COLUMBIA — Hickman boys basketball coach John Burns has resigned to take another coaching job in Arizona.
Burns will be the new head coach at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Ariz. He plans to finish out the school year at Hickman before moving in June.
Burns, who coached the Kewpies for only one season, told his players Tuesday that he will no longer be coaching.
"It was tough. I don't think it's easy on either one of us. We've had a great year and built good relationships. It's a bittersweet deal," he said.
Burns has roots in Arizona. He lived there from 2001 to 2004 and his parents have a home there that they stay at a few months out of the year. He said taking a job there was both a personal and professional decision.
"It's an offer I couldn't refuse," Burns said. "Hickman's the best job I can have in the state of Missouri for me, but this opportunity is a really good school and program."
His best memory of the year was the team camaraderie in the second semester. Hickman, which finished the season at 17-9, won several games in a row and won a tournament in St. Louis.
"It all came together when they realized how good they could become," he said. "The whole team had a pretty solid bond."
Burns said the support he's received from Columbia has been tremendous.
"Timing's never good. I didn't expect to be here one year. Hickman's been great to me, and I'm going to miss it. I'm very appreciative of the support I've got from the community," he said.
Hickman athletic director Doug Mirts said he hopes to have a new coach named no later than May 17.