03/24 - Notebook: Highland boys coach takes juco job - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

03/24 - Notebook: Highland boys coach takes juco job

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Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 9:49 am | Updated: 6:00 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

For the second time this month a Gilbert district high school is looking for a new boys basketball coach.

John Burns, who has coached Highland quite successfully the last three seasons, resigned Monday to take a junior college coaching job in Kansas, Highland athletic director Jim Baker said.

"This opportunity came up quickly, and it was one he couldn’t pass up," Baker said. "John has done an outstanding job here. We’ll miss him."

In three seasons as Highland’s coach, Burns guided the Hawks to state tournament berths each year. They reached the finals in 2002, falling to Marcos de Niza. Highland reached the semifinals in 2003 before losing to Desert Vista and lost in the round of 16 to Desert Vista again this past season.

Highland was 27-3 this season and won 70 games in Burns’ three seasons. Burns is headed to Fort Scott Community College, which competes in one of the top junior college leagues in the country. Fort Scott is about a 90-minute drive south of Kansas City, Kan.

"This was an opportunity I didn’t think I would get," Burns said Tuesday. "I got called (last Tuesday) to come for an interview. I flew there and had the interview Thursday and got offered the job that night. I accepted. It’s a personal goal of mine to pursue this. I loved my time at Highland. It’s a great school to coach and teach at."

Burns credited previous coach Dave Yates, who also guided the Hawks to a state title game in 2000, with getting the program rolling.

"I think Dave Yates should get most of the credit for laying the foundation," Burns said. "I was fortunate in being able to continue that success."

DESERT MOUNTAIN

Jodi Tosini, who came on in an interim role to coach the Wolves’ girls basketball team in their final seven games of the season, was named head coach on Tuesday. Tosini replaced Jack Wesolowski, who resigned before the season ended.

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