Justin Burke, who guided Dodge City High School to a turnaround in football but resigned his post, has accepted the head-coaching job at Chaparral in Anthony.

    Burke, who coached the Red Demons from 2005-2009, posted a 26-22 record. This past season, the Red Demons posted an 8-3 record, capturing their first 6A state playoff victory since the 1994 season with a first-round home win over Topeka High.


Justin Burke, who guided Dodge City High School to a turnaround in football but resigned his post, has accepted the head-coaching job at Chaparral in Anthony.
    Burke, who coached the Red Demons from 2005-2009, posted a 26-22 record. This past season, the Red Demons posted an 8-3 record, capturing their first 6A state playoff victory since the 1994 season with a first-round home win over Topeka High.
    “I’m really excited about it,” Burke said. “I have an opportunity to turn their program around, and it reminds me a lot of the Dodge City job (before he arrived at DCHS for the 2005 season).
    “They have not been successful for a number of years. I’m real excited about the administration there at Chaparral and the opportunity. It’s part of the journey.”
    In early February, Burke unceremoniously resigned his coaching position at DCHS after it was learned that he violated KSHSAA regulations by conducting a football practice during one of his physical education classes where he was an instructor.
    Burke said he was forthright with Chaparral about his departure during his interview.
    “One of the first things I actually did was brought up what actually happened,” Burke said. “The fact that we were playing football in my strength and conditioning class, which I considered my P.E. class.
    “I was teaching a game and I honestly thought that we were in the rules. I was very  up-front (to Chaparral’s administration).”
    Chaparral, which competes in the Central Prairie League, has not won more than two games in any season the past six years, competing at the 4A level. Chaparral drops down to 3A this fall.
    “We inherited a 22-game losing streak in the WAC,” Burke said of inheriting the Dodge City rebuilding job. “ ... almost six years.
    “Certainly, one of the worst Class 6A teams in the state in 2004.”
    Indeed, the Red Demons had some memorable times during Burke’s tenure.
    “The kids, I’m certainly going to miss the most,” Burke said. “Winning the Hatchet Game for the first time in 14 years (in 2009 over arch-rival Garden City), beating Liberal for the first time in a dozen years and going and winning in the playoffs for the first time since forever.
    “I have some great memories. Coming in and immediately becoming competitive ... week-in and week-out, we were in ballgames and I think that’s something where the kids here were ready to step up and play hard and we did it every Friday night.”