Bernie Busken is tired and looking for some rest. Albeit perhaps temporary rest. That's the reason behind his late, sudden resignation Monday as Basha High's football coach.
Busken has stepped down after four seasons as head coach. Basha posted a 31-16 record in his tenure, the best year coming in 2012 when the Bears bowed in the Division I semifinals to eventual state champ Desert Vista. Busken's resignation was first reported by azcentral early Tuesday.
“He is worn out, I think,” Basha principal Ken James said. “He just had knee surgery and is rehabbing that. He's going to have shoulder surgery at some point. There are some other things he wants to do or spend time doing. He has family in Oklahoma and Texas and hasn't had the chance to see them much. Coaching in this district at this time, it's not easy. He was not forced out. This was his decision.”
James added that Busken has been one of the most scrutinized coaches since his hiring after a highly successful seven-year run at Mesa Mountain View. Busken's teams won three state titles in that span and were the center of some controversy the final three seasons.
“Bernie told me he was getting weary of always having to look over his shoulder because of something he said or this or that,” James said. “The bottom line is he is tired, and wants do do something different. Whether that's coaching somewhere else, I don't know. I don't think it will be at the high school leve if he does coach. I thanked him for the work he's put in, and told him we're at a better place than where we were when he came.”
James said Busken is likely not going to return as a teacher in the district when the spring semester ends. James said Basha will likely post the opening on Wednesday and shoot for naming a replacement by the start of spring football that opens in about six weeks if possible.