Citing personal, family and health reasons, Basha football coach Bernie Busken resigned on Tuesday morning.
Busken said he met with players on Tuesday morning to deliver the news.
The Bears were 31-16 in Busken’s four years at the school, including a 6-6 record in 2013. The Bears won a first-round Division I playoff thriller in overtime at Horizon before a 49-21 loss to Chandler in the quarterfinals.
He’ll continue teaching through the end of the 2013-2014 school year, but said he recently had hip issues and also needs to have his shoulder operated on. He also spoke of spending more time with his family, namely his mother and new granddaughters, and praised Basha principal Ken James and athletic director Brent Rincon.
He didn’t rule out returning to coaching – college or high school, Arizona or elsewhere.
Busken led Mountain View to three big-school state championships in the 1990s, but left in 2002 because of disciplinary practices after being warned by the Mesa school district involving players giving each other “pink bellies” as a form of punishment. He was 82-9 in his career at Mountain View including a 40-game winning streak during his tenure.
He coached in Oklahoma and at Western New Mexico (NCAA Div. II), then returned to the East Valley to be Basha’s coach in 2010 after former coach Tim McBurney resigned.
Mark Heller is the East Valley Tribune assistant managing editor. He can be reached at email@example.com or (480) 898-6576.