Michigan assistant coach helps family enjoy day at Michigan Stadium, honor son
Dan Mozes and Nathan Burnfield were inseparable growing up in Washington, Pa., so when Burnfield, a lifelong Michigan fan and South Strabane Township (Pa.) police officer, died in a traffic accident last fall, Mozes led an outpouring of maize and blue support.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez sent a letter of condolence to the family. Mozes, an assistant strength coach with the Wolverines, delivered a football autographed by the entire Michigan team to Burnfield’s parents, Debbie and Ricky. And Saturday, Mozes hosted the Burnfields for the game, which Penn State won, 35-10. “To be here, it’s an honor and Nathan would be smiling down on me,” Debbie Burnfield said Saturday. “When I was walking through that tunnel, I just kept telling my husband I could feel this jab in my back like he’s saying, ‘Get away from me. Get away. You’re not even a Michigan fan.’ But he would be smiling from ear to ear. He’d be very proud that Danny did this for us.” Nathan Burnfield was killed last Nov. 4 on his way home from a police training exercise when he was struck by a truck while trying to clear debris from Interstate 70 outside of Pittsburgh. Nathan was buried in a Michigan blanket and T-shirt, and Mozes served as a pallbearer at his funeral. “He practically was my fourth son,” Debbie Burnfield said of Mozes. “He’s just been a very good friend and a good son. “Him and Nathan were like brothers, inseparable brothers until this day.”