Canal Winchester Athletics Director Kent Riggs has hired Gary Burke to replace Adam Twiss as the girls basketball coach.

Canal Winchester Athletics Director Kent Riggs hired Gary Burke to replace Adam Twiss as the girls basketball coach. Burke coached girls basketball at Fairfield Union for 18 seasons and spent last season as the coach of the Bloom-Carroll eighth-grade team. While coaching Fairfield Union, Burke led the Falcons to more than 200 wins, eight league titles and one state tournament appearance.

"Gary's got a good track record," Riggs said. "We just felt like he gave us good experience with a winning background. And he also proved to us that he was still very excited to coach."

Twiss coached Canal Winchester for 13 seasons. He resigned on March 24 to spend more time with his family.

Last year, the Indians finished 11-11 overall and 5-9 in the MSL-Buckeye Division.

"I see this as a challenge," Burke said. "I would like to build a program at Canal Winchester, just like I did at Fairfield Union."

After spending last season at Bloom-Carroll, Burke assured Riggs that he is at Canal Winchester for the long haul.

"I just like the competition," Burke said. "I coached junior high last year, and my ego isn't big enough that I feel like I have to be the head coach but I enjoy it, and I feel I still have something to offer the kids."

Burke will help build the program through the middle school and down to the grade-school level. He is committed to establishing a winning program based on discipline, hard work and good sportsmanship, the same principles which helped him succeed at Fairfield Union.

Canal Winchester and Fairfield Union are in the same league, but Burke said that won't be awkward. He anticipates playing his old team twice a season.

"When we play Fairfield Union it won't be different," Burke said. "I'll do my best to beat them and when the game is over we'll all shake hands."

Burke met with the returning players last Friday after school. His message to the girls was that the Indians will become winners and continue to build off the foundation Twiss helped lay.

"They understand that I'm going to be firm, I'll be fair and I'll be friendly," Burke said. "My goal is you have to work hard for whatever it is you're trying to get. You can't stand around and just wish for it to happen."