Patrick Burke has submitted his resignation as the head football and girls track and field coach at Sullivan High School.
Burke has accepted a position as assistant principal at Sullivan Middle School.
“I’ve been looking for this kind of opportunity for a while and was fortunate enough to get it,” Burke said Tuesday morning. “My boys (Peyton, 11, and Hayden, 8) are getting older and I’m finding it more difficult to find time with my family. I hate missing their events and want to spend more time with them.”
Eagles Assistant Coach Andy Arnette was named the new head football coach Tuesday night at the school board meeting.
Arnette is graduate of Pacific High School.
Burke, a Union High School graduate, has been with the Sullivan School District for 11 years. He was the head girls track and field coach for all 11 years and the head football coach for six years.
Burke had a overall record of 44-24 in his six football seasons as Eagles head coach.
He led Sullivan to one Four Rivers Conference championship in 2012, the Class 3 state semifinals in 2008 and the Class 4 quarterfinals in 2012.
Burke’s Lady Eagles track and field team won nine straight conference titles from 2004-12.
“I’ve had the privilege of coaching a lot of great kids here at Sullivan,” Burke said. “It was not an easy decision for me to make. It was tough.”
Burke, who taught social studies at Sullivan, recently informed his football players and track athletes of his decision.
“It definitely surprised the kids. Some of them were upset. Some tears were shed by some of the track girls,” Burke said. “When opportunities present themselves in life, you have to take them. The good thing is that I’m still in the school district. I’ll be here for the kids if they ever need someone to talk to or fall back on.”
With the fall sports season around the corner, Sullivan expects to hire a new football coach soon.
“We have players with varsity experience coming back to the football team, including Justin (running back Justin Biermann),” Burke said. “The overall depth on the offensive and defensive lines needs to be built, but I think things are in pretty good shape for the next head coach.”
Burke was an assistant football and track coach at St. Clair for six years before going to Sullivan.