Tom Burns ’83 Named Xaverian’s Boys Varsity Basketball Coach!
Last month, when longtime Xaverian basketball coach, Jack Alesi, announced his retirement, it marked only the second time in the last 37 years that the position was open. The vacancy was short lived, however, as the school has named Xaverian alum, Tom Burns ’83, its head coach for boys Varsity basketball.
"We are incredibly fortunate that what could have been a difficult decision was anything but,” said Xaverian President Bob Alesi '78. "Tommy 's dedication and commitment to not only the athletes playing basketball but each and every student in the building are the most fundamental reasons that Xaverian's program has always been so successful. This is a natural and seamless transition."
Burns, one of the founders of the Fastbreak Basketball center in Staten Island, played his college ball at Quinnipiac. A fixture at Xaverian for almost four decades, Burns is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame and has served as teacher, Guidance Counselor, Dean of Students, Alumni Coordinator, and Director of its immensely successful summer basketball camp which, under his leadership, annually mentors more than 600 girls and boys. As a coach for the Clippers, he has led the Freshman and JV teams, winning a city title in 1996, and assisting Coach Alesi in some capacity for the past 21 years.
"Tommy is one of the finest teachers of basketball and most loyal people I've ever been around," said Alesi. "Yet, he is someone who always meets the truth head on. He will coach his kids, and he will never shy away from making the tough decisions. Winning at the high school level is about relationships, and there can be no better role model for these kids than Tommy.”
Taking the reins of any program in the CHSAA is a daunting enough task. To lead the defending CHSAA City Champions into action might even be seen as intimidating. For Burns, though, his approach remains the same no matter the team's spot in the standings.
"Working with our students has always been its own reward," said Burns. "I was lucky enough to have great coaches like Lou Piccola and Jack Alesi when I was a student at Xaverian; men who taught me a lot more than just basketball. I want our kids to have that same experience. To have the opportunity to continue that legacy is a tremendous honor for me."