Burch court dedicated
Clarence “Dutch” Burch spent more than three decades at Lycoming College turning boys into men. As head coach of the men’s basketball team from 1962-1994, Burch left an everlasting finger print on the Warriors’ program that is as prominent today as it has ever been.
Burch, who passed away in September of 2012, led Lycoming to 11 playoff appearances and accumulated a school-record 318 wins during his 32-year tenure. He also helped bring three Middle Atlantic Conference championships to the school. In 1984, he was named MAC Coach of the Year.
Known as a man who could make players reach their full potential, Burch saw 17 of his members of his team named as first-team all-conference picks, with two of those crowned as league MVP. He also helped mold 11 different 1,000-point scorers.
During the 1980s, when he was athletic director at Lycoming, Burch helped bring the Lamade Gymnasium to Lycoming, whose 2,500 seats made it a vast improvement over the school’s much tinier Hilltop Gymnasium.
On Saturday, at Lycoming’s 16th-annual Dutch Burch Tip-Off Tournament, the school paid tribute Burch by naming the basketball court that he helped bring to Lycoming in his honor.
“Dutch Burch exemplified sports at its best,” Lycoming President Kent Trachte said during the dedication ceremony. “He wasn’t just a coach, he was an educator and his classroom was the basketball court. He prepared young men for life.”
As a coach, Burch enjoyed the privilege of having two of his sons, Sam (1982-1986) and Seth (1985-1989), play under him.
“We’re only doing this because he is not here,” Sam Burch said during his speech Saturday. “Because nothing that he ever did was about him, it was all about the team.”
Seth Burch said that seeing the court named after his father was a special thrill for him, because Lycoming College has been a part of his life since he was born. He also said that it was nice to have the school recognize his fathers achievements, because Dutch never acknowledged them himself.
“He never talked about his accomplishments,” he said. “It’s just nice that the school is recognizing the things that he has done.”