Family games

The Burtch Family has three of its members on campus this year with sophomore Josh, junior Katelyn and head football coach Chris.

provided by Katelyn Burtch

The Burtch Family has three of it’s members on campus this year with sophomore Josh, junior Katelyn and head football coach Chris.

Quite a few students have siblings on campus with them, but fewer have their parents on campus as well. The Burtch family is one of those with campus head athletic director Chris Burtch and two of his kids, junior Katelyn and sophomore Josh also at the school.

The Burtch’s are an athletic family as Katelyn plays on varsity volleyball and basketball, Josh is on the varsity football team, and the two oldest siblings, Jacob and Madison, both played sports in high school.

Maddie Owens
Head football coach Chris Burtch talks to his son, offensive lineman Josh Burtch during a game at The Ford Center.

“We are a sports crazy family,” Chris said. “We just like sports and we like the opportunity to hang out with each other during those sporting events.”

For Katelyn, she enjoys being able to spend time with her brother and dad outside of the house, and to be able to interact with them during the school day.

“I love having my brother here and being able to see him and talk to him and hear him in when he’s playing football and just being in the same environment,” Katelyn said. “Me and Josh are pretty close and we’re pretty close with each other.”

Even though her dad is the head of athletics at the school, Katelyn knows that she has to earn her spot like everyone else.

“It really makes me have to work harder because I know sometimes people think that since my dad is the athletic director that I just get handed spots,” Katelyn said. “But really I have to work harder for those spots just to prove that I do deserve it so I think that’s one thing that changes it for me.”

For sophomore Josh, having his dad coach him during the football season can be a bit of a challenge in finding the balance between the two.

“He treats me a little harder than he treats most kids,” Josh said. “One I’m his son and he has higher expectations, but it’s also good to have a dad as a coach because then you can talk about it outside of school but he’s also just my dad sometimes.”

Sarah Philips
Head football coach Chris Burtch consoles his daughter Katelyn after the 41-34 loss to Canyon in the 2016 state finals.

To help his kids find that balance, Chris Burtch has established a rule in his family to ensure they know that he’s still their dad.

“We developed a car rule,” Chris said. “The car rule is when we get in the vehicle to go home, that I am dad, and we don’t talk about football or basketball or whatever else unless they bring it up. At school I am coach, so if they need to be redirected or coached up then I am going to do those things while we are at school.”

Having a parent as a coach can be challenging, but it goes both ways. Over the years, Chris has, at one time or another, coached all of his kids, he has been able to find a way to make it work.

“It’s hard because there’s such a fine line,” Chris said. “Sometimes I think I’m a little harder on them than I would be on other players just because I don’t want anyone ever thinking that I’m taking it easy on my own kids.”

Despite challenges the family may face in having their dad also be their coach, the family uses sports to grow closer together.

“Sports are really important to us,” Josh said. “We are really close together, after games we always hang out and stuff like that.”