Greg Hitchens has found a newfound passion for education. So the Burris boys basketball coach has elected to resign his position to pursue the endeavor more seriously.
Hitchens said he recently informed Burris administrators of his decision, and that he will use his extra time to work on obtaining a Master’s degree in education. He hopes to remain in coaching, but also become a teacher. He went 25-20 in his two years leading the Owls. His 2011-12 team advanced to the Class 2A Lapel Sectional championship game.
He said he is hoping to become an assistant coach while he completes his education, but he elected to step away from the time demands of a head coaching position while he works on the Master’s degree and prepares himself to possibly work at a school where he coaches full-time. Despite that desire, he said it was difficult to resign his current position.
“I graduated from there; having a meeting last week with the players was tough,” Hitchens said. “And those guys going into competition, working hard and you’re doing everything you can to win games. It was tough, especially telling the players last week.”
As he coached Burris, Hitchens said he was familiar with his players from having coached some of them previously at the AAU level. While he said those bonds helped, he came to realize he wanted to be in a school building, teaching his players on a daily basis instead of only seeing them at team activities.
“I had a good grasp of that,” he said. “But I think where I need to be, I need to get that Master’s of education, and be able to be in the building and know what those kids are doing all the time.”
Hitchens is a business owner, and said being self-employed gave him some flexibility as he pursued coaching. Yet he said he’s found a different calling as he moves to make a career change. He recently attended a ceremony that only strengthened his conviction.
“A lot of the people that were there were teachers and coaches and things like that,” he said. “And just seeing those people, and their long-term goals. I’m thinking, maybe for the next 20-25 years I could do that. And help kids, and develop those kids.”