BURROUGHS HIGH — There has been a string of longtime coaches who have departed their respective local high school programs the last two months.
Burroughs High boys’ soccer Coach Mike Kodama stepped down at the conclusion of the season a month and a half ago after leading the Indians program for 22 years.
Just two weeks ago, Bellarmine-Jefferson boys’ Coach Eli Essa parted ways with the school after 14 years on the job.
Art Sullivan is the latest coach who has stepped down, as he resigned from the Burroughs boys’ basketball program April 9, said Jay Gudzin, the school’s vice principal of activities and athletics.
Calls and e-mails to Sullivan were not returned.
Sullivan departs after guiding the Indians for 19 years, as he took over the job in 1991 from Ira Sollod, whose teams won league titles in 1989 and 1990.
Along with being perennial CIF Southern Section playoff participants, Sullivan’s teams won Foothill League championships in 1999 and 2000.
In addition, Sullivan helped develop players who went on to play for NCAA Division I programs.
Gudzin wouldn’t elaborate on the circumstances surrounding Sullivan’s departure. Instead, the vice principal chose to read from the coach’s resignation letter, stating Sullivan’s decision was based on “personal reasons.”
“That’s about all I can say,” Gudzin said.
Gudzin, however, did say that despite leaving the Indians’ basketball program, Sullivan will remain a teacher at the school.
“This only affects him coaching the basketball program,” Gudzin said. “He is still a teacher and he will be teaching his five periods of science.”
Burroughs Principal Emilio Urioste said Sullivan was an asset to the athletic department.
“He helped provide us with consistency,” he said. “We are grateful for his service over the years.”
The Indians enjoyed success under Sullivan the last three seasons since joining the Pacific League from the Foothill League. His teams went 48-37 during that span, finished tied for second twice, third once and qualified for the postseason all three seasons.
The last time Burroughs didn’t quality for the playoffs was during the 2004-05 season, when it finished fifth in the Foothill League.
The Indians also enjoyed recent playoff success. Burroughs advanced to the second round of last season’s IIAA playoffs
In 2008, Burroughs played its best during the playoffs, disposing of Buena Park, 72-68, Diamond Ranch, 74-61, and Temecula Valley, 85-73, to advance to the Division IIAA quarterfinals. In the round of eight, the Indians were defeated by Murrieta Valley, 64-54.
Burroughs also advanced to the Division IIA quarterfinals in 2003, losing to Mayfair, 77-61.
Sullivan’s teams won two Foothill League titles with the help of standout players Keith Jarbo and Tyler Newton. Jarbo went on to play for Pepperdine University and Newton starred at the University of the Pacific.