December 23rd, 2012


Kay Whelan

Staff Writer

Andrea Burns with a group of her athletes

Burns made decision early to contribute as a coach

The following feature is a part of a weekly series, sponsored by Hyland, Block & Hyland. "Hyland's Heroes" is a series of profiles that spotlight Louisville area Catholic volunteers, coaches and administrators who assist athletic programs and teams, and help promote excellence in all aspects of sports. Know someone that you think should be featured as the next "Hyland's Hero”? Send your recommendation to

For several years Andrea Burns has helped coach basketball at her home parish, St. Michael. Having attended Sacred Heart Academy she determined after her freshman year of high school that she might prefer to coach. Having grown up participating in volleyball and basketball, she took a different route to enjoying sports. Now attending Bellarmine University, this has enabled her to continue doing something she clearly enjoys – working with young girls and helping them develop into women of tomorrow.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I began playing sports through the CSAA at St. Michael in third grade. I played basketball, soccer and volleyball. I only played soccer in third grade, and I played volleyball until fifth grade. I stuck with basketball until eighth grade. Then, I played my freshman year at Sacred Heart. After that year, I did not play in high school anymore and decided that I wanted to coach at my grade school, St. Michael.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved?

When I could no longer play in high school, I decided that I wanted to coach younger girls and help them to not only be the best athlete, but the best person they could be. 

What sports did you coach and for how long?

I have coached basketball for five years. I began when I was a sophomore in high school, took one year off from coaching while in high school, and am now a junior in college at Bellarmine University.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to these young student athletes? 

It’s really important to me to give back to the church that has helped develop my moral and values. I want to pass these values on to these young student athletes and teach them the importance of trusting in their faith as they mature throughout the years of their life.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

My dad is the most influential person in my coaching career. He began coaching me in basketball when I was in fifth grade and continued to coach me until eighth grade. Then, when I began coaching in high school, he became my assistant coach because I was not old enough to coach alone yet.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach?  

As a coach, not only do I try to make each player grow in their strengths to become a better basketball player, but I also try to help the girls to grow as individuals. Just the other day in practice we were practicing free throws and I was telling them that in order to be successful, you have to see yourself succeeding. I told them that this goes for everything they do in life. If they see themselves being successful, it is more than likely that they will succeed. 

Also, I try to teach the importance of helping others. Every year I try to incorporate an outreach project with the team. For the past two years we have taken an angel from our church angel tree and bought Christmas presents for that child as a team. The girls really enjoy giving to the less fortunate.  I also think that in order for the team to work together, they must bond and get to know each other outside of basketball. I try to take the girls to other team’s games from St. Michael, as well as high school games, and even the women’s UK vs. UofL game which we attended this year. Having team bonding outside of practice and games seems to bring the girls together to form a strong bond and helps them to communicate better on the court.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?

I coach because it is something that I enjoy doing. I enjoy helping young girls grow to be the best that they can be on and off of the court. It has also brought me many learning experiences for my future career of being an elementary school teacher. Lastly, I learn many things from the girls themselves. One important thing they have shown me is compassion through the way they care for and talk to one another.

What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching? 

One of my favorite memories I have of coaching was from my season last year. We had a rough start to the season and ended with a record of three wins and four losses before the tournament. During this time, we went and supported several of St. Michael’s other basketball teams. This seemed to really bring the girls together as a team for the tournament. We ended up winning it all to make us the 2012 CSAA 5th/6th Girls’ B Team Champions. While winning the championship was a great achievement for the team, school and me as a coach, this was not why it was one of my favorite memories. For me, it was knowing how hard the girls had practiced to get to where they were, how close they had become as a team, and how happy they were to have succeeded their goal.



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