Bryan Burdette looks forward to another role in Maranatha athletics after being named AD
As the head football coach and assistant baseball coach, few know the ins and outs of Maranatha Christian Academy athletics quite like Bryan Burdette.
So when long-time Maranatha athletic director Dave Keener decided last spring to change roles and become a counselor at MCA, Burdette saw an opportunity that he had long been waiting for. Burdette knows his hands will be full right away — especially with helping the Maranatha football team adjust to playing 8-man this season — but he’s looking forward to the challenges of also being MCA’s new athletic director.
“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. When I came here, I wanted to do it here,” Burdette said. “It’s one of those things where you’re kind of torn because I want David to do what he wants to do. It was really exciting for me to find out that he was excited about moving to a counselor position. That’s something that he wanted to do.
“That’s where it all started really. He moved to counselor and then it opened up the AD for me to move there. I’ve been involved in athletics for a long time. I feel like God gives me the abilities to do things there. I’m really excited for it.”
While Burdette is chomping at the bit to get the fall sports season rolling, he’s well aware that there will be some situations that arise that he’ll need to take time to thoroughly think through rather than make a quick decision. Burdette said having someone like Keener — who served as the MCA athletic director for 11 years — close by is a major asset.
“Having Dave here helps a ton because he’s familiar with everything. He’s been here for I don’t know how long. It’s going to help a great deal because he knows a lot of history and why we do things the way we do,” Burdette said. “Before I start saying, ‘I want to change something,’ I can ask him, ‘Why is this like this?’ That way I don’t go through the same things he had to go through. It helps a ton.”
Burdette is starting his sixth year at Maranatha after spending a decade as a coach at Southeast (Cherokee) High School in southeast Kansas, but he has no previous experience as an athletic director. The first-year athletic director said that in order to be successful as an athletic director, he’ll have to make sure not to put too much on his shoulders.
“I really need to learn to lean on other people to do stuff. I was even listening to something on the radio yesterday,” Burdette said. “It talked about how we have all of these things to do. Decide which things you have to do and decide which things you want to do and then delegate the rest.
“So I’ve really got to get better at letting other people do stuff and asking people to help because there are a lot of people who want to help and who are willing. Sometimes you get in the mode where you just get your stuff done and don’t think about asking. It’s just leaning on other people to help and finding those opportunities for people to do that.”
Along with being able to go to Keener for occasional pointers, Burdette has the utmost confidence in his coaching colleagues to help make his transition to being the athletic director a smooth one. All Burdette had to do was point to the overall recent success of Maranatha sports to prove that he was taking over something that is on an upswing.
The Maranatha boys basketball, baseball, volleyball, girls soccer and boys soccer teams all had winning seasons during the 2017-18 school year. A few athletes also represented Maranatha at state competitions last year — including 2A boys tennis state doubles champions Aaron Bowlin and Daniel Siemers.
“Our athletics have been on the rise. We’re going to have a strong basketball team next year. In football we’re going to 8-man, so that’s really exciting to do that,” the Maranatha athletic director said. “We have a lot of excitement in the junior high volleyball program and the high school volleyball program has had some success in the past couple of years as well. Our baseball program has played in the regional championship game four of the last five years. And then our track and cross country programs have been strong since I’ve known.”
Burdette won’t be the only person with a new role in the Maranatha athletic department this school year. Jon Orndorff took over the Tonganoxie boys soccer team last year, but stayed at MCA to coach the girls squad in the fall. Orndorff has now given the reins of the Maranatha girls soccer program to assistant Lauren Olsen after taking the head position at Tonganoxie.
After guiding the boys basketball team to a 20-3 campaign last winter, Travis Thompson has left Maranatha for a coaching job in California. Thompson’s successor has ties to the Crossroads Conference.Former Van Horn assistant R.J. Newton is now at the helm for MCA.