The sports landscape will appear significantly different at Indian Creek High School during the 2017-18 school year.
Football coach Mike Gillin, boys basketball coach Derek Perry and girls basketball coach Dan Burkman, who collectively represented 30 years of coaching Braves teams, all resigned their posts over the past five months.
Perry moves into the role of athletics director after Justin Ray departed earlier this spring to become supervisor of grounds, custodians and facilities at Whiteland.
Gillin became the head football coach at Mooresville High School, while Burkman, who coached the girls basketball program to three of its six sectional titles, felt eight years was enough.
“It’s a big change,” Perry said. “But I look at it as a positive situation to really work together and set the bar high. I’m learning stuff on the run right now, but I’ve got great people around me.”
Former Whiteland athletics director Butch Zike, who served the same role on an interim basis at Indian Creek from May 1 through the end of the school year, said it’s happenstance the leaders of the school’s primary revenue-generating sports have departed.
Zike feels Burkman’s exit was the only one of the three that was unexpected.
Gillin resides in Mooresville. His wife, Michelle, continues to endure the affects of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in May 2014. The couple’s daughter, Elizabeth, begins her junior year at Mooresville High School this summer.
Perry, a 1997 Indian Creek graduate, had to give up coaching in order to become the AD at his alma mater.
“I think that stuff goes in cycles,” Zike said. “If you look at coaching longevity, it’s one of those things that turns over. But right now I think this is coincidence and that Indian Creek is handling it very well.
“It’s nothing that raises a red flag.”
Katie Burkman, the youngest of the Dan Burkman’s four daughters, was the team’s second-leading scorer this past season after averaging 11.8 points per game. The 5-foot-11 sophomore led the Braves in rebounds (6.6), 3-point baskets (62) and blocks (1.7).
Coach Burkman said he doesn’t believe Katie will want to transfer to another school.
“I just got tired of certain parents. And Katie being there had a lot to do with me stepping down,” Dan Burkman said. “I didn’t want to put her through two more years of it because, inevitably, it’s going to involve her.”
Overall, there will be no less than four new head coaches for next year. Over the winter, Brett Cooper was tabbed to replace Gillin as the head football coach and Jeff Fishburn was hired as the Braves’ new volleyball coach, replacing Kristi Gubert.