IBE names field after Burcham

Published 2:48 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mike Burcham’s name has been synonymous with baseball at Ironton High School. Now it’s synonymous with the baseball field.

Tuesday night the Ironton City School Board made the two the same as they named the new high school baseball field after Burcham in a 5-0 vote.

Burcham was the head coach at Ironton from 1967 to 1984 and recorded a 319-123 record. He coached Ironton to its only baseball state championship in 1972 and was later named to the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

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“The board wanted to name the field after Mr. Burcham because we appreciate everything he’s done for Ironton sports,” said Ironton superintendent Dean Nance.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for quite some time. We wanted to complete the facility and it’s close to being completed, so we decided to do it now.”

As usual, Burcham took the honor in stride and praised the players and coaches involved.

“If you stay around long enough you have things like that happen. We’ve had a lot of good players and a lot of good assistant coaches,” said Burcham.

Burcham’s varsity assistants during his 18-year tenure were the late Lou Parker and his successor, Pat Sheridan.

“Pat could have been the head coach in football or baseball. Pat is a heck of a coach,” said Burcham. “Lou was a helluva coach. He knew his stuff.

“It makes it a lot easier to win the state with Jeff Collins and Jerry Murnahan pitching and a team that hits about .380. Good players always make you a better coach and I was always blessed with some good players.”

Burcham was an outstanding player at Ironton and the University of Rio Grande. The former Rio Grande catcher still holds the school’s career home run record and is a member of the Rio Grande Athletic Hall of Fame.

Burcham has served as an assistant football coach at Ironton for more than 40 years and he was athetlic director for 30 years.

He is a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Directors’ Hall of Fame.