Like father, like son: St. Mary's hires Kyle Burkett as new girls basketball coach

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - There's a changing of the guard at St. Mary's High School: Kyle Burkett is replacing his father as head coach of the girls basketball team.

Legendary pirates coach Mike Burkett retired last week after 21 years as head coach. His son, Kyle, was his assistant for 15 years and was part of St. Mary's state championship runs in 2018 and 2019.

"It seemed like the natural transition," Kyle Burkett said, after chatting with his father about taking over as head coach. "Just having him with all the experience. the community at St. Mary's as well as the program that he built. It was a no-brainer for me to want to step into that role."

Mike Burkett was 419-99 in his career with the Pirates. He departs alonside a star-studded senior class. The 2019-2020 St. Mary's team was on the verge of a three peat, 24-1 and in the semifinals of the CHSAA state championships before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the remainder of the tournament.

Despite a new head coach and a younger roster heading into next season, Kyle Burkett is confident in the future of the program.

"It's about legacy, and what you can pass onto the girls beyond you. They did a fantastic job. We're going to miss them because they were one of the best girls programs in the state to ever come through. I know the work that they did and the relationships they made are gonna carry through to our younger girls as well."