The El Campo boys basketball team will have a new head coach this season. Former coach David Wicke left the Ricebirds for another coaching job out of the district after one season. In his place will be El Campo Transportation Director Chris Burrow who was looking to get back into teaching and coaching.
Burrow will be the varsity basketball head coach and coach on freshman football.
“Chris (Burrow) has got a lot of basketball knowledge,” Athletic Director Wayne Condra said. “He’s coached basketball. He’s officiated basketball and he knows our kids. He’s coached here in years past and has done an excellent job for us. He’s a good fit for what we’re looking for.”
This will be Burrow’s first varsity head coach job. However, he does have experience as a varsity basketball assistant.
Burrow may have been out of coaching the past couple of seasons in El Campo, but he’s always been close to the game. On the sidelines, for the home games, he keeps the gamebooks for the coaches so he does know Ricebird basketball fairly well.
“The record certainly does not show it from last year, but I think we have a good core of kids,” Burrow said. “The one thing I saw was when you’re 0-20 on the season, it’s real easy to throw in the towel and be done, but I never saw them quit on the floor. I think that’s a good start to build on. Now, do I think we’re going to be 20-0, no I don’t. But I do think we have a good core to build on and I think we have some good young talent coming up. It will take some time, but we’re going to get where we need to be.”
Boys basketball has been tough over the past few seasons. In the past two years, the Ricebirds have gone winless through district play. El Campo has only won three district games over the past three seasons. While boys basketball has an uphill climb, Burrow isn’t concerned.
“One of the philosophies I (have) is last year is done,” Burrow said. “This is a new season. We’re going to have new players on the floor and, of course, I’m going to be new. So everything is new, we’re going to move forward.”
Along with a new season, could be a new style of play for the Ricebirds. Burrow likes to run as a basketball team. However, he understands he might need to change his style to adapt to his players. Last year, the Ricebirds played a little slower, but it was hard to develop any consistency with roster changes.
Only one player earned first or second-team all-district recognition last season, incoming senior shooting guard Tanner Oldag.