New head football coach has worked at two high-level Stark County programs

When Troy Burick formally accepted the supply to succeed Mike Cook dinner because the St. Thomas Aquinas head soccer coach, he achieved a lifelong dream.

“Ever since I obtained into teaching, I wished to be a head coach,” he mentioned. “I like soccer and skim a soccer guide day-after-day, finding out the sport.”

At age 47, Burick grew to become a first-time highschool head coach at a fairly late age after working as an assistant or a youth mentor since he gave up taking part in after struggling an harm in 1993, his first yr after graduating from Massillon, the place he performed his junior and senior seasons, seeing motion at quarterback in 1990 and beginning at security on the 1991 staff which misplaced to Cleveland St. Ignatius within the Division I state semifinals.

“After commencement, I first dedicated to Clarion (Pa.) however had a change of coronary heart and went to Akron,” Burick recalled. “I talked with [then-head coach] Gerry Faust and he provided me a most popular walk-on. If I performed properly, I may earn a full scholarship.”

Embracing the chance, Burick started lifting weights, making an attempt to construct up his physique to be able to get a shot at taking part in for a program that was within the early levels of Division I after being a small-school energy for years. 

Destiny, nevertheless, intervened. Burick suffered a shoulder harm deemed critical sufficient for him to surrender taking part in.

Whereas his taking part in profession was stalled, his soccer ardour remained and he wished to remain concerned within the recreation. That’s when Jack Rose, who guided St. Thomas to the 1984 Division IV state championship and the 1985 Division IV state runner-up, and the brand new Massillon head coach, prolonged him a suggestion to educate.

Rose had been the staff’s defensive coordinator in Burick’s senior yr.

“Once I performed at Massillon, Jack knew how a lot I cherished soccer and advised me that I may make a superb coach, as a result of as a participant I used to be coachable, robust and an excellent teammate,” Burick mentioned. “He employed me to educate the eighth-grade staff at [former Lorin Andrews Middle School] and I used to be eternally grateful.”

With the teaching door opened by Rose, Burick loved a 15-year keep at Massillon. He stayed with Rose till the latter resigned following the 1997 season, then got here again in 2008, when former Southeast mentor and Mount Union linebacker Jason Corridor was employed because the Massillon head coach. He spent seven years with Corridor and one yr with present head coach Nate Moore.

“I obtained to do numerous issues whereas working for these guys, whether or not it was teaching on the [varsity] degree, the decrease [high school] degree or as director of the youth growth program,” Burick mentioned. “They have been all nice influences. Jack had confidence, Jason labored extraordinarily exhausting and Nate was very properly organized.”

In 2016, Burick left Massillon for a chance to educate at Canton Central Catholic, St. Thomas’ rival, for head coach Jeff Lindesmith. Central, which completed as Division VI state runner-ups the earlier two years, took the ultimate step up the ladder, capturing its third state playoff title in 2016 with an exhilarating 16-13 last-minute win over two-time reigning champion Coldwater.

“That was an unimaginable studying expertise,” Burick mentioned. “We performed a robust schedule and began the season 2-3.”

A type of regular-season losses was 12-10 to St. Thomas Aquinas, then coached by Badre Bardawil, at dwelling.

“We have been combating our identification after we performed St. Thomas and we made too many errors in opposition to a superb staff [that finished 9-3],” Burick mentioned. “Jeff did not panic, our quarterback matured and the youngsters believed and performed as a staff.”

Watching Lindesmith mould the Crusaders right into a cohesive staff that peaked on the proper time in postseason play left an enduring impression on Burick.

“Jeff was the largest affect due to the way in which he associated to folks,” Burick mentioned. “He developed relationships with the entire coaches and the gamers and he was nice at empowering the opposite coaches and trusting them and the gamers.”

Following a second season as a Central Catholic assistant, Burick returned for his third stint at Massillon. He was on Moore’s employees from 2018-20 and helped the Tigers to a few straight Division II state runner-up finishes.

“I have been very lucky to be a coach at two nice packages,” Burick mentioned. “They have been each profitable, however in several methods. Massillon had nice neighborhood help and nice assets, children who’re pushed to play for this system. Central Catholic had great individuals who labored collectively and cherished one another, treating one another with respect.”

With almost twenty years price of highschool and youth league expertise — Burick took a break between 1998 and 2007 to launch his development enterprise and get married — he determined to pursue the St. Thomas place that grew to become vacant when Cook dinner resigned to simply accept a job at GlenOak. It was the second time he utilized.

“I sought the job in 2018, however they employed Mike,” Burick mentioned. “I used to be impressed with the St. Thomas folks and the household environment they’ve then. When Mike resigned, the St. Thomas folks reached out to me and I actually wished the job.”

Burick not solely coached at two Stark County highschool tradition-rich packages, however he additionally performed for a 3rd. He grew up in Perry Township and performed his first two years for the soccer program recently-retired head coach Keith Wakefield efficiently ran for 30 years (1982-2003, 2013-2020).

“I began at quarterback for Perry my sophomore yr in 1989, and I cherished taking part in for Coach Wakefield,” Burick mentioned. 

However, Burick opted to switch to Massilon on the finish of his sophomore yr.

“My mother’s household was from Massillon they usually wished me to play for Massillon,” he mentioned. “There have been different Massillon ties. [Legendary head coach] Paul Brown was my grandfather’s instructor. I cherished Perry, however I additionally wished to see what it was wish to play at Massillon.”

Wakefield wasn’t the one Perry one who had a robust affect on Burick. Julie Oberlin, who performed softball for the Panthers, was launched to him they usually developed a fast bond and finally married. The couple has 4 sons: Luke, Owen, Quinn and Jordan. 

“I would not have accepted this job if it wasn’t for Julie,” Burick mentioned. “She’s been very supportive of my teaching, though she’s in dwelling well being care. We each consider in serving and selflessness. She’s the final word staff mother.”

Eyeing the summer time and his new problem, Burick intends on maximizing the limitless teaching days the state gave coaches between June 1 and July 31 to assist help the transitional course of.

“I want all of them,” Burick mentioned, laughing. “I have to finalize a employees. We’re within the conditioning a part of our program and plan to begin the soccer half after July 4, beginning with placing in an offense and protection and educating it.”

Regardless that Burick took over this system in mid-June, a precedent for a quick transition by a Stark County highschool was set in 2005 when Tom Stacy was employed to succeed Rick Shepas as Massillon head coach and proceeded to take a program that recorded successive 4-6 seasons and guided it to a 13-2 file, dropping to Cincinnati St. Xavier within the state championship recreation.

“That is one thing that may inspire me, particularly since Tom Stacy was my quarterback coach at Massillon,” Burick added. “He associated properly to me and I hope to have the ability to do the identical factor to our gamers.”

St. Thomas, which received two playoff video games final season underneath Cook dinner earlier than ending 5-Three after falling to eventual Division VI state runner-up Springfield Native, graduated a number of seniors from that 2020 squad, though a number of offensive linemen return.

“We plan on getting 30 children out and able to play,” Burick mentioned. “That is considered one of my targets. One other one is utilizing soccer as a platform to show the gamers life classes and if we do this, we will construct a state championship program, as a result of [another goal] is to assist this college win a state championship.”

If that happens, Burick would match Rose, the person who gave him his first teaching submit, who reached that final purpose 37 years in the past.

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