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.