John Burke, a 1984 graduate of Saint Viator High School, has won many state and local awards for the girls’ soccer team he coaches at Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, Wisc. Last month, he earned a national award from MaxPreps, described as “America’s source for high school sports.”
Burke was recognized as the girls’ soccer “Coach of the Decade.” At the start of 2020, MaxPreps looked back at the most impressive statistics across the country for individual athletes, teams and coaches. Burke one of 25 coaches selected for the honor, or one for each sport in girls and boys athletics.
His statistics demonstrate why. From 2010 through 2019, Burke’s teams earned eight state championships – and 14 overall, which is a state best — 10 All American team awards with the National Soccer Coaches’ Association, and an average GPA of over 4.0 for varsity players during the decade.
In reflecting on the people and coaches who mentored him during his own teenage years, Burke credited Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, with having the largest influence on him. Fr. Hall formerly taught and coached at Saint Viator and now serves as Provincial. He was a religious brother back in the early 1980s when he coached Burke in wrestling.
“Br. Hall had the largest influence on me and helped me to grow to become more focused on the team than myself,” Burke says. “I always remember being in awe of his composure, strength and wisdom.
“I remember his kind, firm words after I lost a heartbreaking match for the 132-pound conference title,” he adds, “and I have always tried to match his wisdom when I coach players through difficult times.”