Lycoming to name court after Dutch Burch

Lycoming College announced Tuesday it is naming its basketball court at Lamade Gym after former coach Clarence “Dutch” Burch.

The court will be named Dutch Burch Court at Lamade Gymnasium and officially debut before the final game of the newly-minted Dutch Burch Tip-Off during a ceremony before the Lycoming game scheduled for 3:30 on Nov. 16.

Burch, who died one year ago this month, won 318 games in a career from 1962-1994. He was also athletic director during the construction of Lamade Gym in 1980, which helped replace the cramped Hilltop Gym with a 2,500-seat gymnasium.

“There is no doubt that Dutch Burch had a major impact on the face of the athletic department during his time at the college,” said Lycoming athletic director Mike Clark. “I actually played junior varsity basketball for a season, so I know how greatly he impacted his players. He was a genuinely caring individual who truly embodied everything that is great about small-college athletics.”

Burch led Lycoming to its first Middle Atlantic Conference regular-season championship in 1965-66, just three years after a 5-15 season in his first year, 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 routinely faced 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. 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 also served as Lycoming’s baseball coach from 1962-72 and the director of athletics from 1976-84, overseeing the addition of women’s basketball, women’s swimming, and men’s and women’s cross country. He also helped incorporate Lycoming’s women’s athletics program into the NCAA during the 1982-83 season. He served on numerous basketball committees, including the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee for six years.