| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Freeport dismisses Burkart as basketball coach

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bill Burkart gave his parting thoughts on the season and left the Freeport girls basketball team's banquet with peace of mind.

Three days later, it all changed when the coach was called to Freeport High School for a meeting.

"They told me they wanted to go in a new direction," Burkart said. "What do you say to that• I guess it means I am fired."

Burkart will not be retained after guiding Freeport to the WPIAL playoffs three of the past five years. The position is open.

Burkart had a 39-67 record with the Yellowjackets.

Freeport wouldn't give a reason why Burkart was called in and, in his eyes, discouraged from reapplying.

"The girls basketball position is opened every year and advertised internally," Freeport athletic director Todd O'Shell said. "As is every other coaching position. However, we are soliciting candidates from outside for the girls basketball position this year.

"Mr. Burkart is still able to apply."

This past season, Freeport went 10-12 and lost to Steel Valley, 69-39, in the WPIAL Class AA preliminary round.

It also pulled off an upset over perennially strong Ford City in Section 1-AA.

"I think we have been moving forward," Burkart said. "Our elementary program was coming around. It was very well attended."

Burkart, who coached the Greensburg Central Catholic boys for 18 years before coming to Freeport, isn't ruling out a return to coaching.

"I was under the impression I would be coming back," Burkart said. "I have been around the block a long time.

"I wish the team well."

He is a teacher at Greensburg Central and commutes from Sarver.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read News