Chris Burnham has been involved in coaching basketball for more than two decades. He never coached in the Southern Connecticut Conference, but always had a great admiration for the league.
“I’ve always believed top to bottom the SCC is one of the best leagues in the state,” Burnham said.
Now, Burnham will get the opportunity to coach boys basketball in the SCC. He’s been tabbed to replace Jake Palluzzi at Branford, pending approval from the Board of Education next month. Burnham, 43, had just completed his 10th year in a second stint at Platt Tech.
“I have a lot of respect for Jake and what he’s done. He’s forgotten more than I know. He’s also been a mentor to me,” Burnham said. “It’s so exciting for me personally to sell my vision to the kids and go out there, compete and do the best we can.”
Palluzzi, also a co-athletic director at Branford, retired after 29 years as head coach for the Hornets.
Burnham, an East Haven resident who is a longtime sort manager at FedEx in Wallingford, first coached Platt Tech starting in 1997. He then moved on to Westbrook, then served as both an assistant coach and interim head coach at Southern Connecticut State University before returning to his alma mater (1991) for a second stint.
“I was good where I was and was content and still could be content there,” Burnham said. “I have family in Branford. My wife is from Branford. I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity (to apply).”
A source indicated that there were 22 applicants, narrowed down to five for interviews. That source indicated Burnham had the most coaching experience and was the unanimous choice of the interview committee.
If approved, Burnham becomes the second new hire in the SCC within the last week. Jamie Anderson took over at his alma mater, Law, last Thursday.