Friday, May 07, 2010

My reaction to the Robert Burke hiring

Written for your enjoyment by: Raff

If you've followed along over the last 2 1/2 weeks - you know that I've tried to figure this thing out from all angles. And if you were paying attention, you know that Robert Burke was the first name I mentioned.

The longtime assistant coach has ties to the area - and has been on the short list of a lot of jobs in recent times. Still young, but not as young as some of the others on the candidate list, Burke has worked the DC area with Georgetown and American the last six years.

I'm sure there are some valid concerns about Robert Burke. There would have been some with any coach who was hired. Personnel changes at this level - or any level for that matter - are never slam dunks. But Burke has shown a lifelong commitment to the game - and has been regarded as one of the top of his profession.

The Mount could have taken the path that the high-mid majors have taken and kept the continuity of the program flowing. Xavier, Butler, Gonzaga have all promoted from within and kept the program rolling. Brion Dunlap was a more than adequate choice to continue on in that fashion. But the University's administration made it fairly clear right from the outset that change was forthcoming.

Will that change be good? We'll have to wait and see how that all plays out. Burke will inherit a team that lost 3 key players from last year's NEC semifinalist. In addition, one of the three incoming recruits has already stepped away from his commitment and will play elsewhere (UNCW). Keeping the other two recruits and possibly trying to replace Morales should be priority #1.

Burke was impressive during the process and impressed the committee. Word at Mount U (who first reported the news) was that he impressed the players and they were much more upbeat after meeting him last night.

Change in the coaching position doesn't always bring success. However, based on the effort that the Mount put into this and the process that was followed, I think they've done the best they can to try to ensure that success.

Robert Burke was chosen from a pool of extremely qualified individuals, his reputation throughout the game is a good one - and he deserves this opportunity. He is now our coach - and I'm behind him.


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3 comments:

  1. I’ve been a fan of both the Mount and UMBC for the last 30 years. I don’t remember Coach Burke, but if he started at UMBC in ‘88 then he came in with Coach Earl Hawkins who took over for Jeff Bzdelik. The ’88 team, which consisted entirely of Bzdelik’s players, was good, but the team hit a dry spell for the rest of Burke’s tenure. Some nice players did come through the program during that time, but probably no one I would consider a top 10 player at the school in the last 30 years. That being said, his stop at UMBC was early in his career and he has been very successful since then. I wish him the best and I think he will do well here.
    On another note I’d like to see Coach use his DC connections to try to land Garvey Young, who recently left the University of Vermont; allegedly to play closer to home (DC). Young is a lock-down defender and would seem to fit the Mount style of play.

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  2. Took Holy Cross the same number of days to hire Milan as MSM took to hire Burke. Has been about a week since we knew Rice was going to Rutgers. Probably will take them about the same time to identify someone new. Sort of makes me think we were overanxious with many of our comments concerning the length of time MSM spent in the process.

    Garvey Young is a good player, but if he transfers I guess he is out for a year. I suspect there will be two phases to the new recruitment approach.

    Initially, a player or two for the coming year, culled from the unsigned (or recently decommitted) pool of availables.

    Then, starting 2011, we will see the ability and style of the new coach as he gets his first chance to do his own recruiting.

    Only then will I get the first feel for how talented Burke might be in that phase of the management of the team.

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  3. I was wrong about guessing how long RMU would take to replace Ratface. Please refer to my post about the correlation between the time it takes to replace a coach with the results. Mount wins!

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