Longtime Lycoming College men's basketball coach Clarence "Dutch" Burch passed away on Saturday morning at the age of 80.
Burch coached Lycoming's men's basketball team for 32 seasons from 1962-94, amassing a school-record 318 wins during his time on the sidelines.
Burch arrived at Lycoming in 1962 and guided the Warriors to a 5-15 record his first season. He never expected to be at the school 31 years later.
"When I first got here, my goal was to stay five years," he said at the time of his retirement. "The place turned out to be so great, the school and the community, that we decided to stay and that this would be home."
Burch led Lycoming to its first Middle Atlantic Conference regular-season championship in 1965-66, just three years after that 5-15 season and he added two more titles in 1983-84 and 1984-85. Lycoming made 11 appearances in the postseason during Burch's tenure.
Lycoming enjoyed one of its finest seasons in 1984-85, compiling a then-school record 19 wins en route to a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Warriors lost in the first round of the tournament, 54-52, to a Widener team that reached the final four. Burch's Warriors never backed down from a challenge during his tenure, routinely facing Division I programs such as Bucknell, Lehigh, Navy and Army.
Among the highlights of Burch's career was having the opportunity to coach two of his three sons, Sam and Seth, in college. Sam (1982-86) and Seth (1985-89), both guards, helped Lycoming to a 92-75 record and three MAC playoff appearances during their playing careers. His daughter, Sue, also attended Lycoming and was a member of the women's tennis team.
Burch, who was MAC Coach of the Year in 1983-84, coached 17 first-team all-conference picks and two league most valuable players during his career. He also coached 11 of the program's 25 1,000-point scorers, including the all-time leading scorer, Rich Henninger, who posted 2,184 points in his four-year career from 1970-74. He also coached five of the program's top 10 all-time leading rebounders.
Known as one of the true gentlemen of college basketball, Burch guided the Warriors to four Sam Schoenfeld Sportsmanship Awards, given annually by the Collegiate Basketball Officials Association.
In addition to coaching basketball, Burch served as athletic director at Lycoming from 1976-83. He also served on numerous basketball committees, including the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee for six years.