Winchester to name veteran Bill Burns as boys hockey coach
Jim Clark Tuesday, June 14, 2016
It's not every day that a school can fill a coaching position with a member of his sport's Hall of Fame.
But Winchester will do just that, hiring Bill Burns as the program's third boys hockey coach in three seasons. Burns will replace Bob Lavin, who left the Sachems after one season to take over the boys hockey program at Worcester Academy.
Burns most recently spent 17 seasons as the boys hockey coach at Pentucket before stepping down in September 2014. A veteran of more than three decades of coaching overall, Burns was inducted into the Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Association's Hall of Fame on May 1, but hinted following his departure from Pentucket that he might be interested in coaching again at some point.
Before coaching at Pentucket, Burns spent six seasons as the head coach at Suffolk University. He also coached four seasons at Rockport from 1985-88. All told, Burns has more than 200 career coaching victories.
Lavin took over the program from former Sachems star Matt Spang and last season led Winchester to a 16-6-1 overall record and the Middlesex League's Liberty Division title. Winchester was in the running for a Super Eight berth but ultimately bypassed, and the Sachems reached the Division 1 North quarterfinals before falling to Arlington Catholic.
Oddly enough, Pentucket also is looking for a new boys hockey coach. Jarrett Scarpaci, who was hired as Burns' replacement before the 2014-15 season, has moved on to become the boys hockey coach at Bedford.
Scarpaci led the Sachems for two seasons, with an 8-11-2 finish in 2015-16, just missing what would have been the program's first tournament berth since 2003-04. The former Herald All-Scholastic from Billerica replaces Peter Dion at Bedford. Dion stepped down after three seasons at the helm of the Buccaneers, which included a trip to the Division 3 North final in 2014-15. Bedford was 2-17-1 this past season.
Coach Burns is a no nonsense 'throw back' coach. he expects his players to tow the line and will come down hard if they step out of line. some think he is too 'old school' in his game approach.
BUT really does care about the players. if you needed equipment and could not afford it he would pay for it.