Mike Burke, who led Bishop Timon lacrosse to seven Monsignor Martin championships in 12 seasons, will take over as head coach of St. Francis next season.
Burke will be returning to his alma mater, where he won a Monsignor Martin title as a senior in 1997.
“I’m just really interested at the prospect of growing it and bringing it back and hopefully exceeding where they’ve been before,” Burke said. “It’s a great school academically and they have some really good athletic traditions and we’re hoping to get it back into one of the top lacrosse programs in the area.”
But it wasn’t easy for Burke to leave the school he built into a local power.
“It was an extremely tough decision and you really hope everybody the best, especially the players that you coached,” Burke said. “There’s always going to be a soft spot for everybody I’ve ever coached, especially the players who are there right now.”
Burke mentioned the facilities and “the resources they invested in the school” as an attraction for the job. St. Francis approved a $4 million athletic complex, including an artificial turf field, a field house and new lighting.
“I think every coach is motivated by challenges,” Burke said about the opportunity to take over a new program. St. Francis only won two games last season.
Timon won five consecutive Monsignor Martin titles from 2010 to 2014 and three straight state titles from 2012 to 2014.
“We are really excited to have Mike on board and heading our Lacrosse program,” Athletics Director Steve Otremba said in a press release. “He’s a great coach and will help us rebuild our program here at St. Francis.”