Chuck Burghardt, who coached baseball at Lyman Hall for more than a quarter-century, died on Tuesday. He was 75.
Burkhardt died at Yale-New Haven Hospital due to complications from a stroke, according to his son Mike.
“I’m starting to realize how important he was. People have been reaching out and calling me, former players who said, ‘That time of my life was an important time and he meant a lot to us,’” Mike Burghardt said. “It goes to show you if you give a lot, when your time comes, people remember and appreciate the things you did for them.”
Burghardt coached the Trojans from 1993-2018. He led Lyman Hall to the Class L state championship in 2002, The Trojans were the No. 10 seed, defeating East Haven 5-2 at Yale Field.
Lyman Hall’s only other state championship in baseball came in 1969.
“Chuck was more than a baseball coach. He was a great guy. He loved his family. He loved Lyman Hall,” said Steve Baker, Lyman Hall’s current athletic director who was the longtime middle school baseball coach at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School. “He made it a point to go watch the other Lyman Hall teams on the road. There is a spot in our gym, he would sit in that spot for all of the games.”
It's a sad day for the Lyman Hall Athletic Department as it's with a heavy heart to share that longtime LH baseball coach, Chuck Bughardt, passed away today. He was the Trojans coach from 1993-2018 & won a state title in 2002. @SCCcommissioner @sportsRJ @CTHSCA @LymanHallPRIDE pic.twitter.com/RSjikNjZBN
— Lyman Hall Trojans (@LHHSAthletics) December 8, 2020
Matt Altieri coached nearly as long at Sheehan as Burghardt did at Lyman Hall. He took over the Titans’ program in 1995 and coached through the 2019 season.
“I always looked at Chuck as old school but very professional. The rivalry we had between our two schools was what I called a really competitive but clean rivalry. There was never a cross word between us,” Altieri said. “He was a loyal friend. If Chuck was your friend, he had your back. He was the kind of guy who would do anything for you, literally.”
Shelton baseball coach Scott Gura remembers Burghardt offering to help out in any way possible when the two first met prior to Gura’s first season with the Gaels in 2008.
“It was a great example of how classy of an individual and baseball coach he was. It is a sad day for the original (Southern Connecticut Conference) Housatonic Division fraternity,” Gura said.
Lyman Hall used to play in the old Housatonic League before the SCC was formed. Lyman Hall used to play Sheehan, Shelton, Amity and Cheshire twice a season in the SCC Housy. That would prepare the Trojans for state tournament play, where Burghardt compiled a 12-10 record overall, according to his son Mike.
Chuck Burghardt graduated from Notre Dame-West Haven, then served in the Navy before going back to get his degree to become a teacher. He taught at Wilcox Tech in Meriden.
Burghardt also coached baseball at Wilcox Tech from 1983-90, then taking two years off to watch Mike play at Lyman Hall. Soon after Chuck got the job, Mike joined the staff.
Chuck Burghardt first suffered a stroke in August of 2018, according to Mike, who said his dad had hoped to return to coach baseball for the 2019 season. He leaves behind Mike, his daughter Marlena and his wife Susan. Mike said their 51st wedding anniversary was on Sunday.
Services are pending.
“It’s a really tough day, a very difficult, sad day for Lyman Hall. Chuck was a class act,” Baker said.