-star, he was the team’s co-MVP in his fourth season and earned U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian honours twice en route to earning a degree in kinesiology in the spring of 2011.
He donned a Team Canada jersey for the first time as a member of the Volleyball Canada’s Senior B and FISU teams in 2009 and went on to represent Canada for nine years attending two world university games, five Pan American Cups, the 2011 Pan American Games, and two NORCECA Continental Cups in addition to World League selection events.
When not competing for Canada, Burt spent six seasons playing professional volleyball in Europe. He joined Palembang Bank Sumsel Babel of the Indonesian ProLiga for the 2012-13 season before moving on to Pribram VB of the Czech Extraliga. Burt then headed to France where he played two seasons with Nantes Rezé Metropole Volley of the France Ligue Nationale de Volley “A” before joining ASUL Lyon of the France Ligue Nationale de Volley “B” for both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
“Retiring is bittersweet,” says Burt. “I’m lucky that I have a great career opportunity that makes the transition much easier which isn’t always the case for most athletes. I also know that I can still compete internationally so that can make the transition more difficult mentally, however I know this is the right timing for me and my family and I’m excited about what the future holds for us.”
Burt is heading back to his roots in Gander, NFLD to pursue career as an air traffic controller and hopes to give back to the sport that has given him the opportunity to travel the world.
“I’m really looking forward to spending more time at home with my family, especially my seven-month old son Ryker, but I’m also excited to get involved in the volleyball community back in Gander and am hoping to work with the Newfoundland Volleyball Association in some capacity to give back and help grow volleyball in our province,” he says.
Looking back at the career he’s had, Burt attributes a lot of his success to the time he spent competing as a Tiger.
“We’re really lucky as athletes at Dal to have Dan Ota as our head coach. He’s not just preparing us for winning AUS championships and to compete for national titles, but right from day one, he’s preparing you for the next step in all aspects of life. We used to joke as players that he’s also our life coach and its true in a way. When I used to reflect back on my time in university while overseas I'd laugh at how much harder we were pushed at Dal and that definitely prepared me for life professionally and within the national program. I’m so thankful that Dan noticed something in me at a young age and for the lasting impact he’s had on my life.”