Friday, November 10, 2023

Midway Coach Burchett Retires

 The Midway R-1 School District announces the retirement of legendary Hall of Fame Coach Larry Burchett from his role as the head varsity football coach, after 50 years of coaching high school athletics.

"By leaving now, I can watch my grandkids and spend time with my family. As you know, I have never missed practice for anything."
Coach Burchett began his career in 1975 as a teacher and assistant football coach at Cass Midway R-1, where he has coached and taught every year with the exception of one year at Owensville School District in 1979-80. In 1980, Coach Burchett returned to Midway as an assistant football coach and as the head boys basketball coach, a position he held through the 2009 school year. His success as a head basketball coach was unmatched in the area--with his teams amassing more than 400 wins during his tenure.
In 1983, Coach Burchett got his first taste as the Midway head football coach, then returned to assistant football coaching from 1984-1987. He was the head coach from 1988-1990, returned to assistant coach in 1991, then served as the Vikings head coach from 1992-2023.
Larry Burchett has had a role in all six of Midway's state championships. He won two as a player in 1969 and 1970 (and was a state runner-up in the state's first state championship game in 1968). He was the offensive coordinator in 1976, 1978, and 1982. As head coach, Burchett's team won its state championship in 1996. "Winning the one with Brett (Larry's son), was special." During his tenure as a coach, the Vikings also played in the semifinals in 1977, 1982, 1988, and 1992.
Coach Burchett mentioned that he had a great crew of assistants, many who were with him for twenty years. Brett Burchett, Larry's son, was a player on the 1996 team and was an assistant coach with the Vikings for twenty years. He now coaches basketball and football in Stockton, MO. Jim Riggs, Bryan Stahl, Chad Dean, and Jesse Richardson are also long serving assistant coaches.
Coach Burchett declined to pick out specific players or teams that were his favorites. He did state that different groups that came through were "fun groups and good players."
Besides the playoffs and state championships, Coach Burchett remembers a couple of games in particular. "We played the mud bowl with Adrian in the early 80s. We played on one end of the field out here because the other was too muddy to stand on. We won 2-0. The other game was what we called the 'Fog Bowl' where you couldn't see when you punted or passed the ball. Of course we didn't pass much back then."
When asked about the biggest changes in his career, Coach Burchett said, "Offenses have changed a lot. In the 1970s it was ground and pound with some play action. In the early 1980s we threw it when other people didn't. The 80s and 90s were still mainly on the ground. Around 2000, we started to spread out more on offense and by the 2010s we have become more of a spread team."
"I am proud of all we have accomplished and proud of being part of all of Midway's successes."
Plans are underway to honor Coach Burchett and his impact on the players and programs at Midway R-1. For now, we wish him and his family congratulations on a celebrated career!
Larry Burchett Career Coaching Highlights at Midway R-1
WEMO Conference Boys Basketball Championships--1986, 1987, 2001, 2005
District Boys Basketball Championships--1986, 1987, 1988, 1997
WEMO Conference Football Championships--1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1997, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
District Football Championships--1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016,
State Football Final Four--1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1997
State Football Coaching Championships--1976, 1978, 1982, 1996

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