By Christian Guerithault ’14
The head coach of a sports team is usually viewed as the most important member of the team, however an assistant coach can be just as important to the team’s success.
Assistant varsity basketball coach Mr. John Burns has been at Brophy for six years and he has been an assistant varsity basketball coach for all six years.
“I’m there to assist Coach (Tony) Fuller in anything that he needs,” Mr. Burns said. “His direction points me as far as my duties and responsibilities go.”
Mr. Burns said he has been coaching high school basketball for 23 years.
“I started playing basketball in the fifth grade,” Mr. Burns said. “I knew in high school that I wanted to be a teacher and a basketball coach.”
Mr. Burns said there is not a big difference between coaching and teaching.
“Teachers are actually coaches in the classroom and coaches are actually teachers on the court,” he said. “There are a lot of common principles there and I always try to emphasize focusing on the process… if (as an athlete) we focus on the process the scoreboard takes care of itself. We try to get the students to focus on the process and then the grades take care of themselves.”
While Mr. Burns’ primary job is to assist Mr. Fuller, he also plays a big role in player development.
Senior Conor Triplett ’14 has played under Mr. Burns for four years.
“I’ve learned a lot from Coach Burns both on and off the floor,” Triplett said. “A lot of people don’t realize that he has a great basketball mind and a lot of the stuff we do at the varsity level that we have success with comes from what Coach Burns used to do in his past coaching experience.”
Triplett said the team gets a lot done when Mr. Burns conducts drills.
“He’s one of the best people to have at practice because he keeps things light but we also get a lot of stuff done whenever he’s running drills,” Triplett said. “He’s always a good person to have in the gym.”
When he’s not at Brophy Mr. Burns said he likes to spend time with his family.
“I’m not only a faculty member, I’m not only a coach,” Mr. Burns said. “I’m also a father and I’m also a husband.”
Triplett said Mr. Burns is not only a good coach, but also a good person.
“He’s unmatched as a person,” Triplett said. “Both on and off the floor he really cares about us as players and as people.”