Girls basketball: Annawan coach Jason Burkiewicz to ‘recharge his batteries’

Will retire after 14 years, two state championships

ANNAWAN - Jason Burkiewicz guided the Annawan girls basketball team to the pinnacle of success, winning two state championships in three appearances.

In 14 years as head coach, Burkewicz went 341-92 (.788) with state championships in 2014 and 2017 and a third-place finish in 2013, along with nine regional and six sectional championships.

He coached his last game Tuesday when his Bravettes fell to Glasford Illini Bluffs 53-46 in the sectional semifinals.

Burkiewicz knew it was the right time to step down.

“I am calling it a varsity career at Annawan after 16 years with the program and 14 as head coach,” he said. “Being involved in big games with pressure to win every year has taken its toll on me and I am a tired coach.

“I look forward to spending more time with my family and doing other things I love. Maybe someday a return to the bench is possible. As for now, the batteries need a recharge.”

Burkiewicz and his wife, Kim, have two sons, Beckham, 11, and Greyson, 8.

The Annawan Bravettes won the Geneseo Thanksgiving Tournament, defeating Sterling, 45-43, for the championship. Team members are (front row, left to right)
Brynn Harker, Clara Bella VanOpdorp, Aleigha Witte and Paige Sierens; (back row) coach Jason Burkiewicz, Olivia Goodley, Ella Anderson, Zoey Vance, Kaylee Celus, Elaina Manuel and coach Caitlyn DeMay.

This year’s Annawan squad won Burkiewicz’s ninth regional championship and was a good group to go out with.

“This was a special group of seniors that all played varsity as freshman and learned together at that level. I truly enjoyed the time I was able to work with them,” Burkiewicz said.

Burkiewicz, who is a 1999 graduate of Hall High School and a member of the Red Devils state runner-up team in 1997-98, said it was a highly rewarding time as the Bravettes coach.

“I’ll never forget the players commitment toward our program year in and year out having put us on a run of successful seasons that will be hard for any program to duplicate,” he said. “I can not thank Annawan enough for the opportunity to run their program. The community has been unbelievable with their support. I have not had a single parent issue in over 10 years which is very unique in today’s age. For that I am also thankful.”

Former Bureau Valley head volleyball coach Caitlyn DeMay was the Annawan F/S coach this year.