Basha boys basketball coach John Burns resigns - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Basha boys basketball coach John Burns resigns

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Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:24 am | Updated: 11:45 am, Thu Feb 14, 2013.

Basha boys basketball coach John Burns resigned Thursday after one year at the helm and will be leaving the state this summer.

Burns said he is moving back to Kansas City once the school year ends to be closer to loved ones.

The Bears went 9-18 this season and missed the Division I playoffs.

"We had a tough season," Burns said. "Not wins and losses but my JV coach (Phil Clark) died. My parents are getting older. My grandpa is still alive. Things get put in perspective pretty quick. I want to be surrounded by family and friends."

Rincon said Burns' decision came within the past 24 hours.

"I really want to thank coach Burns for all of his efforts, professionalism, dedication to the program this year and positive impact he had on the kids," Rincon said. "We certainly with him the best of luck in whatever his future holds."

Burns was hired last April after two years at Mesquite. He previously coached at Highland, where he led the Hawks to two state semifinal appearances from 2001-2004.

He said the first stint in Arizona was very enjoyable, but the past three years have been tough.

"I left a great job (for the Mesquite opening) because I had such a great time last time here in Arizona," Burns said. "At that time, I had family here, friends from Kansas City here. I had it really good here. When I came back I decided I was done, that I wasn't going to move any more and I was going to spend 25 years here. But family's more important."

Burns replaced Brad Pinter, who was forced to resign following the 2011-12 season.

Basha was expected to be a state title contender behind Division I recruits Jaron Hopkins, Torren Jones and Maurice Kirby, but Jones transferred out of state and Hopkins went to Dobson.

Kirby averaged 15.6 points and 11.5 rebounds per game but Basha lost eight of its final 10 games to drop out of the playoff picture.

The Bears will return four of their top five returning scorers next season.

"I really enjoyed my time," Burns said. "They’ve got some good young kids. That’s the one negative of leaving. It was a long process but a lot of those guys got good experience."

Basha will begin accepting applicants for a new coach within the next week.

"We'll move as fast as we're capable of," Rincon said.

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]