ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY DON RATZLAFF
by Don Ratzlaff
The Free Press
With only 31/2 weeks before the first official practice of the season, the Hillsboro High School volleyball team found itself without a head coach.
Collette Burton, who has guided the Trojans for the past four seasons, announced her resignation to her team during volleyball camp last Wednesday.
Burton, a sixth-grade teacher at Hillsboro Middle School, has accepted a position to teach third grade in the Argonia system.
She said Friday that she also may accept the position of head coach of the high school girls’ basketball team there.
“I feel this move is best for my future family since I will be married in the near future,” Burton said. “My fiancee really tried to find a job around here and wasn’t able to find anything, so I think this is best for my future.”
During her time in Hillsboro, Burton also was an assistant coach for middle school girls’ basketball and high school track.
As head volleyball coach, her teams compiled a 76-47 record. Her 2001 squad qualified for state, which she said was the highlight of her coaching career.
“But I’ve really just gained more knowledge the past four years of coaching, and I’ve developed into a better coach, I believe,” Burton said.
“Working with the girls was a lot of fun, just watching them grow up and develop their skills.”
At this late date, certified staff will be given the first opportunity to fill the coaching opening. If someone does not step forward, the search will broaden.
Burton said she doesn’t think her resignation will have a negative effect on this year’s squad.”
“I believe they’ll be fine,” she said. “I have a good group of girls there, and the seniors I think will really lead the team this year. We struggled a little last year, but I think they’re focused on this year and are ready to go.
“I have two assistants, Tina King and Kara Chisholm, who are very knowledgeable in volleyball,” she added, “and I know they’ll do a great job for the program.”
Burton said she’s grateful for her four years in Hillsboro.
“It’s been a wonderful experience that has helped me grow professionally and gain many new friends,” she said.
“I want to thank the community and staff and students for all their support the past four years.
“I will really miss this wonderful community.”