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Bulldogs waiting for coach

Jeff Tully

The Burbank High boys’ basketball team was in place Monday as it

opened summer league play against L.A. Marshall at Glendale High.

The Bulldogs were raring to go, and itching to get back on the


court after a disappointing 2002-2003 season.

However, no amount of enthusiasm could mask something the Bulldogs

were missing -- a permanent coach.

Since January, when Coach David Goosen was fired, Burbank has been


without a permanent mentor.

“I really don’t care who the next coach is, I just hope he sticks

around more than a year or so,” Burbank player Narbeh Awanessi said.

Since Goosen was cut loose, Bob Kinzel has graciously coached the

team and tried to keep the players together and the program going.

Kinzel said candidates for the vacant coaching position were

interviewed last week, and many expected a decision by now.

“From what I understand, there were some pretty good people who


interviewed for the position,” Kinzel said. “We were all expecting a

coach to have been named already so he could be with the team for

summer league.

“It’s important for a coach to be in place for the summer league.

We only have six weeks to work with the team and that time is very


For many of the Bulldog players, they were also hoping to have

their coach in place by now. However, even with no decision made as


of Tuesday, Kinzel said the athletes have had a remarkable upbeat

attitude about their situation.

“This is a very good group of guys,” he said. “We are a young

team, with a lot of upcoming juniors and sophomores. There are only a

few guys around from the varsity team last season.

“But these guys just want to play basketball, and they work very,

very hard. I am really impressed with the way they have handled


Player Eddie Boada said he can understand the delay in finding a


“I think the time has a lot to do with the budget cuts the school

is going through,” he said. “I think that is delaying the final

decision because they have to find the right person.”

There have been a few names bantered about concerning who is going

to be named the next coach. The person who seems to be mentioned the

most is Luke Brower. Brower is a Burbank graduate who was a freshman

coach last season.

“I had a few people contact me [Monday] and they said that Luke

Brower is going to be our next coach,” Greg Olmos said.

“I think he would be a great coach for us. I have been coached by

his brother Jake and I think Luke’s style is a lot like his.

“Some other things that are good about Luke is that he is from

Burbank, he knows people in the city and he is young.”

Kinzel admitted he has heard a few names linked to the new

position, but he can’t confirm anything.

“I tell the kids everything that I know, and I really don’t get

told all that much,” he said.

The Burbank School Board’s decision to fire Goosen six months ago

ended almost a month-long investigation about rules violations

concerning the coach and the Burbank program.

Goosen was initially put on administrative leave from coaching

duties because of allegations surrounding incidents that occurred

during a trip to the Las Vegas Prep Championship tournament Dec. 26

to 30.

One of the incidents took place in a tourney game Dec. 26, in

which Goosen received two technical fouls and was ejected from the

game. Under CIF Southern Section rules, Goosen was required to sit

out the Bulldogs’ next game, which he didn’t.

Goosen also failed to inform the Burbank athletic director of the


The coach said he was unaware of the rule that required him to sit

out the game.

The district also investigated an incident involving a Burbank

player. On the trip home from Las Vegas to Burbank, Goosen said he

allowed a Bulldog senior to drive a school van part of the way.

The coach said he allowed the player to drive the van after he

fell ill on the trip.

On Goosen’s watch, the district also received information about

the Bulldogs using an ineligible player for their first six games --

five of which were wins.

It was discovered that senior point guard Kevin Greene falsified

enrollment documents that had been submitted to the school during


The result was that an ineligible player participated in six boys’

varsity basketball contests between Dec 4 and 13.

Greene transferred to Burbank from Venice, where he played under

Goosen two seasons ago.

Some coaches with an association with the Venice program said

Greene was a senior on the Gondoliers’ boys’ team two seasons ago.

They claim Greene had already used up his high school eligibility.

Goosen insists Greene was a sophomore two years ago.

Because of Goosen not sitting out the required game, along with

using an illegal player, Burbank was forced to forfeit seven


The Bulldogs finished the season winless in the Foothill League

(0-10) and had a 0-23 overall record.