Shane Burcar is headed for his fourth job in four years. This time he’s not going far to begin his new assignment and it’s familiar territory.
Burcar, hired last year to take over the boys basketball program at Westwood, is heading across town to become Mesa High’s new coach.
He takes over for Shawn Lynch, who resigned six weeks ago after eight seasons at the school.
‘‘This was an extremely hard decision for me,’’ Burcar said. ‘‘It’s the hardest decision of my life. Some decisions you know for sure what you want to do. This wasn’t one of those. (Westwood athletic director) Mr. (Thad) Gates and (Westwood principal) Mrs. (Helen) Riddle have been very supportive of the program and of me.’’
Burcar, who was an assistant for Lynch in 2004 when the Jackrabbits won the 5A state title, left Mesa to become associate coach two years ago with former Highland High coach John Burns at Fort Scott Junior College in Fort Scott, Kan. After a year at Fort Scott he returned to Arizona to guide Westwood. The Warriors were 15-12 under Burcar this past season.
“I know the program Shawn left at Mesa having coached there and there is no better person than Shawn,’’ Burcar said. ‘‘I know the seniors and some of the juniors from being there before.’’
Mesa is excited to get Burcar back, knowing what he offered as an assistant in the 2003-2004 campaign.
‘‘Coach Burcar has great passion for the game of basketball,’’ Mesa principal Pete Lesar said. ‘‘He has the ability to motivate and to communicate high expectations to student-athletes. He is committed to excellence. We are confident that Coach Burcar has the ability and drive to maintain our basketball success and to bring a championship to the Mesa High program.’’
Burcar has coached eight years overall and at all levels of high school in Arizona since the 1998-99 season, his first of three under former Gilbert High coach Tom Bennett. Burcar, 33, also coached at Mesa Community College for two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03).
‘‘It’s disappointing to lose a coach the caliber of Shane,’’ Gates said. ‘‘We’ve posted the position and it will be open until May 1.’’