Bob Burt resigned Sunday as head coach of the Wilson High School football team after one season on the job.
Nick Christos, the Wildcats’ assistant head coach in charge of the offensive line, was immediately named as Burt’s replacement.
The Wildcats went 1-9 last season, winning only their final game of the season against Baldwin Park.
“What the administration asked me to do was get the thing straightened away from the standpoint of just attitude and discipline and guys getting in fights on the field and getting thrown out of the games and unsportsmanlike conduct (penalties),” Burt said. “We accomplished that. When they hired me, they had a full-time PE position and they said if you come in and do this you can bring in whoever you want to take over whenever you decide to step down.
“Nick is ready. I had him in on every administrative decision and all those things. It’s a very smooth transition. He’s a good football coach.”
Burt replaced former head coach Brian Zavala, who resigned last January amid allegations of recruiting violations and the school district hiring a private investigator to investigate his conduct. The investigation turned up no wrongdoing, Hacienda-La Puente Unified Asst. Superintendent in charge of Human Resources Rob Roberts said last January.
Burt, who was 69 when hired last March, said the team’s on-field struggles had nothing to do with his decision and has not ruled a return to coaching in some capacity this season. Burt, who is retired from teaching, lives in Hemet and made the nearly two-hour trek to Hacienda Heights daily.
“One-and-9 had absolutely nothing to do with it,” Burt said. “Anybody who knows me, knows 1-9 would make me want to come back. I’ve never had a season like that in my life. It’s not about 1-9. If that was the only thing it was about, I would still be there.
“I think I’m leaving it (the program) in good hands and good shape.”
Aram’s take: First of many … stay tuned. Anyway, I guess Burt’s one and only season in The Heights is left to the eye of the beholder. If you want to look at the fact that Wilson put a cleaner product with no ineligible players on the field this season, then you’ll call it a success. If you want to look at wins and losses, then you’ll call it a disappointment. At any rate, I don’t know how anybody looks at Wilson’s football program going forward and gets excited. I just don’t get the sense that football is a big priority to the school’s administration. Couldn’t they have put whatever supposed fire was still burning from Zavala Era out and hired a long-term coach all at the same time? Was it really necessary to turn to a guy like Burt, who is VERY RESPECTED in the coaching community, for one season? … one throwaway season. It really shouldn’t be that hard to have what the administration feels is a trustworthy coaching staff and a competitive team at the same time. It’s only difficult if you make it that way. The Wilson admin makes it that way. But the test scores are probably pretty good and the attendance numbers are solid, so you’re doing job right, right? It’s a damn shame that Kathie Wiard can’t be the principal at just about every school in the Valley.
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