Jack Burger named new boys’ tennis coach at SSHS
August 2, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Similar to many recent college graduates, Jack Burger didn't know what his next step was going to be. After completing his English degree from Colorado College in Colorado Springs this year, the 2011 Steamboat Springs High School graduate interned at Inspirato in Denver this summer, without any real vision of his future beyond that.
Moving home to Steamboat was certainly an option, but he didn't think it would come with a job that could potentially redefine his career goals. Regardless, that's what came his way when he accepted the role as the head boys' tennis coach at SSHS for the upcoming fall season, replacing Don Toy.
"It's always been in the back of my head that maybe I could come up here and coach. So it worked out," Burger said. "Definitely really excited. I've always thought being a coach would be fun. Definitely a little nervous, too. Not going to lie."
If Burger's first name doesn't ring a bell, his last name should. Burger is one of six children, all of which have made a name for himself or herself playing tennis in Steamboat. The oldest sibling, 24-year-old Brian, played collegiately at the University of Puget Sound. Jack's twin brother, Keegan, is currently playing at Rollins College in Florida.
Jack's two younger sisters are also twins, Tatum and Shae, with Tatum having won the Class 4A girls singles tennis championship this spring as a freshman at SSHS. The youngest of the children is Teague, one of the rising stars in Steamboat youth tennis. Teague will be a freshman at SSHS this fall and will play for his older brother on the Sailors' tennis team.
"He's got a little bit of a temper, so if we get his head in the game, I think, yeah, he can do really well this year," Jack Burger said of Teague. "I'm actually really excited for it. I think he is, too. I hope he gives me the respect. No, but it will be fun. He definitely has the potential to be pretty good."
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Jack Burger, who played tennis collegiately at Colorado College, was also a decorated high school athlete in Steamboat. He competed in tennis, cross country, Nordic skiing and track for the Sailors, and was a regional champion in tennis all four years, including a third place finish at state in doubles.
"One thing I can say about Jack, no matter what day it was, he came out and he was willing to work hard," said John Aragon, the current SSHS girls' tennis coach who coached the boys' team for 16 years, including when Jack Burger played. "I think Steamboat is lucky to get a talent like Jack coming back right out of college and taking over a program. You couldn't ask for a better young man — he's basically done it all."
Practice for the boys' tennis season gets underway Aug. 17. Outside of a few kids, Burger doesn't know most of the players and is still working on his plans for coaching them. He has experience coaching his younger siblings and has helped out at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs for numerous summers, but knows coaching a varsity high school team will take a lot more than he's used to.
"I just really want to make it fun," Burger said. "I had an amazing experience playing tennis here. Hopefully I can bring that same enthusiasm and passion I had back."
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