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Girls basketball: Boulder Panthers hire title-winning coach Ron Burgin

Ron Burgin
Ron Burgin

The Boulder High girls basketball coaching position enticed Ron Burgin to move from Texas to Colorado in 2001. It just took 11 years for him to actually land the job.

In the meantime, the longtime coach won a Class 5A state title at ThunderRidge, spent a year on Ceal Barry’s Colorado Buffaloes staff and spent five mostly successful years as head coach at Arapahoe.

But with three brothers living in town, he was still just as excited at the chance to coach at Boulder High in 2012 as he was in 2001.

BHS athletic director Melissa Warfield — the coach who was hired ahead of Burgin in 2001 — announced Wednesday that Burgin has been chosen to replace Chris Mischke, who resigned this spring after one season.

“I’ve been waiting for the stars to align for me to be able to apply again,” Burgin said. “It’s a good situation. It’s a place I really want to be.”

Burgin, 50, is the fifth new girls hoops coach at BHS in the last 30 months. And both he and Warfield are hoping he’s able to halt that trend of high turnover in the position.

Burgin was selected over a strong field of 28 applicants that sources said included finalist Tina Streff, an assistant at Southern Connecticut State University. A third finalist also had experience at the club and college levels.

“He seems very anxious to be in Boulder,” said Warfield, who led the BHS girls basketball team for two seasons. “I feel very good about it. I feel like I have a great coaching staff, and I feel like I’ve got two really good basketball coaches, and hopefully they’ll be able to help each other and build our basketball programs.”

Burgin spent last season as head coach at Standley Lake in Westminster, where he led the Gators to a 13-11 season that included an early loss to Boulder and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs.

Standley Lake marked his fifth coaching job since applying at BHS the first time. While he didn’t land the Boulder job then, things worked out well for Burgin, who had led both boys and girls teams in Texas.

Having applied for other jobs in addition to BHS, he landed the gig at ThunderRidge after Boulder had made its decision. There he coached the Emily and Abby Waner-led Grizzlies to the state semifinals his first year and a title in 2003, his second season.

He spent the next year as an assistant at CU, then one year as head coach at Smoky Hill and five at Arapahoe before taking the 2010-11 campaign off. He went 79-46 at Arapahoe, logging winning seasons his first four years.

At Boulder he takes over a program that went 9-16 last season and reached the second round of the state playoffs.

Burgin said he hopes to land a teaching job in the Boulder Valley School District at some point, but also plans to transplant his Rocky Mountain Basketball Academy club team for third through eighth graders to Boulder.

Burgin’s first order of business Wednesday was to meet the Panthers. He said he’ll start having open gyms next week.

A native of Texas, Burgin is the last of his four brothers to make it to town, following Dan, Bob and Hugh.

“What I was looking for was a place to stay,” Burgin said. “I’ve moved around enough. This is where I’ve wanted to be for quite awhile. I would love to retire from there. They need stability. They need good coaching. I think there’s a lot of potential there.”

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